LeBron James 2003-04 Exquisite Rookie Patch Autograph Sells for Record-Setting $1.8 Million


It wasn’t a matter of if it would set a record but how high it would go. A 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Rookie Patch Autograph sold for $1.8 million on Saturday, July 18, setting the world record for the highest price paid for a modern sports card.

Leading the way in Goldin Auctions‘ Summer Premium Auction, this particular version of the card is the Rookie Parallel of James’ most coveted Rookie Card. It has just 23 copies with this one being numbered 14/23. It’s graded Gem Mint 9.5 by Beckett Grading.

2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Rookie Patch Autograph Parallel LeBron James

The final hammer price on the card was $1.5 million. Factoring in the 20 percent buyer’s premium brings the final price to $1.8 million.

According to Darren Rovell, the winning bidder is Leore Avidar, CEO and co-founder of Lob.

The previous high for a modern sports card was a 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout Red Refractor Autograph, which sold for $922,500 in May. It was also through a Goldin Auctions sale.

Other Big Modern Sports Card Sales

Goldin’s Summer Premium Auction had two other LeBron James Upper Deck Exquisite Basketball cards reach six figures. A one-of-one 2004-05 Exquisite Patch Parallel Autograph reached $240,000 with the buyer’s premium. It has a grade of NM-MT+ 8.5 by BGS.

2004-095 Upper Deck Exquisite Patch Parallel Autograph LeBron James 1-of-1

A 2003-04 Exquisite Number Piece Autograph (09/23) closed at $115,200. The card has an ‘Authentic’ designation by PSA.

Other top card sales during the Goldin event include a 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout Orange Refractor Autograph (09/25) netting $336,000 and a one-of-one 2004-05 Exquisite Patch Parallel Autograph Michael Jordan reaching $180,000.


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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