Record Breaker: Pristine Montana RC Sells for $65K!

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1981 Montana BGS 10


Almost a year after it first surfaced last July at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, the only BGS 10 Joe Montana Rookie Card in existence recently sold at auction for the staggering sum of $65,880, according to Modern Marvels Auctions president Dave Amerman.

The Pristine-conditioned 1981 Topps #216 headlined Modern Marvels’ premiere online auction that began in January and officially ended April 25. Given the sheer largess of the winning bid, however, the transaction for the key card wasn’t finalized until just recently.

According to Beckett Media Senior Market Analyst Dan Hitt, the figure is easily the most ever paid for a professionally graded, modern-era football card. In addition, it’s the third highest sale of a single football card ever recorded by Beckett Media, surpassed only by two different sales of an SGC 96 Mint copy of Bronko Nagurski’s 1935 National Chicle card, for $240,000 and $80,000, respectively.

“When the card reached $30,000 the morning of the auction close date, we thought that would be the sale price,” said Amerman, who launched Modern Marvels earlier this year as a way to bring attention to modern high-end trading cards. “Later that afternoon, a bid for $32,000 was submitted and this continued until the card reached its final sale price. We were very pleased with the sale.”

So, too, was Georgia native Sean Storms, the card’s seller who acquired the gem from a friend last December for $25,000.

“I’ve been collecting since I was 9 years old and I’m 34 now,” Storms notes. “This was the greatest transaction I’ve had. It was a tremendous experience. I’m happy for the collector who got it and I feel good that it went for what it did. But as a collector, I feel that the card is worth even more. It’s a beautiful card.”

It’s worth noting that Storms – who by day is the President of Dixieland Waste Services and also works in the solar energy field – is in the process of launching his Storms of American Trading Company on eBay, which will start with more than $1 million in inventory, primarily high-end, high-grade modern sports cards in BGS 10, BGS 9.5 and PSA 10 condition.

Beckett Media first broke the story of the history-making Montana card’s existence last summer and Amerman, as well as the card’s original BGS submitter, have confirmed that it has changed hands privately on at least a few occasions in the 11 months since.

“Clearly, the condition of the card and the BGS 10 grade associated ultimately attributed to the final sale price,” Amerman admits. “The facts are that this is the only one of this grade and perhaps the finest known example available in the world.”

For more on Beckett Grading Services, click here.



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  1. Posted June 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I’ll stick with a graded 7.5 or 8 that is almost the same and costs $64,425 less.

  2. Posted June 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Sorry $65,805 less.

  3. Posted June 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Good point, iamjoecollector. I could use the other $64,000 to buy my favorite Arena Football League team.

  4. Posted June 2, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    another beckett scam

    Note: You can learn about the BGS processes (as seen in BSCM issue No. 285) by reading this:

  5. jscratch
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    there really is a sucker born every minute. enjoy your card! this is too funny

    Posted August 31, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I hate to break your hearts but I have this same card and Joe’s next three consecutive year cards under glass at home… What would they be worth? they are in excellent shape?

    Please let me know what youthink.

    Posted September 1, 2009 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I forgot to leave my email address if anyone is interested in giving some advice on the value of the four Joe Montana cards… including the above rookie card. Write me at if interested in advising. Thanks. Glinda Faye.

  8. Brian Ross
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I also have this Montana rookie card nicely protected in a safe and was wondering the value of that? Any help would be appreciated.

  9. peter mendes
    Posted December 16, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I got a joe montana rookie card with him in his notre dame uniform autographed, graded 10. If anyone knows how much it can be worth, email me at:

  10. Anonymous
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    i have a rookie montana card near mint

  11. Scott Graves
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I have a 10 that I opened from a pack in 1982 when I was a kid. I will sell it right now for 20K. I will bet mine is in better condition, it is better than mint. No one in the World has ever seen it, except me, and I just ran into this stuff about the $65K sale.

  12. ryan
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I love how everybody read this article and thinks their Joe Montana rookies are worth a Fortune… answer everybodys question about how much their Montana rookies are worth…..they will sale for 35-50 bucks….not almost 66K….sorry to break your hearts.

  13. bill gerlach
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I have the same Montana rookie card in perfect condition

  14. Posted September 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    i have lots of rookie cards. if interested email.
    80 90 cards. t

  15. Delia gaspar
    Posted October 27, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    My father passed and my mother found these cards in sealed plastic boxes. How do I find there worth..he was 84yrs when died.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By The $65,000 Football Card - on June 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    […] the only one of this grade and perhaps the finest known example available in the world." Source: Tracy Hackler, The Beckett Blog __________________ Sig Gallery/Requests Click […]

  2. By Top Posts « on June 4, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    […] Record Breaker: Pristine Montana RC Sells for $65K! By TRACY HACKLER | BECKETT MEDIA PUBLISHER Almost a year after it first surfaced last July at the National Sports […] […]

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