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Signed Michael Jordan rookie card sells for record $1 million at Christie’s

Michael Jordan's 1986-87 Fleer rookie card has been one of the hottest cards on the sports collectible market the last two years. A special signed Jordan rookie just set a record at Christie's

A signed Michael Jordan rookie card set a record Tuesday, selling for more than $1 million at auction at Christie’s.

The 1986-87 Fleer rookie card is one of 23 copies that Jordan signed in 2006 as part of a 20th anniversary promotion by Upper Deck. The card, graded 8.5 with a 9 auto by Beckett, sold for $1,008,000 during an auction of Jordan memorabilia and set a record for a Jordan rookie card.

A signed 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card released by Upper Deck in 2006-07.

A signed 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card released by Upper Deck in 2006-07.

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The card, numbered #21/23, is the second-highest BGS-graded UDA Jordan rookie in existence, according to Christie’s. Despite the record, the sale was short of Christie’s pre-sale estimate of $2-$3 million.

The previous record for an unsigned Jordan rookie card was $840,000 for a PSA 10 that sold at PWCC Marketplace in Aug. 2021. 

$522,750 for a PSA 10 version sold by Goldin Auctions in April 2021, a period when eight PSA 10 Jordan rookies sold for more than $400,000.

Jordan had a long relationship with Upper Deck, which placed 23 Jordan rookie cards in its 2006-07 basketball set. Collectors who pulled one of the Jordan rookies could send the cards to Upper Deck, which returned them with Jordan’s signature.

According to Christie’s, only 14 of the 23 signed cards are known to have been pulled and were in private collections prior to the auction. Of the 14 known examples, 12 were graded by Beckett and two by PSA.

The buyer of the signed Jordan card was not released.

According to Sports Collectors Daily, another Jordan-signed UDA card with a 10 autograph grade sold for $125,000 in May of 2020.

Christie's also sold two pair of game-worn, signed Jordan sneakers for big prices in the auction. A pair of dual-signed Player Exclusive Air Jordan Low XIII sneakers sold for $378,000, while a pair of dual-signed Air Jordan VII ‘Bordeaux’ sneakers went for $40,320.

Also See: Kobe rookie/playoff jersey sells for $2.7M