NFL star sells rare Pokemon Illustrator card from 1998 for $670,000

blake martinez pokemon card headerTwitter: Big__Blake50 / The Pokemon Company

Professional NFL player Blake Martinez sold one of the rarest Pokemon cards, a 1998 Illustrator Pikachu, for over $670,000 at an auction.

Part of the fun of buying and opening Pokemon Trading Card packs is the idea that one never knows when they might pull a rare and valuable card.

This feeling has led many fans and influencers to popularize collecting and selling extremely rare Pokemon cards for absurdly high amounts of money.

Now, professional football player Blake Martinez shocked the Pokemon community after selling one of the rarest Pokemon cards for over $670,000 at auction.

NFL player sells rare Pokemon card for $672,000

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Martinez put the card up for sale online at Goldin Auctions on the weekend of October 29, 2022.

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The official Goldin Auctions Twitter account confirmed that the card, which is a 1998 Pokemon Illustrator card, sold for $672,000.

Card appraisers graded the card at a 9.5 Gem Mint, with 9.5 centering, corners, edges, and a 9 surface. For those who may not know, 9.5 is only a half step away from the highest quality a collectible card can be graded.

Pokemon fans who’ve followed certain influences may recognize the Illustrator Pikachu — also referred to as the Illustrator Pikachu card — as earlier this year Logan Paul spent over $5 million on a 10 Gem Mint graded version of this very same card.

For those who may not know the history behind the Illustrator Pikachu card, it certainly lives up to its hype. The card is a standalone, unnumbered promotional card released exclusively in Japan.

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The card was released in January 1998 and was distributed to the winners of a Pokemon card illustration contest held by the monthly manga magazine CoroCoro Comic.

Before putting the card up for auction Martinez guessed it could potentially sell for $500,000 to even $1.5 million, a precedent set by Paul’s purchase.

While the card didn’t quite sell for the NFL player’s highest projected price, Martinez is no doubt pleased with the $672,000 sale.