The $21,580 Jeremy Lin Card: What the Buyer Could Have Bought Instead

Rich Mueller@sportscollectorContributor IIIFebruary 26, 2012

Someone spent $21,580 on an autographed Panini National Treasures Jeremy Lin rookie card last week. 

Telling anyone how to spend their own (hopefully) hard-earned money isn't right, but in the interest of offering a little perspective to the buyer and those who stood open-mouthed as the eBay bidding soared higher, we thought we would offer a few alternatives currently available.

Here's our top 10 list of some really nice cards that $20,000 or less would have bought on the same auction platform, giving the buyer a little sports history—and some change-- for his chosen investment.

  • $12,500 - One of just 140 Michael Jordan rookie cards graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA.
  • $12,999 - 1948 Bowman George Mikan rookie card (near mint).
  • $13,250 - 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card.
  • $14,995 - 1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb (near mint).
  • $15,000 - 1957-58 Topps basketball set with Bill Russell's rookie card.
  • $15,000 - 1939 Play Ball Ted Williams rookie card (mint).
  • $15,500 - 1909 Joe Jackson E90-1 American Caramel rookie card.
  • $16,500 - One of the top 10 best known 1970 Topps baseball complete sets (720 cards).
  • $18,500 - 1958 Topps Bobby Hull rookie card (near mint-mint).
  • $20,000 - 1932 US. Caramel card of golf legend Bobby Jones (near mint-mint).

The buyer also could have split his money into a pair of dandy baseball card investments that wouldn't have added up to quite what he paid for the one-year-old rookie card.  How about a 1933 Babe Ruth ($9,999) and an autographed 1940 Play Ball card of Honus Wagner ($10,000)?

Maybe at the end of this season, $21,580 will prove to be a bargain for the 1-of-25 two-color patch autograph card of sports' biggest sudden sensation since Mark "The Bird" Fidrych

I'd sleep a little better at night with those other guys under my pillow.

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