This article is sponsored by sportscards.com, the creator of Jersey Fusion, combining authentic game- and player-used memorabilia with original trading cards. It’s hard to imagine turning $29.95 into $20,000, but that’s exactly what Jak Darby did during this year’s 2023 National Sport
This article is sponsored by sportscards.com, the creator of Jersey Fusion, combining authentic game- and player-used memorabilia with original trading cards.
It’s hard to imagine turning $29.95 into $20,000, but that’s exactly what Jak Darby did during this year’s 2023 National Sports Collectors Convention.
A long-time collector, Darby purchased a box of 2022 Jersey Fusion Baseball on the National show floor, and had the pull of a lifetime while hitting a Mickey Mantle 1/1. Built around a 1960 Topps Mantle card, the Jersey Fusion card features an authentic laundry tag from Mantle’s game-used 1961 World Series pants.
Already an incredible card, the pull came with a twist. Retailer Dave and Adam’s Card World had placed a $20,000 bounty on the card last year. All Darby had to do was hand it over.
“I couldn’t believe what I hit,” Darby said in a statement. “At first, I saw the card backwards and thought that was odd since I’ve never seen one placed backwards before. But then when I saw it I couldn’t really believe what I hit. I knew what the patch was from because I saw it in the advertisements, but I never imagined actually hitting it. I thought it would’ve been pulled by then. I just thought it was an amazing piece of history.”
According to the press release, Darby deliberated keeping the card for several days before turning it in for the bounty. The card will go on display at Dave and Adam’s Card World.
“It was great to see someone with Jak’s passion get this great hit,” Daryl McKay, Business Development Director for sportscards.com, added in a press release.
According to McKay, the Jersey Fusion team wasn’t even sure the Mantle 1/1 would pop up. Released as part of 2022 Jersey Fusion Baseball, the Mantle was announced as a bounty with Dave and Adam’s Card World in August of 2022, but had yet to be found.
“To be honest, enough time had gone by that maybe the person decided to keep it and didn’t turn it in,” McKay said. “I honestly thought in my head that it could be worth more than $20,000. Maybe someone decided to keep it.”
The Mantle laundry tag was also photomatched to the 1961 World Series by Resolution Photomatching while comparing the alignment of the pinstripes and a hole in the front of the left leg of the pants.
“Comparison analysis was conducted to confirm that these characteristics are unique to these specific pants,” the Letter of Photomatch reads.
Available for $29.95, each sealed Jersey Fusion box contains a single card that features an original trading card paired with authentic game-used memorabilia. Every Jersey Fusion card also comes with a QR code that displays the entire piece of memorabilia featured in the card.
According to McKay, Jersey Fusion is constantly searching for unique game-used items to include in its products, and the Mantle laundry tag just happened to be a top-tier find.
“We obviously seek out items that will make a product special for collectors and round out the value that you want from each box,” McKay said. “From a baseball standpoint, people might argue whether someone is greater than Mantle all-time, but he’s certainly top 10. We also have Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams in there. We have Willie Mays too. We wanted to make sure we have Hall of Famers and go out and find those items.”
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