Move Over Mantle: Balloon Boy Trading Card Now Available
Back in July of 2011 Morning Edition noted that a Colorado man had paid $2,500 for the infamous balloon from the Balloon Boy hoax at auction. That investment may now bear fruit, snippets of the balloon are included in the 2012 Allen & Ginter Baseball card series.
No, you're not reading that incorrectly, the Balloon Boy card is part of the Allen & Ginter baseball card series, even though the balloon hasn't swung at a pitch in its life. Known as one of the 'Relic' cards in the set, the Balloon Boy card joins such luminaries as Al Unser, Sr., Michael Buffer, and Fatal1ty.
I'll forgive you if you don't know that last one, or think it's a spelling error. Turns out Fatal1ty is a professional gamer, er.. "E-Sportsman", and winner of 12 World Championships in 5 different games.
2009's Balloon Boy hoax started when a couple claimed that their 6 year old son had stowed away in a homemade weather balloon that had gotten loose and taken to the skies. What followed was a sometimes harried search and a media frenzy around the lost balloon.
Ire was eventually directed against the couple when the hoax was revealed and that the child was in fact hiding at the home the entire time. The hoax was a publicity stunt enacted by the parents and resulted in a restitution payment and jail time.
If you want to get a hold of this little piece of Colorado lore you have your work cut out for you. The 'Relic' cards are placed at random in card packs. Boxes of 24 packs of cards will run you $74.99 and with no guarantee of getting the card. eBay has you covered though, here's an auction that ends on August 15th.