Serena Williams Sets A New Record Off The Court | Rookie Card Auctions For Over $44K!

Image Credit: Goldin Auctions

This week, sports auction memorabilia has been on fire with record sales for iconic sports figures.

Now Serena Williams has made a different kind of history when her rookie card sold for $44,280. Williams’ 2003 rookie card was sold at Goldin Auctions, a New Jersey-based auction house, setting a new record price for female-athlete cards.

Tennis GOAT

The collectible auctioned as 2003 NetPro International Series Apparel Autograph #2A Serena Williams Signed Rookie Dual Patch Card (#001/100) – PSA EX 5.

The card was graded EX 5 by PSA. For non-collectors, this means PSA EX-5 cards have minor rounding at the corners that is becoming evident, according to PSA Authentication and Grading Services.

However, surface wear or printing defects are more visible with the possibility of minor chipping on the card’s edges. In addition, there is a loss of original gloss that will be more apparent.

Uniquely Collectible

So what makes else makes the rookie card so unique?

First, the card is in excellent condition.

According to the Goldin Auctions website, Serena Williams signed the NetPro International Series Apparel Autograph collectible in blue ink. Two apparel swatches that Williams wore in a match are also included, located on the front of the card.

In addition, the limited-edition piece is literally a one-of-one, as the card is serial-numbered “001/100.” On the back of the card, NetPro attests to the authenticity of the signature and memorabilia.

Williams For The Win

Williams leapfrogged over the last record sale for any women’s sports card. Mia Hamm’s Sports Illustrated For Kids 1992 rookie card sold in late June for $34,440 also via Goldin Auctions.

“People are accepting women’s trading cards as collectibles,” said Ken Goldin, executive chairman and founder of Goldin Auctions, to ESPN. “We’ve seen that gradually increase over the past three years, with a heavy increase in the second half of 2020 up through 2021. On forum boards and social media, I see people looking for women’s sports cards.

“The effect you have with Serena is that there are a lot of people putting together GOAT collections. They want Pele, Ali, Jordan, Tiger, Brady … and they include Serena. I think that’s the single biggest impact that is lifting her cards above all other women athletes.”

According to ESPN, the card was purchased by Alt on behalf of a private client. Alt is an alternative-asset trading platform. According to Alt, alternative assets are those that cannot be categorized as stocks, bonds, or certificates. Collectibles like NFTs and sports cards are considered alternative assets.

Black Memorabilia Excellence

On Sunday, a pair of Michael Jordan game-worn sneakers from his rookie season sold for $1.472 million to high-end card collector Nick Fiorella.

Jordan wore the sneakers in his fifth NBA game, where “His Airness” had a seemingly average 17-point, five-rebound, and five-assist game against the Denver Nuggets.

Earlier this week, a 2003-04 an Upper Deck Exquisite LeBron James rookie card sold at Goldin Auctions for $2.46 million. According to Sports Collectors Daily, James’ rookie card also set a new record when it bested a 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Rookie Patch autograph that sold for a little over $2 million.

Williams’ card sale shows that the market for women’s sports memorabilia, especially featuring Black women, is heating up.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.