My brother and I used to collect baseball cards. We'd beg our parents to buy us a pack or two when we went to the grocery store. Heck, back then packs were only 50 cents and you got free gum in every pack! We loved baseball and collecting the cards of the players we wanted to be like.

Later in our collecting we discovered that certain cards were 'worth' more than others. Rookie cards of great players were very valuable. I had an entire page of Mark McGwire rookie cards. I was certain someday that I'd sell them for thousands. Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Jose Canseco were others that we had in our collection. I should have sold early. As with many collectibles, their value is only as good as the market allows. The steroid era in baseball ended the high card values for many of those players.

We're in a new era of baseball right now. And one of it's brightest stars got his start right here in Cedar Rapids. Sure, Mike Trout only spent half a season in the Midwest League, but he is forever a Kernel! He has rocketed to fame with the Los Angeles Angels and is regarded as the best all around player in baseball. If you were lucky enough to grab his 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospect Superfractor signed rookie card, well you could be a millionaire.  ESPN reports that the one of a kind card sold for a record $3,936,000 over the weekend!

The Trout card beat the old record of the most expensive sports card ever sold set by the 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card. It just goes to show you that if you pull the right card, collecting can be worth it! I need to go back through the boxes of cards that my brother and I saved. Who knows what might be inside?


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