Colin Kaepernick's debut jersey becomes most expensive NFL jersey ever sold at auction

Jack Baer
·Writer
·2 min read

Colin Kaepernick may be years removed from his last game in the NFL, but he remains among the most famous football players in the world. Especially at the auction house, apparently.

The San Francisco 49ers jersey worn by Kaepernick in his NFL debut on Oct. 2, 2011 sold for $128,000 on Friday, according to Reuters. The auction house, Julien’s Auctions, reportedly claims the sum makes Kaepernick’s jersey the most expensive NFL jersey ever sold at auction.

Kaepernick’s jersey remains in fairly pristine condition for a white, game-used jersey because his debut consisted of a single hand-off to Frank Gore in a 24-23 Niners win. He would get his first start a year later in 2012, taking over for an injured Alex Smith and leading San Francisco to the Super Bowl.

How Colin Kaepernick’s debut jersey ended up at auction

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick scrambles during the second half first of a NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Colin Kaepernick didn't need to attempt to pass to make his debut jersey a record-setter at auction. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

While Kaepernick’s notoriety is what made his jersey so valuable, he won’t be the one profiting from the sale.

According to TMZ, Kaepernick reportedly signed the jersey on the back number — with the auction-friendly message “2011 game worn rookie jersey” — and gave it as a Christmas gift to the wife of a family friend and reporter, Aaron Prince, who auctioned the jersey in 2019. Prince had covered Kaepernick as a high schooler for Rivals and stayed in contact while the quarterback starred at Nevada.

The jersey then ended up at auction again this year, selling for an even higher sum to an unknown buyer.

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