A Lombardi trophy wasn't at stake this time, but Patrick Mahomes has dethroned Tom Brady.
With the National Sports Collectors Convention beginning just outside Chicago on Wednesday, PWCC Marketplace announced that a Mahomes 2017 Panini National Treasures 1-of-1, NFL shield, autographed card has sold for $4.3 million, the most ever paid for a football card and the fourth-largest sum fetched by a sports card all time.
"People see Mahomes as the next Brady," PWCC director of business development Jesse Craig said. "He's 25, he already has a Super Bowl and an MVP award. So, the sky's the limit for him ... and his card values."
"It's the perfect storm. It's a 1-of-1, the NFL shield an on-card auto, a rookie. You have someone betting on Mahomes' career, [and] this is as good as it gets."
The NFL shield, like Logoman basketball cards, include the full league logo from a player's game-worn jersey ensnared in a card, the rarest modern cards in existence.
The buyer betting on Mahomes is LJ's Card Shop of New Albany, Ohio, originally a digital store for single cards, boxes, cases and memorabilia which is opening a brick-and-mortar shop in the near future.
"Our goal at LJ's has always been to build the best modern-day card collection," a store spokesperson said. "We're continually hunting for cards that add to our collection in a meaningful way, [and] the Mahomes is truly a piece of art. We're honored."
The Mahomes card will be on display at the NSCC before returning to the PWCC Vault for safekeeping.
"I believe it's going in their long-term portfolio," Craig said. "[It] probably won't see the light of day for quite some time."
The card carries an 8.5 grade from Beckett Grading Services, enhancing the value.
This sale outpaces the previous record of $3.1 million, set in a June Lelands auction, in which a Brady 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket Autograph card sold. The card -- which carried a 9 Beckett grade with a 10 signature -- was numbered 8/100. It does not feature a memorabilia swatch.
"There weren't 1-of-1s when Brady was a rookie in 2000," Craig said. "And, look, there's inherently more risk whenever you invest into a player who is still active and young. Mahomes could get injured tomorrow. He could also win another MVP and Super Bowl.
"What we realized about modern players is that [fans] like to feel invested in them when they step on the field or court."
PWCC Marketplace has now brokered three of the four top sports card sales of all time, all since January: The $5.2 million sales of the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, the 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection LeBron James RPA (rookie patch autograph) and the Mahomes.