Autographed Stephen Strasburg Rookie Card Surpasses $30,000 Bid on EBay

Stephen Strasburg baseball cards remain as hot as the rookie pitcher’s statistics.

A 2010 Strasburg rookie trading card -- the only one of its kind -- is being sold on EBay Inc.’s auction website, with the bidding currently at $30,726. The auction, which has drawn 87 bids, ends June 28.

The top bid is almost double the $16,403 spent on an EBay purchase of a different one-of-a-kind Topps Co. Strasburg card in May.

“It’s autographed, and that’s the big difference between this card and the other one that was sold recently,” Warren Friss, general manager of Topps Sports & Entertainment, said in a telephone interview.

The red-bordered autographed card, part of the Topps Bowman series, was discovered by a Melbourne, Florida, collector when he purchased a jumbo box of 2010 Bowman cards, the seller said on the Ebay listing.

The two cards are the only “one-of-one” Strasburg cards in the Bowman brand, which specializes in rookie cards. Some other one-of-a-kind Strasburg cards will be made available in other Topps brands, Friss said.

Strasburg, 21, on June 18 set a major-league record with 32 strikeouts in his first three appearances for the Washington Nationals, surpassing the 1971 mark set by J.R. Richards (21 strikeouts).

Strasburg Debut

Strasburg struck out 14 batters without a walk in his June 8 major-league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The No. 1 draft pick in baseball’s 2009 first-year player draft out of San Diego State University, he signed a contract with the Nationals for a record $15 million.

Topps has an exclusive trading-card agreement with Strasburg, who will autograph cards and make appearances on behalf of the New York-based company. Friss, who declined to comment on the financial details of the accord, said card sales have been “very strong” this season.

“The big thing in trading cards is getting that rookie card of a special guy like Mickey Mantle, Albert Pujols or Cal Ripken,” Friss said. “When people look at who the next great superstar is and want to get their rookie card, it definitely drives a lot of enthusiasm.”

Closely held Topps is also in the first year of an exclusive agreement as Major League Baseball’s official trading- card seller, adding potential value to the Strasburg card, Friss said.

“I don’t think there’s any limit on what a special card like this could be worth,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

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