A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card with a 9.5 grade from grader SGC has been sold for a record-shattering $12.6 million. That is the most money anyone has ever paid for any type of sports item, card or memorabilia.
It's pricey, but the card, which was listed on Heritage Auctions in July, was described as the "finest known example" of its kind. The previous record for most expensive sports card was a T206 Honus Wagner card that sold for $7.25 million earlier in August.
"This card is arguably the finest-condition example of the most iconic post-war card in the world," Chris Ivy, Heritage's director of sports auctions, said in a statement. "That grade, plus the fact it has documented provenance from the most storied find in hobby history, puts this card in a category of its own."
This specific 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card came from the collection of Alan "Mr. Mint" Rosen, a well-known New Jersey collector. He bought it in the 1980s when a man from the Boston area claimed to have a found a large collection of mint 1952 Topps cards at a home he inherited from his late father.
At first Rosen was incredulous, but once he confirmed they were real, he paid $125,000 for 5,500 cards. One of those cards was the 1952 Mickey Mantle one. Soon after that purchase, Rosen sold the card for $1,000. He bought back in 1991 and then sold again for $40,000. That second buyer was Anthony Giordano. He held on to that card until this year after he and his sons decided it was time to part ways with the card.
Mantle, a Yankees legend, played for the organization through his entire career from 1951 to 1968. In those years, Mantle was an All-Star 20 times, won seven World Series rings, a Triple Crown and was named MVP three times.