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1952 Mickey Mantle Card Sells For Record $12.6 Million At Auction

Forbes logo Forbes 8/28/2022 Carlie Porterfield, Forbes Staff

Topline

A baseball card from Yankees legend Mickey Mantle’s rookie season sold for $12.6 million at auction, becoming the most valuable sports card ever sold at auction and breaking the record for the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia.

A Mickey Mantle baseball card is displayed at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on July 21. Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. © Provided by Forbes A Mickey Mantle baseball card is displayed at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on July 21. Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Key Facts

Rated a 9.5 out of 10 by sports memorabilia authentication company SGC, the card is the “finest known example” of the rare 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball cards that break records at auction year after year, according to Heritage Auctions, which brokered the sale.

The card almost doubled the previous record for most expensive sports card: A T206 Honus Wagner card that sold for $6.6 million in August 2021.

The Mantle card also outsold soccer star Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” jersey, which fetched $9.3 million earlier this year and at the time made it the world’s most valuable piece of sports memorabilia.

Another 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card with a lower quality rating fetched $5.2 million in January 2021, which at the time made it the most expensive sports card ever sold at auction (it was later eclipsed by the $6.6 million Wagner card).

What To Watch For

Emmy Award-winning director Dan Klein is working on a documentary about the card, Heritage Auctions said. The project’s working title is Four Perfect Corners.

Key Background

The record-breaking auction is the latest sale in the red-hot sports memorabilia market, which first began to heat up during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, when most sports leagues canceled games over the virus, many fans turned their attention to collecting, with sports trading cards in particularly high demand. Prices at auction have remained sky high in 2022, even with sports leagues back in play.

Further Reading

Mickey Mantle Baseball Card Could Sell For $10 Million And Break Sports Memorabilia Record (Forbes)

Honus Wagner Card Sells For $6.6 Million, The Third Record Baseball Card Sale In A Year (Forbes)

Mickey Mantle Rookie Card Sells For $5.2 Million, Setting Record For Largest Card Transaction (Forbes)

Sports Memorabilia Boom Times: Now Topps Behind The Trading Cards—Gets $1.3 Billion Valuation (Forbes)

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