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Pope John Paul II Card Sells For $8,100

The Pope's 2005 Topps World Treasures card, which features the pontiff's actual signature, is the hottest trading card on the market, according to the June edition of Beckett Baseball. The magazine, which hits newsstands on Monday (5/9), details the $8,100 sale of the card by a California collector to another Golden State collector shortly after the Pope's death.

"The Pope's card is a one-of-a-kind. It depicts one of the most revered leaders in history, so from that standpoint, the sale really isn't surprising. These types of cards, featuring world leaders and historical figures, are en vogue right now. Collectors love the novelty aspect of these issues," says Mike Payne, editor of Beckett Baseball.

To date, the Pope's card has generated the largest sum tracked for any of the 48 cards included in Topps' 2005 World Treasures (released November 2004). The set features issues of historical figures complete with "cut signatures" (autographs taken from documents and incorporated into the card's design). Other world leaders included are Czar Paul I and King Frederick the Great, whose cards have sold for $3,050 and $3,000 respectively. Each card is one-of-a-kind.

The Pope's card still has a long way to go before it is considered the most valuable trading card of all-time, though. According to Beckett, the biggest sale ever recorded for a trading card remains the $1.26 million paid for a 1902 T-206 Honus Wagner in 2000.

The "World Treasures" Signature Cards are featured in 2005 Topps Baseball Series 1 and The "Power Brokers" Signatures are featured in the just-released 2005 Topps Baseball Series 2. Following are the subjects for each insert set:

WORLD TREASURES

Alexander Papagos
Benito Juarez
Bill Clinton
Che Guevara
Czar Paul I
David Ben Gurion
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Fulgencio Batista
Harry S. Truman
Jimmy Carter
John F. Kennedy
Juan Peron
Kaiser Wilhelm II
King Edward VII
King Frederick the Great
King Fuad I
King George V
King Hussein (of Jordan)
Lord Henry Palmerston
Margaret Thatcher
Menachem Begin
Mikhail Gorbachev
Moshe Dayan
Napoleon Bonaparte
Pope John Paul II
Princess Diana
Queen Noor of Jordan
Robert F. Kennedy
Ronald Reagan
Thurgood Marshall
William Gladstone
Winston Churchill
Yitzhak Rabin
Princess Grace of Monaco (Grace Kelly)
Ferdinand Marcos
Jawaharlal Nehru
King George III
Boris Yeltsin
Charles de Gaulle
Leonid Brezhnev
Nelson Mandela
Mother Theresa
Shimon Peres
Chiang Kai-shek
Lech Walesa
Pierre Trudeau
Marshal Tito
Gamal Abdel Nasser

POWER BROKERS

August A. Busch
Aaron Burr
Andrew Carnegie
Amos Alonzo Stagg
Bob Dole
Barry Goldwater
Rev. Billy Graham
Branch Rickey
Bill Veeck
Cecil B. DeMille
Charles Goodyear
Colin Powell
Cornelius Vanderbilt
Caspar Wienberger
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ed Barrow
Capt. Edward V. Rickenbacker
Ed Sullivan
Gerald Ford
George Gallup
Henry Cabot Lodge
Horace Greeley
Hubert H. Humphrey
Helen Keller
Henry Kissinger
Admiral Hyman J. Rickover
John Connally
J.C. Penney
James Doolittle
J. Edgar Hoover
Jacqueline Kennedy
General John J. Pershing
J. Paul Getty
Jonas Salk
Lady Bird Johnson
Linus Pauling
Madeleine Albright
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Nelson Rockefeller
P.T. Barnum
Pappy Boyington
Sam Rayburn
Thomas E. Dewey
Thomas A. Edison
Theodore Roosevelt
Walter Cronkite
William Marcy "Boss" Tweed
William O. Douglas
William Seward
William H. Taft
Strom Thurmond

Source: The Topps Company, Inc.
Date: May 3, 2005

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