August 10, 2022
Camp counselor sells baseball card signed by former camper Mark Zuckerberg

NEW YORK (AP) — When camp counselor Eli Tarantino was flipping through a magazine years ago, he came across a familiar name: Mark Zuckerberg. He rifled through boxes of memorabilia in his basement, running his fingers over old photographs, newspapers and bus maps before finding a baseball card to see a very young Zuckerberg in a red jersey smiling and a Shown holding the bat.

Three decades later, Tarantino is hoping that a signed baseball card featuring one of the world’s richest people will be put up for auction next month.

“It’s like my version of a medieval crisis. I’m 50 – what am I going to do with this?” Tarantino joked.

As told by Tarantino—who still works summers at Elmwood Day Camp in Westchester, New York—Zuckerberg, then 8 or 9 years old, printed cards 30 years ago as a parting gift at the end of the camp. was offered.

“As someone who collects things, it’s always difficult to separate what’s in your collection. But I’ve always been weirdly curious how the public will react to something that’s like this.” It’s a strange combination of pop culture and memorabilia,” he said.

The card will also be auctioned off as a digital collector’s item – a so-called NFT, or non-fungible tokens, It has become a popular way to keep memorabilia.

zuckerberg posted about auction on Instagram on Thursday, partly to promote NFT technology in general, but to help promote NFTs on his company’s platform.

meta, Parent Company Facebook and Instagram recently rolled out support for digital collectibles.

“We are going to auction the card against a unique NFT of cards,” said founder of Stefan Fischler. ComicConnect, which is auctioning off items,

He called it “a virtual steel cage match,” with bidding on physical cards in US dollars and NFTs made in the Ethereum blockchain currency.

Fisher said he is unsure of the value of the items, noting that they are not the usual types of memorabilia up for auction.

In recent years, there has been a great deal of interest in collectors’ items associated with athletes. Rare baseball cards have run into millions of dollars. Mickey Mantle’s mint-condition baseball card is expected to fetch $10 million, perhaps even more, when it goes up for auction later this month.

Tarantino, now a 5th grade teacher in Connecticut, captured a Zuckerberg baseball card, not knowing when he stowed it in his basement hoping the kid would someday become a household name and one of the greatest technological advances. would be responsible for – or a waste of time – in social networking.

“I’m a sentimentalist at heart. When people give me something, I stick to it, that’s what I’ve always been,” Tarantino said Wednesday evening.

“He was definitely a kid you knew and missed. I was the kind of kid who just blended into the background. He was not one of those kids,” he said.

Tarantino said Zuckerberg was already larger than life. “On the back of his card, he put a .920 batting average—which is impossible in baseball. So even as a young kid, he was aiming big.”

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