Earlier this year, collector Jimmy Mahan lived the dream of everyone who loves trading cards. Looking through a new pack of cards, he discovered a unique signed card. Realizing its value, he made a smart decision on what to do with it.
The Background to the Story
Mahan works in the financial industry and is a huge fan of trading cards. He lives in North Carolina and is reported to be a fan of the University of Kentucky basketball team. Like many fans who enjoy basketball and placing NBA bets, he finds a huge attraction in collecting diverse cards from his favorite sport.
Among his existing collection, he has rookie cards for Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Elgin Baylor, among others. His most valuable card is of Steph Curry and is said to be worth $30,000. He calls card collecting “the perfect intersection of history and sports”.
This story really begins when he bought a pack of Panini Prizm Draft Picks for about $200, with the idea of opening them live on his YouTube channel. Once he started filming, he got a bigger surprise than he had expected.
What Was the Card?
Mahan was shocked to find a rookie card that had former Duke stars R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson on it. It was signed by both players and was marked as 1/1, meaning that it was completely unique.
When interviewed later on ABC 11, the collector said that he felt like he was eight years old on Christmas morning when he realized what he was holding in his hand. He knew right away that it was worth a lot of money. The shocked reaction on his face on this video when he sees the card tells us exactly what it means to him.
What Happened Next?
The decision taken by Mahan was to fly straight to Dallas and get the item valued by a sports card pricing company. During the trip, he started documenting this story on his Twitter account under the name of @KentuckyCards.
The experts were so impressed by this card that they gave it an excellent rating of 9.5/10, meaning that they considered it to be close to perfect. It was worth thousands of dollars and was sure to be highly sought after.
At this point, the stage was set for him to sell the card for a big profit, as it was clearly worth a lot of money. Mahan pointed out that he would normally sell this sort of card for a profit, but that it didn’t seem like the right thing to do. He didn’t think that getting more stuff for himself would be “the best ending” to this story.
Instead, the collector decided that “there was a better option”. With this in mind, he put it on sale on eBay and said that all of the proceeds of the sale would go to a charity that meant a lot to him.
The organization to benefit from this unexpected windfall was The Crossnore School in North Carolina. This is a children’s home where Mahan and his wife worked for a number of years in the past. He said that the school is still “never far from our heart”.
How much did the card sell for? Well, there were a total of 61 bids made for it. The winning offer was for a mammoth $15,200.79. This translates as funding in the school for three children during a year.
This story shows how valuable trading cards can be. More importantly, it proves that they can also be used to carry out good deeds too.