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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68 Comments
  • adogoaccount
    thats cool
    • emmalowe
      emmalowe7 days
      I think that a little too much to pay. Just sayin
      • ashanimesimps
        • daphne_helm
          That awkward moment when a card is worth more than your own house...
          • kokomohahuri
            that is a pretty cool card i would want 50 k
            • cryb4by_twt
              I wish I could be that rich.
              • rhykal
                rhykal15 days
                WOW! $12.6 MILLION?! That's so much! I don't really get what's the buzz with collecting baseball cards and stuff, but the sport is pretty interesting sometimes! I saw the Astros play, so that was fun! Personally though, even though the Mickey Mantle Rookie card is a one of a kind, I would personally pass. I mean, I know people are serious about this stuff, but I'm just not.. but anyone is free to do it! Did you know that there are 162 baseball games in a season? That's a whole lot of games! Did you also know that the first MLB team was the Cincinnati Red Stockings? Pretty good reputation if you ask me! But Red Stockings? Kind of reminds me of a Christmas stocking haha! But the name is unique! And so is this card!
              • rhykal
                rhykal15 days
                That’s the most expensive thing ever! Woah! The people who bought that card must have been really wanting it! It’s a very cool card too! How lucky that, that card didn’t go under water! #expensive #trading cards #Mickey Mantle #$12.6 million
                • rhykal
                  rhykal15 days
                  my sister was like, 'hmm nice painting'
                  • rhykal
                    rhykal15 days
                    if you have that kinda money why wouldnt you just save it for rent, stuff, food, and lots more?!?!?!