Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps Trading Card Sells for Record $12.6 Million

by Nick Geddes

A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card recently sold with Heritage Auctions for a record-shattering $12.6 million including buyer’s premium.

The 9.5 grade card is the most expensive sports item, card or memorabilia. A T-206 Honus Wagner card sold earlier this month in a private sale for $7.25 million — a record at the time. It was expected to be a short-lived reign at the top, as the sell of the Mantle was expected. At the time, the Mantle card was listed at $7.08 million with buyer’s premium, which it easily blew past.

“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, via ESPN. “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.”

Sell of 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Trading Card Decades in the Making

The card had been in possession of truck driver Ted Lodge until 1986. That’s when Alan Rosen, known as “Mr. Mint,” purchased 5,500 1952 Topps cards for more than $125,000. Dozens of Mantle cards were included in the set. In 1991, he sold an upgraded Mantle to Anthony Giordano for $50,000.

Giordano had been reluctant to part ways with his beloved card amid several multi-million offers. His sons urged him to get the card graded and ready to sell. The sell represents the third time in the last calendar year that the all-time record for a sports trading card has been broken.

Another Wagner card sold for $6.606 million in August 2021 with Robert Edward Auctions. In January of last year, a different 1952 Topps Mantle sold for $5.2 million.