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Now that the face of U.S. speedskating has become America's winningest Winter Olympian of all time, with eight career medals, know this: Apolo Anton Ohno's autographed trading card is hot enough to melt the very Vancouver ice upon which he made so much history.
|Here's a look at the Apolo Anton Ohno baseball card.|
Ohno's 2004 Donruss World Series Fans of the Game autographed trading card, limited to just 300 copies, has been selling for as much as 325 percent above its current value.
A mostly forgotten card, which carried a modest $40 price tag before this year's Olympics, vaulted in value to $150 on Feb. 19. Less than a week later, it was valued at $175. More-plentiful unsigned versions of the card, valued at just $2 two weeks ago, have been selling for as much as five times that price.
Ohno burst onto the scene during the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City by winning a gold and silver medal. His trading card followed two years later, included in a traditional baseball set as part of a continuing series honoring the favorite sports teams of selected celebrities.
Ohno, a Seattle Mariners fan, went on to win three more medals at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy -- setting the stage for his record-breaking performance in Vancouver.
The Olympics have provided this type of meteoric value ascension before -- most recently with American swimmer Michael Phelps in Beijing two years ago. Phelps' record feat of eight gold medals in a single Olympics sent his 2004 Leaf Rookies & Stars Fans of the Game autographed card on a staggering increase, from $60 to $800 in less than a week. That card has since settled in the $500 range.
It's worth noting that speedskater Bonnie Blair (whose career-medal record Ohno broke) and medal-winning U.S. downhill skier Bode Miller also appear on a handful of autographed trading cards from 2004 and 2008, worth between $25 and $60.
Tracy Hackler is the editorial director for Beckett Media and the editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly.