Although we often think of the famous T206 Honus Wagner card as the most valuable baseball card in history, that isn’t necessarily true, depending on the condition of the cards in question. That’s how it came to be that the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card just sold at auction for nearly twice the price of the most expensive Wagner card ever sold.
A Mint+ 9.5 graded 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle just sold at auction for $12.6 million, by far the record for not only a baseball card, but *any* sports collectible sold at auction.
The previous high for a baseball card was one of THOSE Honus Wagner cards that sold for $6.6 million in August of last year. The previous high for any collectible was $9.3 million for the jersey worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the so-called “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup, per a release from Heritage Auctions. This version of the Mantle card is believed to be the best in the world, hence the enormous price tag.
The card was originally discovered as part of a huge box of – many pristine – Topps cards in Massachusetts in the mid-1980s, purchased by Alan Rosen. Apparently Rosen kept the best Mantle tucked away all this time, and only now, almost 30 years later, decided to pull the trigger on a sale. Probably a good idea, since the high-end collectibles market seems to have exploded over the last five years.
I’m sure whoever is buying this card is not spending his or her last $12.6 million on it, so they’ll be fine either way, but can you even imagine the process of getting the thing to you? I would be like, I need that card in seventeen layers of waterproof, fireproof bubble-wrap, transported by the most careful driver in the history of the world.
Or just glue it to a postcard and slap a stamp on it, I guess. That’d probably be fine.