Many basketball fans and sports card collectors consider Michael Jordan to be the Greatest of All-Time! The GOAT debate can continue indefinitely, and frankly who each fan and collector considers as “their GOAT” may depend on their age and when they came to appreciate basketball. And there is probably no right answer to who is really “the GOAT.” What is not up for debate is that Michael Jordan autographs are perhaps even more sought after than his 1986 Fleer rookie cards.
This all begs a question — how much are Michael Jordan autographed cards worth? And what about Michael Jordan autographs on anything for that matter?
Before getting into any autographed items, authenticity and verification are an absolute must. There are hundreds of thousands of even millions of famous athlete signatures which have been forged. Many collectors also hold autographs that they believe to be real which may not be real autographs. There are also the so-called “clubhouse signatures” where someone inside a team’s organization other than the actual person signed the name.
So what about Michael Jordan autographs? I recently saw a signed basketball jersey of Michael Jordan for sale for almost $15,000.00 but the jersey was not game-worn. And frankly, the frame was not even all that impressive. After seeing the price of recent card sales, that jersey is going to either need to come down in price or it needs to find a buyer who does not care about prices and values.
The cost of a PSA 10 Michael Jordan from the 1986 Fleer set has been close to $200,000 in recent auctions without the autograph. A PSA 9 (unsigned) has been running closer to $20,000 and a PSA 8 (also unsigned) has been selling for $6600.00 to $7600.00 in the most recent auctions. But when you break down the autographed examples of the 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan, PSA has graded only 61 of these autographed rookies without considering the one “+” grade in the mix.
Heritage Auctions has completed its July 2022 auction and there were several autographed Michael Jordan cards that sold. This is certainly not a representation of all Michael Jordan autographs. There are some debut and less common signatures which are valued well above and exponentially beyond these named signatures due to scarcity.
Heritage had a 1984 Michael Jordan signed NBA Debut Chicago Bulls ticket stub which has been graded as PSA Authentic Auto 9 with bidding starting on July 24, 2022. The ultimate price here will of course be determined after the auction ends, but Heritage’s estimate of “$80,000 – up” should signal that that the item is less common than the 23,797 PSA graded examples alone (and SGC counts 2,858 graded rookies as well).
On July 22, 2022, Heritage also sold a signed 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie #57 graded as PSA EX-MT 6, PSA/DNA Authentic for $39,600.00. All images in this article were from Heritage Auctions as the source of the recent auctions.
As for the Heritage notes on the autographed rookie card, the auction house said:
Jordan has never been known as a generous signer and knowledgeable collectors will tell you that he’s tightened the reins significantly over the past six or seven years, and rumors abound that he will unfailingly refuse to autograph trading cards, presumably a condition of his contract with Upper Deck. Long story short, the population of signed rookies isn’t likely to grow.
Two examples of the 2003 Upper Deck SP Signatures of Michael Jordan also sold. A PSA Gem Mint 10, Auto 9 grade sold for $21,000.00 and a PSA NM-MT 8, Auto 10 fetched $7,500.00. If that is not proof that condition matters then what is?
And what about multi-signature cards? Heritage sold a 2003 Upper Deck Hardcourt Michael Jordan & Kobe Bryant (Hardwood Commemoratives Dual) on July 22, 2022. This card (#KB/MJ-AF) was graded by Beckett as BAS Authentic Auto 9 – #’d 3/ and the card fetched $16,800.00 after the buyer’s premium.
Many other Michael Jordan autographs also sold in this auction and the number of signatures was high enough that it may set the market tone for some time. Here are some other examples of graded Michael Jordan signed cards that were sold by Heritage Auctions in July 2022:
2004 Upper Deck SP Game Used Michael Jordan (Legendary Fabrics Autographs) #ALF-MJ BGS Mint 9, Auto 10 – #’d 3/100… $8,100.00
2005 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Michael Jordan (Scripted Swatches) SS-MJ BGS NM-MT 8, Auto 10 – #’d 2/25… $10,800.00
2006 Upper Deck Black Michael Jordan (Legends Autographs) #AL-MJ BGS NM-MT+ 8.5, Auto 10 – #’d 3/10… $4,920.00
2007 Upper Deck SPx Michael Jordan (Endorsements) #E-MI PSA Gem Mint 10 Auto 9… $6,900.00
2011 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Michael Jordan (Illustrious Signatures) #IS-MJ1 BGS NM-MT+ 8.5, Auto 10 – #’d 11/15… $2,160.00
2011 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Michael Jordan (Signatures-Silver) #AGS-MJ4 BGS Mint 9, Auto 10 – #’d 6/10… $2,520.00
2011 Upper Deck All-Time Greats Michael Jordan (Illustrious Signatures) #IS-MJ7 BGS NM-MT+ 8.5, Auto 10 – #’d 10/15… $1,980.00
So there you have it. Signed Michael Jordan cards have recently sold for as low as about $2,000 and as much as $39,600! Oh, but wait, there’s more…
On May 12, 2022, a 1996 Upper Deck UD3 Michael Jordan (Court Commemorative Autograph) #C1 PSA graded Gem Mint 10, Auto 10 sold for $93,000.00 after the buyer’s premium.
And for the multi-signed card popularity, a 2004 Upper Deck Trilogy LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan (Trimarks 2) #9/10 graded by Beckett as BGS EX-MT+ 6.5, Auto 10 sold for $121,212.00 on May 12, 2022.