Unopened Case Of 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Cards With Michael Jordan Rookies Sells For Record

An unopened case of 1986-87 Fleer basketball cards sold at auction Thursday for a record-setting $1.8 million, according to Darren Rovell. The case contains 12 boxes of 36 packs each and could contain upwards of 40 Michael Jordan rookie cards. Consigned by Jeremy Fritsch of Fritsch Cards in Stevens Point, WI, the case should also include rookie cards for Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler and Patrick Ewing.

How rare are these cases? The guys who track these things are shocked to see this case in existence.

“The last time I knew of a sealed 1986-87 Fleer case hitting the market was in the late 1990s. I haven’t handled a sealed case since the late 80’s and didn’t think one still existed,’’ Steve Hart, owner of Baseball Card Exchange, told Sports Collector Daily.

It’s not just the Jordan rookie cards in that case that have people excited. There are Jordan stickers in there that were going for around $20,000 in 2016. Sports Collector Daily says the case should contain at least 36 Jordan rookie cards and a similar number of the Jordan stickers. Single wax packs of 1986-87 Fleer with PSA 9s go in the $5,500-$6,000 range on eBay.

PSA 9 Jordan rookie cards from the 86-87 set have recently sold in the $12,000 range, but according to Sports Collector Daily, if you hit the motherlode and get a 10, the value should skyrocket into six figures.

Now, however, the PSA 10 Jordan Fleer rookie card has taken on a life of its own.  After one of them sold for over $50,000 another sold for a staggering $96,000 just three weeks later.  Even if you bought in just a few years ago at the going rate, you’ve done very well.

Prices in all grades had actually dipped a bit from unusually high levels in 2016 but the settled market gave investors and collectors a little more confidence.  With the “Last Dance” series on ESPN giving worldwide publicity to the 1990s Bulls, interest in the highest-graded Jordan cards has attracted numerous new buyers.

The experts predict the case buyer is highly unlikely to open it and just let time march on and let the MJ rookie card hysteria raise the value of the highly sought after case. Makes sense. The market is now set.

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

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  1. Heady stuff, Joe. Us older guys all have war stories about where our cards went (mostly we blame our moms for chucking them when we were away at college or elsewhere getting drunk). Cheers!

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