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Mickey Mantle Card Breaks World Record Sold For $12.6 Million


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If some of you have some old baseball cards up in the attic you may want to give them a second look.

A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card with a PSA grading of 9.5 was just sold for $12.6 million at Heritage Auctions.

The card was sold by Anthony Giordano who bought the card from a man who found a large amount of 1952 Topps in an attic.

The previous record was held by Honus Wagner’s T-206 card which sold for over $7 million in 2021.

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ESPN had more on the story:

After more than a month of fanfare, the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card with a 9.5 grade from grader SGC — the “finest known example” of a 1952 Topps Mantle — has sold with Heritage Auctions for $12.6 million including buyer’s premium. It’s the most ever paid for any sports item, card or memorabilia.

The previous record for a sports card was $7.25 million, set earlier this month by a T206 Honus Wagner card consigned to collectables marketplace Goldin.

“This card is arguably the finest-condition example of the most iconic post-war card in the world,” Chris Ivy, Heritage’s director of sports auctions, said in a statement. “That grade, plus the fact it has documented provenance from the most storied find in hobby history, puts this card in a category of its own.”

So the story goes: In 1986, Alan Rosen, better known as “Mr. Mint” — who Beckett Media called “bigger than the hobby” after his death in 2017 — got a call from the Boston area. A forklift operator told Rosen that a truck driver friend, Ted Lodge, had 1952 Topps cards for sale. Lodge had inherited a home from his late father and stumbled upon a fortune in pristine condition.

Even in 1986, the 1952 Topps set was hobby gold. Lodge’s father had reportedly been a driver, too, one who drove Topps’ product in the 1950s; the distribution of the 1952 set had been famously bungled and a trove of them sat in the basement, boxed, for a generation.

Here’s what the New York Post shared:

A Mickey Mantle baseball card sold for a record-smashing $12.6 million Sunday, the highest price ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia.

The 1952 Mantle rookie card, which was in mint condition and received an astounding 9.5 grade from grader SGC, was last sold in 1991 for $50,000 by the famed baseball-card collector Alan Rosen.

In a letter to the buyer accompanying the sale, Rosen wrote that the card was “in my estimation the finest known example in the world,” noting its perfect centering and color, with only the “slightest evidence of paper toning.”

The auction house had predicted the card would fetch more than $10 million.

Chris Ivy, Heritage’s director of sports auctions, wrote in a July statement that the piece of memorabilia’s exceptional SGC grade, “plus the fact it has documented provenance from the most storied find in hobby history, puts this card in a category of its own.

“The card more than lives up to Rosen’s claim when viewed in person,” Ivy said.

Mantle, who died in 1995, was a switch-hitter with the New York Yankees for all of his 18-year career. He helped the Bronx Bombers win seven World Series titles and was a three-time American League MVP, making it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Deceased baseball players’ cards don’t only sell for so much because they are old but also because they are immune from being canceled or accused of any controversies such as taking steroids or performance-enhancing drugs.



 

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