The wait is over.
After more than a month of fanfare, a Grade 9.5 1952 Tops Mickey Mantle card from Grader SGC (“Best Known Example” of a 1952 Tops Mantle) sells for $12.6 million, including Buyer’s Premium, at Heritage Auction it was done. This is the highest amount ever paid for sporting goods, cards and memorabilia.
The previous record for a sports card was $7.25 million, set by the T206 Honus Wagner card commissioned by collectible marketplace Goldin earlier this month.
“This card is arguably the finest example of one of the world’s most iconic post-war cards,” said Chris Ivey, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage, in a statement. , the fact that it has documented provenance from one of the most famous discoveries in hobby history puts this card in its own category.”
In 1986, Alan Rosen, better known as “Mr. Mint” (who Beckett Media called “bigger than taste” after his death in 2017) received a call from the Boston area. A forklift operator tells Rosen that his friend, truck driver Ted Lodge, has his 1952 top card for sale. Lodge inherited his home from his late father and came upon the property in pristine condition.
Even in 1986, the 1952 tops set was Hobby Gold. Reportedly, Lodge’s father was also a driver and drove a product for Topps in the 1950s. The distribution of the 1952 set was notoriously unsuccessful, and those stacks sat boxed in a basement for a generation.
The idea of a nearly pristine 1952 Topps in an attic seemed impossible, but Rosen hired armed police, pocketed the cash, and drove to Quincy, Massachusetts. .
In 1991 Rosen sold one of the unrated mantles for $50,000. For 31 years, buyers were anonymous and cards were unrated.
This is the cloak.
For decades, Anthony Giordano turned down countless multi-million dollar offers. Giordano’s sons reportedly stepped forward, scored cards, and persuaded him to part ways with his beloved Mantle.
It’s the third time in 12 months that the all-time record for a sports card has been broken, after the Wagner in early August and the $6.606 million Wagner sold at Robert Edwards Auctions in August 2021. Before that, in January 2021, another of his 1952 Topsmantles (PSA 9 grade) sold for his $5.2 million. The 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection RPA (Rookie Patch Sign) LeBron James Card was sold for $5.2 million a few months later in April.
It was also a big night for Heritage with the memorabilia used in the games. At the same auction, a Babe Ruth signed model Hillerich & Bradsby bat used in his circa 1922 games from 1918, with a buyer’s premium, he sold for $1.68 million, the record for the most expensive bat in history. broke the The previous record paid to the bat was also loose. In 2004, the bat that Ruth hit the first-ever home run at Yankee Stadium earned him $1.26 million at Sotheby’s.