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Rare Air: First Amelia Earhart Memorabilia Trading Card Drawing Big Bucks, Curiosity

March 5, 2013

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Simply stated, last week’s celebrated release of 2012 National Treasures Baseball included some of the most historically significant trading cards ever produced, including bat knobs, buttons, booklets and cut signatures honoring the greatest baseball players to all time.

But National Treasures has always been about much more than just legends and current superstars from the world of sports. It’s also about honoring history-makers and pioneers off the field as well. So when you have an opportunity to make something as remarkable as, say, Amelia Earhart’s first memorabilia trading card, well, you do it.

So when Panini America Brand Manager Ben Ecklar set out to construct 2012 National Treasures Baseball, he kept a spot open for Earhart, the American aviation pioneer who in 1932 became the first woman to make a nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

But how, exactly, do you make a meaningful memorabilia card of a subject who never swung a bat, wore a jersey or donned a glove? In the rare case of Panini America and Earhart, the company acquired original wing fabric from the Lockheed Vega 5B aircraft that Earhart piloted on that historic 14-hour, 54-minute flight. For the record, she flew the same aircraft from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., later that year, becoming the first woman to make a nonstop transcontinental flight.

Panini America produced five Remarkable Rarities insert cards incorporating the wing fabric. In addition, there’s also a 1/1 version that includes a piece of wing fabric and a cut autograph. In the week since 2012 National Treasures Baseball released, just one of the Remarkable Rarities cards has surfaced on the secondary market, and it sold for $461.78.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2013 11:16 am

    Wow, those are awesome! I’m actually surprised that one of those “Remarkable Rarities” cards didn’t go for MORE than $461.78.

  2. David Johnson permalink
    March 5, 2013 11:28 am

    Awesome inclusion. I can’t wait to see what the autographed version goes for. I wish there was more than 1 auto, so that I might have a decent shot at getting one.

  3. March 5, 2013 11:33 am

    Excellent write-up on these unique cards, I want to congratulate all the collectors who are lucky enough to pull them and wish them sky-high prices if they choose to sell them. Thanks Tracy!

  4. djdavyb permalink
    March 5, 2013 1:52 pm

    That is simply remarkable Panini for being able to produce such a piece of History like this. My hats off to you. And thank you for brining this to my attention as I didn’t know about these cards. Now it’s time for me to do some “High Flyin” Searching to grab a box and see if I can’t “Land” on of my own for my “Airstrip” of Baseball Card Collectibles! Thank you!

  5. Jackie Moon permalink
    March 5, 2013 2:33 pm

    Terrible hitter, even worse pilot. Why is she in NT?

  6. Lucky Jim permalink
    March 5, 2013 3:18 pm

    In all seriousness, that card could easily bring in more cash if sold to the right buyer- Museums in perspective as well!

  7. March 5, 2013 4:51 pm

    Part of collecting cards is trying to capture a piece of history (usually sports history) that we remember and treasure. There is no doubt that Amelia Earhart has earned her place amongst the best of Americana collections. That 1/1 cut auto memorabilia would belong in any collection for anyone who truly understands what this hobby is all about.

  8. shawn norman permalink
    March 5, 2013 9:12 pm

    Cards with a history conection is always great.

  9. Sport Card Collectors permalink
    March 6, 2013 7:53 am

    Pretty awesome!

  10. deloreanfan81 permalink
    March 8, 2013 12:47 am

    they found that guy in England maybey they’ll find her plane too one day…

  11. Paul Kittel permalink
    October 4, 2013 2:34 pm

    Do you know how I can purchase a piece of Amelia Earharts Vega fabric.

    I noticed some on trading cards on this site . Do they have COA

    Cheers and thanks PauL

  12. Paul Kittel permalink
    October 4, 2013 2:37 pm

    Do you know how I can purchase a piece of Amelia Earharts Vega fabric.

    The Smithsonian had some in posters a while .ago. Does anyone know if one for sale?

    Cheers and thanks PauL

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