Rare Mickey Mantle Rookie Card Sells For Record $12.6 Million!

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A 1952 Mickey Mantle card sold for a record $12.6 million (Credit: New York Yankees/ Public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

A 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie baseball card sold for a record $12.6 million on August 27, 2022. It's the most ever paid for any sports item or memorabilia. The record previously belonged to a 1986 World Cup jersey worn by Argentinian soccer star Diego Maradona. It was auctioned for $9.3 million in May 2022.

"We always knew this card would shatter records and expectations," Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage Auctions, said in a statement. "But that doesn't make it any less of a thrill to be part of an auction during which a single item breaks the eight-figure threshold for the first time."

The auction house credits the card's astronomical price to its pristine condition and its well-documented history. The rare Mantle card was part of a series released by trading card manufacturer Topps in the summer of 1952. Unfortunately, the cards did not sell as well as the company had anticipated. In 1960, Topps owner Sy Berger needed extra storage space and decided to dump the unsold cards into the Hudson River.

Anthony Giordano owned the Micky Mantle card for thirty years (Credit: Heritage Auctions)

As it turned out, not all the cards ended up underwater. In 1986, famed sports card dealer Alan "Mr. Mint" Rosen got a call from a Boston resident claiming to possess a case of the 1952 Topps baseball cards. His now-deceased father, a delivery driver, had saved a box and stored it in the basement for 30 years.

Rosen purchased the historical collection and sold it almost instantly. The recently-auctioned Mickey Mantle card sold for $1,000. Six years later, Rosen repurchased the card for $40,000 and sold it to New Jersey waste management executive Anthony Giordano for what was then a record price of $50,000! Giordano held on to the card for thirty years before deciding to put it up for auction. The rest, as they say, is history!

A baseball bat used by Babe Ruth sold for $1..7 million (Credit: Heritage Auctions)

Mantle — nicknamed "the Mick" — played his entire 18-year Major Baseball League career with the New York Yankees. The legendary baseball player helped his team clinch seven World Series trophies. He was voted American League's MVP three times and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 1974. Mantle, who died of liver cancer in 1995, is considered one of the best baseball players of his era and the best switch-hitter — a player who regularly bats both right- and left-handed — of all time.

The trading card was not the only newsworthy sale at the August 27, 2022 auction. An autographed baseball bat used by Babe Ruth from 1918 to 1922 fetched an impressive $1.7 million. It marked a new record for the most expensive game-used bat sold at auction.

Resources: Sports.ha.com, news.artnet.com, bleachereport.com


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  • joshua11
    joshua112 months
    it looks worthless, who would play baseball or watch it? or especially buying a piece of cardboard for 12 million dollars!!!!
    • lee123
      lee1234 months
      One of a kind piece of cardboard? Will you look at that.
      • rowdyxd
        rowdyxd5 months
        I like baseball,but that card is one of a kind.If that was me and if i pulled that i would be freaking out. (lol)
        • thegretest21
          thegretest216 months
          Who would pay so much for o piece of cardboard?💲💲
          • kady4
            kady47 months
            That is so cool, that 1 piece of cardboard is that valuable!
            • 1loverya
              1loverya9 months
              wish I had that🤑
              • fefizocaredi
                fefizocaredi9 months
                i am into clecting baseball cards and if i ge holed of one of those cards i would never sell it
                • jack_attack
                  jack_attack10 months
                  Just started collecting trading cards a few months ago, crazy how cards sell for this much! Maybe one day I will have a card of this magnitude.
                • 24vandergriffj
                  awesome article
                  • 24vandergriffj
                    awesome article guys good job