A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card sold for $12.6 million at auction on Sunday, marking the most expensive sports card ever sold.
The card, which was recently graded in mint condition, sold for $6 million more than a Honus Wagner card last year. It is also considered the most expensive sports collectible ever sold, beating out a jersey worn by Diego Maradona that sold for $9.3 million.
"An eight-figure auction result in the sports market was the stuff of fantasy just a decade ago," says Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage. "We always knew this card would shatter records and expectations. 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 card was owned by Anthony Giordano who purchased it for $50,000 in 1991. The card was previously purchased in the 80s by Alan Rosen as he found the card among thousands of 1952 Topps cards he bought.
While there are other Mantle rookie cards out there, this one remains in a nearly pristine condition almost seven decades later.
"It bears the finest qualities any 1952 Topps can possess: perfect centering, registration and four sharp corners," Ivy said. "That this Mantle rookie card remained in this condition for 70 years is a true miracle."