- Dave Oancea a.k.a. Vegas Dave set a new record for baseball card sales when he sold a 2009 signed Mike Trout rookie card for $3.9 million.
- Oancea purchased the card in 2018 for $400,000, making a $3.5 million return on his investment in two years.
LAS VEGAS – It was a historic day for the sales of sports memorabilia when Vegas Dave sold a single baseball card, a signed 2009 Mike Trout rookie card, by internet auction on August 23 for $3.9 million.
This marks the highest price that a baseball card has ever been sold for in the history of the market. The original record holder was the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner card that sold in 2016 for $3.1 million.
A Huge Return On His Investment
Vegas Dave, also known as Dave Oancea, is known in the sports world, not for his expertise at selling its memorabilia but for sports betting.
More specifically, he has earned his living off selling his picks to customers for numerous sporting events via social media platforms the past few years. But everyone can have a side job and this one is his, it just so happens to be one that pays out more than most people could make in a few lifetimes combined.
Oancea purchased the Los Angeles Angels centerfielder’s 2009 rookie card back in 2018 on eBay for $400,000 from a Taiwanese collector.
Most people in his circle believed it to be a crazy buy but Trout has been headlining this season for his stellar performance which is likely why the card sold for the price it did.
The 29-year-old has already made MLB history by becoming the fastest to hit 300 home runs and steal 200 bases, and at his age, he still has plenty of career ahead of him to break and create new records which would only add value to his cards.
“When I bought this card, everyone said I was crazy for spending almost half a million on a piece of cardboard,” said Oancea. “I relate it to art—like the Mona Lisa or a Picasso. There’s only one in the world.”
The signed rookie card is a rare find and in 2 years’ time, it gave Oancea a hefty payday. His $400,000 investment turned into a $3.5 million return.
This is the second time that Vegas Dave has profited off the sales of Mike Trout collectibles. In May, he sold one of only five Trout cards produced for $922,000, two separate sales amounting to almost $5 million.
Trout is definitely the big fish for padding Oancea’s bank account. Oancea is the owner of seven more Trout baseball cards so future high-priced sales should occur but given the hot streak the centerfielder is on; those sales can wait as their value gets higher and higher with each performance.
A New Outlet For Vegas Dave
Vegas Dave had legal troubles when it came to sports betting stemming from his use of social security numbers that didn’t belong to him in order to place bets. In 2015 he saw a sweet $2.5 million win for the Kansas City Royals and the World Series. Right off of that win, he went on to win $2.3 million on the Denver Broncos in the 2016 Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl win wouldn’t pay out though as the FBI became suspicious and Oancea would later find himself on the receiving end of 19 felony charges. As part of his punishment, he is not allowed to use any Las Vegas sportsbooks for three years, which began in 2019. Since then, he’s turned to sports memorabilia.
“When they banned me, my vision was clear: sports cards,” said Oancea. And that vision has raked in millions and counting for the famous sports bettor when his vision was realized.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.