Early Sunday morning, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card became the world’s most valuable sports card sold at auction, selling for $12.6 million. The previous highwater mark was set by the T206 Honus Wagner that sold for $6.6 million last year.
Who came up with the $12.6 million for the Mantle card? We don’t know the person’s name, but Robert Wilonsky, communications director of Heritage Auctions told MyRye.com the buyer agreed to be identified as “a baseball fan from Rye, New York”. “Apparently quite proud of the hometown,” finished Wilonsky (if you know more, tell us!).
This Mantle rookie card is also more than just the most valuable sports card in the world. It is the most valuable sports collectible ever sold at auction. It surpassed the record achieved earlier this year when the jersey worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the so-called “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup 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, the auction firm that handled the sale. “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. It’s an extraordinary accomplishment for our wonderful team of sports experts at Heritage Auctions. And, of course, we could not have done it without our consignor, Anthony Giordano, who put his trust in Heritage to bring this amazing card to market.”