Since his rookie season in 2011, every time Cam Newton has scored a touchdown he has rewarded a young fan in the first row of the end zone seats with the football he used. These moments are as pure as a Norman Rockwell painting and as sweet as Mean Joe Greene giving away his jersey in the classic Coke TV commercial. The Carolina Panthers quarterback is on the brink of making a few lucky little devils at Super Bowl 50 happier and richer. Last summer, Lelands, a premiere auction house based in the New York City area, sold a ball from the Patriots so-called deflategate game for $43,740.
Even though George Mikan was dubbed “Mr. Basketball” and voted the best “basketball player of the half century” in a 1950 Associated Press poll, he doesn’t exactly rival Stephen Curry in household name recognition. Fans and collectors may finally accord him a measure of the respect he deserves. In an SCP auction at www.scpauctions.com, the only 1948 Bowman rookie card of his ever graded a PSA 10 gem mint set a new world record for a basketball card. Seventeen bids drove the final price up to $403,664.
In a recent post I took a break from my upbeat coverage of the bullish market in baseball cards and memorabilia to step back, play the devil’s advocate, and give the bears their day. My column provoked more reaction than any other I have written for Forbes.