On Friday evening, Miles Teller made his way to downtown Los Angeles to sift through eBay’s massive collectibles market. The longtime card collector, who stars alongside Tom Cruise in the smash hit Top Gun: Maverick then chose his ultimate baseball card lineup. And as a lifelong Phillies fan, he had the chance to narrow down his picks with help from World Series champion and former all-star second baseman, Chase Utley.
At the event, Teller went straight for the rookie cards, picking out a 2011 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Gem Mint Rookie, a 1952 Willie Mays Rookie, a 2001 Topps Chrome Albert Pujols Gem Mint Rookie, a 2018 Shohei Ohtani Bowman Chrome Autographed Rookie, and a 1989 Topps Traded Tiffany Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie. His total price tag:$23,813.
“It’s really exciting to me to be able to choose some cards…as somebody who devoted a lot of time growing up to collecting baseball cards, it feels a bit like Christmas,” Teller said.
The trading card market saw an exponential boom in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this period, the sheer number of cards on sites like eBay saw a massive influx and prices quickly shot up. What was seen as a fad from another era has quickly caught the eyes of many people again.
However, with this rise in popularity came the inevitable fraud and fake cards. And counterfeits are nothing new in the world of collecting; approximately $3 million worth of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards were confiscated in 2005. eBay has worked to combat fakes, and the vault serves as another step in ridding them from the digital marketplace. Which Teller was on hand at the event to explain.
“I think it [the vault] gives buyers, sellers, and collectors an added sense of security and peace of mind,” Teller said. “People are investing a lot of money with cards and you want to make sure that the integrity remains in place.”
Teller says that he has been a fan of Hutley for as long as he can remember, so having him by his side to choose his lineup was the cherry on top of the entire experience.
“He really personifies what Philly fans love in their baseball players; somebody who has a certain level of skill but also tremendous effort and a little bit of grit,” he added. “Having Chase—who I’ve been a fan of since he played for the Phillies—guide me through picking my Vault Stars lineup was exciting.”