1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Sells for Over $2.8 Million

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The record price for a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle has been smashed. A PSA 9 MINT copy of the card went for $2,880,000 through Heritage Auctions. This includes the buyers premium. It’s more than double the previous high for the card.

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 9 Heritage Auctions Apr-2018

The previous record for the card, graded PSA 8.5 NM-MT+, went for $1,135,250 in November, 2016. That sale was also through Heritage.

Although there are lots of 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards out there, only six have a grade of PSA 9. Above them are three with the Gem Mint 10 grade.

Retired NFL lineman Evan Mathis was the card’s seller. He’s had it for a couple of years. Mathis told ESPN’s Outside the Lines that he was selling the card now, in part, to get a Tennessee dream home for his family. Mathis is also an active card dealer.

Beckett’s Fat Packs talked with Mathis last year about his collection:

The Most Expensive Baseball Cards of All-Time

Not only is the $2,880,000 a record for a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, but it’s the second biggest sale ever for a baseball card. The record belongs to the T206 Honus Wagner. In October, 2016, a PSA 5 copy dubbed the “Jumbo Wagner” sold through Goldin Auctions for $3.12 million.

Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick bought the most famous copy of the T206 Wagner, the “Gretzky Wagner” in a private sale in 2007 for a then-record $2.8 million. Controversy and rumors surrounded that particular card for decades. Although it’s graded PSA 8, there were stories that it had been trimmed. In 2013, those rumors were confirmed by Bill Mastro who admitted in court to altering the card.

Kendrick still owns the card. He also has one of the PSA 10 1952 Topps Mickey Mantles in his collection.

Although the Mantle has led a vintage baseball card boom over the past few years, it has been more than a decade since a PSA 9 has been put up for public sale. The last one to do so was back in 2006 where it sold for $240,500 through Mile High Auctions.

The Mickey Mantle Rookie Card Holds Its Own

The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle is often called his Rookie Card. It’s not.

1951 Bowman is the set with the Mickey Mantle Rookie Card. Because it’s not nearly as famous a set or the hobby landmark that 1952 Topps is, the card doesn’t carry nearly the same price. But it’s still worth a lot.

Heritage had a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle PSA 9 sell for $750,000 in the same auction. This includes the buyers premium. In the process, it set a new record for the card.

1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle Rookie Card PSA 9 Heritage April 2018 600

The previous high came in October 2017 when one went for $588,000 through Memory Lane.

Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks or by email.

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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2 comments

  1. Earline Puaoleana Lanning 20 April, 2018 at 21:26

    Have some old baseball cards passed down to me as well as NFL and basketball cards given too me as well like to get them graded or looked at by professional card collectors.

    Thank you,

    Earline P. Lanning

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