Rovell: Details on the $1 Million Tom Brady Rookie Card Controversy
Getty Images. Pictured: Bucs QB Tom Brady
A scandal involving a million dollar Tom Brady card erupted Friday morning when an eagle-eyed observer noticed that a card, being advertised as a new record for a football card, looked different from a card with the same serial number on the case.
On Thursday night, PWCC announced it had brokered a deal to sell a Brady Championship Ticket Card, Brady’s most valuable rookie that is autographed and numbered to 100, for $1.32 million. The problem was that another Brady Championship Ticket, posted by eBay power seller Rick Probstein, had the same serial number in the Beckett Grading Services case, but the card front was different, noticeably exhibiting a different autograph.
Probstein confirmed to The Action Network that his client sold the card to PWCC and that he shipped the exact card that was posted.
Speculators on Instagram wondered the worst: Was there a swap out? Was one of the cards fake? Was the case fake?
Jesse Craig, PWCC’s Director of Business Development, told The Action Network that he brokered the sale to FitBit CEO James Park and that Park has the card with the original image that was posted by Probstein on eBay.
Because the card was sent directly to Park, and there was only one image of that card that had a glare, Craig said, unbeknownst to him, the marketing department unilaterally decided to photoshop in another image of a Brady championship ticket that one went through PWCC’s hands.
“Our marketing department wanted to get a better picture and didn’t realize that what they did is a big no-no in the industry,” Craig said. “There was no intent to misrepresent anything though. The card was already sold and James has the right card.”
But that doesn’t entirely solve the case. In the last two days, a new 8.5 has emerged in BGS’ registry of the card, leading some to believe the card might have been cracked out for a regrade, which would mean it would get a new serial number and couldn’t be traced. PWCC’s marketing image covered the back of the card, which would have revealed what number out of 100 the card was.
“We shipped James the card two weeks ago,” Craig said. “Conspiracy theorists can make up what they want, but there’s nothing malicious here.”
An 8.5 in this card, with a 9 auto, is currently being auctioned off by Lelands.com. It’s currently at $891,531 with buyer’s premium with 28 days left.