1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sells for $12.6 million, shattering record

The wait is over.

After more than a month of fanfare, the Grader SGC’s 9.5 grade 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card – the “finest known example” of a 1952 Topps Mantle – was sold at Heritage Auctions for $12.6 million, buyer’s premium included sold. It is the highest amount ever paid for sporting goods, tickets or memorabilia.

The previous record for a sports card was $7.25 million and was set earlier this month by a T206 Honus Wagner card shipped to collectors market Goldin.

“This map is arguably the finest example of the world’s most iconic post-war map,” Heritage Director of Sports Auctions Chris Ivy said in a statement. “Its quality and the fact that it documented provenance from the most famous find in hobby history puts this map in a category of its own.”

The story goes like this: In 1986, Alan Rosen, better known as “Mr. Mint” — whom Beckett Media called “bigger than the hobby” after his death in 2017 — got a call from the Boston area. A forklift driver told Rosen that a truck driver friend, Ted Lodge, had 1952 Topps tickets for sale. Lodge had inherited a house from his late father and stumbled upon a fortune in pristine condition.

As early as 1986, the 1952 Topps set was hobby gold. Lodge’s father had also reportedly been a driver, one driving Topps’ product in the 1950s; The distribution of the 1952 set was notoriously botched, and a whole generation of it sat boxed up in the basement for a generation.

Imagining mostly untouched 1952 Topps in a loft seemed impossible, but Rosen hired an armed cop, pocketed cash, and drove to Quincy, Massachusetts. He ended up spending more than $125,000 on 5,500 1952 Topps cards, including dozens of Mantles.

In 1991, Rosen sold one of these ungraded coats for $50,000. For 31 years the buyer was anonymous and the card remained ungraded.

This is this coat.

For decades, Anthony Giordano turned down countless multi-million dollar offers. Giordano’s sons reportedly convinced him to step forward, have the card graded, and part with his beloved coat.

It is the third time in 12 months that the all-time record for a sports card has been broken after selling Wagner in early August and Wagner in August 2021 with Robert Edward Auctions for $6.606 million. Before that, in January 2021, another 1952 Topps Mantle (rated PSA 9) sold for $5.2 million; A 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection RPA (Rookie Patch Autograph) LeBron James card sold for $5.2 million a few months later in April.

It was also a big night for Heritage in terms of memorabilia used by games. In the same auction, an in-game racquet – circa 1918-1922 – autographed by Babe Ruth Signature Model Hillerich & Bradsby sold for $1.68 million buyer’s premium, breaking the record for most expensive racquet of all time. The previous record paid for a bat was also a Ruth; In 2004, the bat that Ruth used to hit the first-ever home run at Yankee Stadium fetched $1.26 million at Sotheby’s.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34473632/1952-topps-mickey-mantle-card-sells-126-million-shattering-record 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sells for $12.6 million, shattering record

Emma Bowman

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