NFL linebacker Blake Martinez retired from football after selling a Pokémon card for $672,000

Blake Martinez
Blake Martinez playing for the New York Giants.Cooper Neill/Getty Images
  • Linebacker Blake Martinez retired from the NFL earlier this month.

  • He announced this 11 days after selling an ultra-rare Pokémon card for $672,000.

  • A Pokémon-card store owner gave Insider tips on how novices should get started trading.

Former NFL linebacker Blake Martinez announced his retirement from football earlier this month, just 11 days after he sold a Pokémon trading card for $672,000 at auction.

Martinez, 28, had only joined the Las Vegas Raiders in October, making four appearances before announcing his retirement in an Instagram post on November 10.

"I have chosen to step away from this career at this time to focus on my family and future passions!" Martinez wrote.

Martinez had recently sold an "Illustrator" Pokémon card, which is "one of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence," according to CGC Trading Cards, which is dedicated to grading popular trading cards and sets.

CGC Trading Card vice president Matt Quinn described the card as "the holy grail for Pokémon card collecting" in a video shared on the company's Instagram.

In an interview with the platform on which he sold the card, Goldin Auctions, Martinez said that he started collecting Pokémon cards when he was six and returned to it during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said he had even set up a business selling the cards, through which he found the Illustrator card.

Pokémon card prices soared during the pandemic, as celebrities like the YouTuber Logan Paul, the DJ Steve Aoki, and the rapper Logic all got involved in the craze.

In July 2021, Paul paid $5.275 million for another Illustrator card, setting a new Guinness World Record for the most expensive Pokémon card sold at a private sale.

Tips for trading Pokémon cards

Those looking to start investing in Pokémon trading cards should make sure to diversify, Thomas Kovacs, the owner of an online store that specializes in selling collectibles like Pokémon cards, previously told Insider.

Kovacs said you can choose to buy a "display" or a "booster." Booster packs contain 10 cards, and a display contains several booster packs, he said.

Buying just one card makes "absolutely no sense," Kovacs said, adding: "It's like starting to invest in the stock market and only buying one share."

"I would put the money into something less expensive, such as several displays."

Kovacs added that it was important to store the cards at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.

"When you're starting out, I definitely wouldn't invest in expensive cards because you don't know what you're doing and you can't assess the market," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider