Las Vegas Raider linebacker Blake Martinez has retired mid-NFL season to focus on “future passions,” one of which is selling some of the most valuable Pokemon cards available.
Often when professional football players retire from the NFL, it’s because they’ve aged out of their prime, or their bodies have broken down and they can no longer compete at the highest level.
However, when veteran linebacker Blake Martinez announced his retirement from football on November 11 at the ripe age of 28, it wasn’t for a career-ending injury or for falling out of favor in the league: it was to pursue a potentially more lucrative career path: selling Pokemon cards.
Martinez shocked Raiders fans when right after a game where he logged a combined 11 tackles, he announced he was retiring from football.
In his announcement he said, “I have chosen to step away from this career at this time to focus on my family and future passions!”
Many fans pointed to the “future passions” part of the post, as just two weeks before calling it quits, it was revealed that Martinez had sold one of the rarest Pokemon cards for an insane $672,000.
The card, a Pokemon Illustrator Pikachu, was rated as a Gem Mint 9.5 and is the second-highest amount a Pokemon card has ever sold for. The card sold for almost exactly half of his base salary from the New York Giants in 2021 which was $1,125,000.
The only card ever sold at a higher clip was bought by YouTube and boxing star Logan Paul for over $5 million.
Blake explained in a recent interview that he started collecting Pokemon cards as a kid, and when the 2020 global health crisis started, he reignited his love for collecting rare cards. He also has an official business selling cards under the name Blakes Breaks.
Although his football days are in the past, Blake could be looking at an even bigger payday down the road via Pokemon cards.