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Phelps trading card worth its weight in gold

August 14, 2008 |  6:45 pm

Michael PhelpsWho even knew that they made swimming trading cards?

The Associated Press on Thursday reported that an autographed trading card for Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps has been trading for as much as $500. Just two weeks ago, one could be bought online for about $25.

Card manufacturer Donruss has a picture of the card.

The market value could rise to as much as $1,000 if Phelps breaks Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals during a single Olympics, according to Tracy Heckler, an associate publisher with Beckett Media LLP, a Dallas-based memorabilia company.

Arlington, Texas-based Donruss produced about 300 of the autographed Phelps cards in 2004 and about 5,000 “common” cards that don't carry his signature. Cards without an autograph have risen in value to about $20 from $2.50.

Here's part of what Phelps said on the back of his 2004 card: "After the Olympic games in '04, all I wanted to do was catch a Ravens game!"

Said Heckler: "We’re kind of in uncharted waters here. No pun intended.”

-- Greg Johnson

Photo: Michael Phelps. Credit: USOC