Blake Martinez retired from NFL after selling 'Holy Grail' Pokémon card for a hefty fee at auction
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Former Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Blake Martinez retired from American football only two weeks after selling a super rare Pokémon card for a staggering fee.
Martinez took to social media earlier this month to confirm his NFL career was over after leading the Raiders with 11 tackles in a 27-20 defeat to Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I had an amazing journey with some incredible franchises, and made lifelong friendships,” he wrote on Instagram.
“I have chosen to step away from this career at this time to focus on my family and future passions!
“I am excited for this new journey and appreciate all the fans and organisations that have supported me throughout the years!”
However, it has now emerged that Martinez sold a valuable Pokémon card before his NFL retirement mid-season.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Martinez’s rare Pokémon Illustrator card was sold for a whopping $672,000 online at Goldin Auctions.
It is added that the top bid for the card, featuring Pokémon mascot Pikachu, was $560,000 and the buyer’s premium pushed the total cost to the final $672,000 tally.
The premium was the additional charge added to the final price, which is usually a percentage of what the item was sold for at auction.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Martinez, 28, believed the Illustrator card was ‘worth up to $1.5million,’ with only 39 of them ever being produced.
Graded a 9.5 ‘Gem Mint’ by CGC Grading, the publication added that the Illustrator card is seen as the ‘Holy Grail’ for Pokémon card collectors.
The Illustrator has become more well known in mainstream culture after YouTuber Logan Paul paid an eye-watering £4.38m for a 10 PSA ‘Gem Mint’ card.
Martinez recently made an appearance at a fan event for Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, which was attended by both Pawn Stars co-stars Rick Harrison and Austin ‘Chumlee’ Russell.
Final Sale Price for the Illustrator Pikachu a.k.a The Swirllustrator: $672,000 pic.twitter.com/VXjhYbUeZk— Goldin (@GoldinCo) October 30, 2022
The former New York Giants and Green Bay Packers player doubled down on the value of the Illustrator card, saying it is “insane” and “crazy” to see how much it was worth.
“Maybe $500,000 to, who knows? Eight hundred [thousand], 1.5 mil,” avid Pokémon fan Martinez said.
“It’s crazy. It’s insane to me, 100 per cent.”