Highsnobiety

The popularity of trading cards has exploded over the past year, to the point that it’s not just athlete trading cards or games such as Pokémon that are reselling for exorbitant amounts on the secondary market. Recently, a Dr. Anthony Fauci MLB Topps Now card sold for $4,250 on eBay.

The sale showed that political figures have become icons in every sense of the word. In a world that appreciates a good meme as much as it demands transparency from its leaders, someone like Dr. Fauci has become collectible.

The card that sold for nearly $5,000 was number 16 of 49, making it highly limited and a big reason why it ended up selling for so much. But it’s also Dr. Fauci’s standing in the medical and political world that influenced the card’s market value.

Dr. Fauci is currently the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden and has become the USA’s go-to advisor on all things COVID-19. He first rose to prominence when Donald Trump went against his advice in the fight to stifle the pandemic. Dr. Fauci made headlines for his staunch opposition and contradiction to Trump’s rhetoric.

The 80-year-old physician threw out the first pitch on Major League Baseball's opening day in January of 2020. A photograph from the occasion was used for a limited edition range of Topps Now cards, the leading producer of both sports and non-sports themed trading cards.

A recent study by eBay showed that the trading card category on the site grew by 142 percent in 2020. Over 4 million more cards were sold on eBay in 2020 than in 2019, the most notable of which was a 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady ROOKIE RC AUTO #144 PSA 10 GEM MINT that sold for over $500,000.

Pokémon trading cards grew an astonishing 574 percent from 2019 to 2020, and are the most popular trading card category on eBay. The top 5 most popular trading card categories on eBay are as follows:

  1. Pokemon trading cards

  2. Basketball cards

  3. Baseball trading cards

  4. Magic The Gathering cards

  5. Football trading cards

The demand for sports-related memorabilia has spiked in recent months, as Michael Jordan's rookie cards, for example, are currently worth more than his game-worn sneakers. Up next, get your Joe Biden Be@rbrick — just kidding, although maybe?

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