Mickey Mantle card sold for sports memorabilia record $12.6 million – Sportico.com
A mint condition 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card sold for $12.6 million on Sunday at an auction held by Heritage Auctions, setting new records for most expensive card and sports memorabilia.
The price topped the previous sports card record, $7.25 million for a T206 Honus Wagner, which was set earlier this month. In May, a jersey worn by Diego Maradona when he scored his infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal for Argentina at the 1986 World Cup sold for $9.3 million, setting a record for all kinds of sports memorabilia.
“This is one of the finest examples of the most important post-war collectible card to hit the public auction block in the 21st century. This is the most fundamental reason for the record price,” Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage, said in an email. “There has also been a tremendous amount of new collectors and investors entering the sports collectibles market over the past few years.”
According to Crunchbase, sports memorabilia has had a boom period that has helped spur the growth of collecting platforms, like Alt, a card brokerage and storage company that raised $305 million in venture capital. Alexis Ohanian, Kevin Durant, Alex Morgan, Tom Brady and Giannis Antetokounmpo were among the early backers.
The Mantle card was exhibited last month in Atlantic City during the National Sports Collectors Convention. The seller was Anthony Giordano, who purchased the card in 1991 for $50,000 from famed collector Al Rosen.
The card’s rarity, near-perfect condition, which was rated a 9.5 on a 10-point scale, and Mantle’s Hall of Fame career sparked massive interest in the card. The previous record for a 1952 Topps Mantle card was set in 2021 at $5.2 million.
The Mantle card wasn’t the only record set during the weekend’s auction. A bat used and signed by Babe Ruth sold for $1.62 million.
“The standing record for the highest price ever paid for a sports memorabilia has been increased by several million dollars twice in the past four months,” Ivy said, referring to the Maradonna jersey and Mantle card. “It will be fun to see the coin hit the market that may have the potential to set the next record, but there is no doubt that the eight-figure threshold is significant in the history of our industry.”