NEW YORK (AP) – When camp counsellor Allie Tarantino was flipping through a magazine years ago, he came upon a familiar name: Mark Zuckerberg. He rifled through boxes of memorabilia in his basement, running his fingers over old photos, newspapers and bus maps before finding a baseball card featuring a very young Zuckerberg grinning in a red jersey and gripping a bat.
Three decades later, Tarantino is hoping that a signed baseball card featuring one of the richest men in the world will bring a fortune when it is put up for auction next month.
“It’s like my version of a midlife crisis. I’m 50 years old – 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 age eight or nine, offered the card he’d had printed as a parting gift at the end of camp 30 years ago.
“As somebody who collects things, it’s always really difficult to part with whatever you have in your collection. But I’ve always been like weirdly curious about how the public would react to something that’s like this that’s a weird 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 token, that has become a popular way to own memorabilia.
Zuckerberg posted about the auction on Thursday on Instagram, partly as a way to promote NFT technology in general, but also to help promote NFTs across his company’s platforms.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has recently launched support for digital collectibles. “We’re going to auction off the card against a one-of-a-kind NFT of the card,” said founder Stephen Fishler of ComicConnect, which is auctioning off the items.