LeBron James’ Rookie Card Sells For $5.2 Million, Tying Mantle for Most Expensive Ever

The rookie card of four-time NBA Champion LeBron James has reached new heights.

The card sold this month for a reported $5.2 million, making it the the most expensive basketball card ever sold.

The price of LeBron’s rookie card also ties a 1952 Mickey Mantle card as the most expensive sports card ever sold.

If you’re racing out to the garage to see if you have one, it’s a 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection RPA (rookie patch autograph) parallel with the No. 23 etched on it. If you have that in your collection, you’re lucky.

PWCC Marketplace made the announcement on the LeBron card. It holds a Beckett Grading Services grade of 9 as a card and a perfect 10 signature, according to ESPN.

The card is just one of two ever graded that high by Beckett. The collectors card skyrocketed from $1.85 million to $5.2 million since last summer.

The buyer of the card remains anonymous.

James’ cards have always been popular, but no one probably ever expected one of them to auction for such a high number.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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  1. Sickens me because LeBron probably has a stash of these cards tucked away, and he can generate big bucks just by releasing them on a limited basis to the marketplace. Then again, he’ll never be able to buy himself a brain or integrity.

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