- A Mickey Mantle baseball card sold for a record-breaking $12.6 million on Sunday.
- The man who sold the card bought it for $50,000 in 1991, worth around $110,000 today.
- The card’s price point beat the $9.3 million sale of Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” jersey.
A Mickey Mantle baseball card was sold for a whopping $12.6 million on Sunday, according to Heritage Auctions, a Dallas-based auction house.
The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card beat the record for the most expensive sports collectible known to have been sold, eclipsing the $9.3 million sale of Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” jersey.
Mantle was a Baseball Hall of Fame member who played 18 seasons for the New York Yankees, where he debuted as a rookie in 1951. He won seven World Series titles and was a three-time American League MVP.
Before Sunday, the largest known sum paid for a baseball card was $6.6 million for a Honus Wagner card in 2021, Heritage Auctions wrote in a press release.
—Heritage Auctions Sports (@Heritage_Sport) August 28, 2022
The Mickey Mantle card was in near-mint condition, a key characteristic that drove up its value. It was rated a Mint+ 9.5 by the Sportscard Guaranty Corporation, Heritage Auctions wrote.
The company said that the card’s price point signifies a growing auction market for sports collectibles and memorabilia.
“An eight-figure auction result in the sports market was the stuff of fantasy just a decade ago,” Chris Ivy, Heritage’s director of sports auctions, said in the release.
Per CBS News, the man who sold the card, Anthony Giordano, the 75-year-old president of a New Jersey recycling and waste management company, had bought it for $50,000 in 1991 — the equivalent of $110,057 today.
He told the outlet that his sons monitored the auction for him after he went to bed and was informed the following morning that the card had been sold for $12.6 million.
Ivy told CBS News that sports collectibles are becoming more lucrative because some buyers have anticipated inflation and saw memorabilia as an alternative to stock investments or real estate.