Chewed Vick cards go for $7,400; money expected to go to Humane Society
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The woman who paid $7,400 on eBay for 22 Michael Vick football cards, chewed up and slobbered on by two Missouri dogs, acknowledges she hadn't heard of the star football player before he was indicted for dogfighting.
But Laura Norton-Dye, 40, of Cape Girardeau, wanted to send the message that local animal shelters need help -- and she challenged Vick to donate money himself.
Norton-Dye, who outbid 30 others, lives in the town where the auction originated and has requested the money be donated to the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri and to Safe Harbor, a local animal sanctuary.
Norton-Dye, who has incurable gastrointestinal carcinoid cancer, said she has a big heart for animals.
"I really think this was the right thing to do," said Norton, a former teacher. "This is one way I thought I could make a difference."
The success of the auction created a craze of more than 25 other postings this week offering torn-up cards featuring the disgraced NFL superstar, most also promising to donate the money to local animal shelters.
But so far, the original post from Rochelle Steffen, of Cape Girardeau, has been the only auction to attract droves of bidders.
Steffen gave Monte, her 6-year-old Weimaraner, and Roxie, her Great Dane puppy, every Vick card she owned to destroy. The cards, worth $1 to $10 apiece, were crumpled, crimped, chewed, torn and generally in a sorry state. Some even had corners missing.
"When I started this I only expected to get $100 for a local shelter," Steffen told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "But it's received so much attention. It's for such a good cause that jumps every boundary."
Steffen, 31, said she has been overwhelmed with positive responses, including from people who say her auction inspired them to donate money to animal shelters.
The Humane Society of the United States has seen a large spike in donations since Vick was indicted on federal dogfighting charges last month, said Ann Chynoweth, director of the society's Animal Cruelty and Fighting Campaign.
"Americans love football, but they love dogs even more," she said.
The backlash against Vick seemed to grow this week as he apologized after entering a guilty plea to a federal dogfighting charge in Richmond, Va. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 10.
The gnawed cards were by far the most expensive Vick items on eBay, with well-preserved rookie cards, autographed jerseys and other collectibles selling for far less.
"The thought of these cards selling for $7,000 underscores how much this situation with Michael Vick has really captivated Americans," said Tracy Hackler, associated publisher of Beckett Media, the Dallas-based publisher of several card collecting magazines.
Other ads on eBay offered cards chomped on by a pit bull puppy from Indianapolis named Diesel and a Cadillac, Mich., dog named Freak, among others. Another ad offered a jersey torn up by a yellow lab named Trixie from Harker Heights, Texas.
Another posting offered the services of a Destin, Fla., dog named Peggy Sue, saying she will damage mint-condition Vick cards. The ad said proceeds would go to the Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation. The high bid was $188.27 Wednesday afternoon.
While Vick was once considered by collectors as having some of the most-sought after memorabilia, the value of his autographs, cards and other collectibles have dramatically dipped, Hackler said. Even his 2001 SP Authentic rookie card, once valued at more than $1,000, is now being traded at $285 to $400, he said.
The Atlanta Humane Society says some former Vick fans have sent jerseys, often accompanied by financial contributions. Other branches of the Humane Society have said they will take donated Vick items to resell on eBay.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
VICK SENTENCED TO 23 MONTHS
Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison and three years' probation for his role in a dogfighting conspiracy. The suspended Falcons quarterback is looking at a scheduled release of July 2009. Story
Update• GM: Falcons will attempt to trade Vick
• Lawyer: Vick might move to halfway house
• Former Vick estate fails to sell again
• Vick house fails to sell at auction
• Vick files for bankruptcy protection
• Prosecutor: Vick's Virginia trial can wait
• Vick ordered to repay Canadian bank $2.4 million
• Judge denies NFL motion to reverse Vick ruling
• Report: Vick not playing organized football in jail
• Report: Vick passes time with prison-yard football
• Vick's state dogfighting trial to begin June 27
• Munson: Vick yet to enter drug treatment
The sentence• Vick sent to Kansas to serve rest of sentence
• Vick asked judge for leniency before sentencing
• Vick sentenced to 23 months | Document (pdf)
• Poll: What do you think? | What they're saying
• Clayton: Sentence puts career in jeopardy
• Munson: Tough sentence by displeased judge
• Teammates show support at Falcons game
• Can Vick return to playing in NFL?
• Pasquarelli: No longer top of mind in Atlanta
• Last Vick co-defendant sentenced
• Podcasts : Cossack | Schlereth | Munson/Naqi | Pasquarelli
• Chat wrap: David Cornwell
Post Plea• NFL wants court to reverse Vick bonus ruling
• Victory for Vick: QB can keep $20 million bonus
• Fifth defendant in Vick case receives probation
• Vick's house for sale for $1.1M
• Some Falcons to visit Vick in prison
• PETA unveils new e-card
• Former Virginia estate fails to sell at auction
• Out of Falcons' sight, almost out of mind
• Judge's casework offers look at possible sentence
• Remaining dogs placed with rescue groups
• Source: Feds may push judge to up sentence
• NFLPA argues Vick should not lose roster bonus
• Vick co-defendants get 18, 21 months in prison
• Vick agrees to put up almost $1M for dogs' care
• Vick given April trial date on state charges
• Vick surrenders to begin serving sentence early
• Home at center of Vick dogfighting scandal sold
• Vick fires one of his lawyers in dogfighting case
• Man who sold Vick pit bull pleads guilty
• Man connected to Vick dogfight ring pleads guilty
• Third bank sues Vick, claims he defaulted on loan
• Arbiter: Falcons have right to reclaim bonuses
• PETA: Vick had class on animal cruelty
• Evaluations show 48 of Vick's dogs placeable
• Vick tests positive for marijuana
• Vick supporters turn out for town meeting
• Vick's apology notes fetch $10.2K at auction
Vick's Plea/NFL Suspension• Vick pleads guilty to federal dogfighting charge
• The plea (PDF) | Statement of facts (PDF)
• Vick's statement: Watch it | Read it
• Roger Cossack explains plea deal
• Poll: Vick should be banned
• Va. Tech, Beamer continue to support Vick
• Vick supporters drown out protesters
• NFL suspends Vick indefinitely | Goodell (PDF)
• Chris Mortensen on Vick's suspension
• Vick files plea agreement admitting to dogfighting
Indictment• Marbury's about-face: Vick 'is 100 percent wrong'
• National NAACP: Vick 'not a victim' | Audio
• Atlanta NAACP: Vick should be allowed to return
• Falcons come to terms with 'ex-teammate'
• Vick timeline | What they're saying
• Helyar: Even Atlanta turns against Vick
• Goodell: Vick not overshadowing season
• Vick co-defendant pleads guilty to charges
• Tony Taylor: Summary of Facts | Plea agreement
• Hometown residents stand by Vick
• Falcons had planned to suspend Vick
• Commish tells Vick to avoid camp
• Vick indicted | The indictment (pdf) | Civil arrest warrant (pdf)
Town Hall meeting• Town Hall chat wrap: Chadiha
Previous columns/analysis• Munson: Q&A on Vick reporting to prison early
• Munson: Looking at Judge Hudson
• Vick's high school learning lessons
• Bryant: Confounded by race issue
• Munson: Q&A about local indictment
• Munson: Next focus for Vick is length of sentence
• Schlabach: Vick an afterthought on VT campus
• Chadiha: Vick not running from truth
• Hill: Coverage means bigger issues ignored
• Wojciechowski: Pay attention to the fallen star
• Bryant: Vick's plea deal comes with baggage
• Bryant: In failing Vick, NFLPA fails itself
• Munson: Vick plea means surrender
• Forde: Vick's epic fall
• Pasquarelli: Major blow for Falcons
• Chadiha: Lots of lessons to be learned
• Wojciechowski: Punishment with teeth
• Easterbrook: Little sympathy?
• Clayton: Vick's NFL future might be bleak
• E-Ticket: A history of mistrust
• Chadiha: Vick's bad choices