Four days ago, in this space, I wrote a little bit about an autographed Stephen Strasburg rookie card on eBay going for $34,600. I discussed the absurdity of it all, and some other things you could do with $34,600, and why autographs should be worth anything in the first place. Standard blogger fare.
Four days ago was nothing. $34,600 was nothing.
This isn't a funny joke anymore. This is going to end up concluding with the exchange of a seven-figure sum of money. That $999,900 bid wasn't some outlandish attention-seeking sum the bidder has no intention of paying - it was the 27th bid of $900,000 or above. People got serious. People got serious about a name scribbled down on a glossy piece of cardboard.
The bidding has taken on a life of its own. They say Paris Hilton is famous because she's famous. This autographed card is a high-priced collectible because it's a high-priced collectible. Unlike Paris Hilton, of course, the card had redeeming value before it got all this attention, but it's no longer something someone wants to own because it's a Stephen Strasburg autographed rookie card. Now it's something someone wants to own because it's the Stephen Strasburg autographed rookie card that sold for more than a commercial spot in the season finale of Lost. It isn't a card. It's a piece of internet history. And history has a cost.
Over the past 24 hours, the bidding has jumped by more than $850,000. There are still three days remaining before the auction comes to a close. Note that Stephen Strasburg himself is costing the Nationals $3.875m for the 2010 season.