Mickey Mantle Topps rookie card sells for world record price at Heritage

Louis B.

Louis B.

2015-12-14 10:51:08

A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie baseball card has set a new world record by selling for more than half a million dollars at Heritage Auctions.

The famous card, graded PSA NM-MT 8, sold for $525,800, smashing the previous record of $486,000 set just last month by PWCC Auctions on eBay.

"The 1952 Topps Mantle rookie is a truly transcendent piece of Americana," said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage Auctions.

"It looms in the collective American imagination like a copy of Action Comics #1, an inverted Jenny stamp or an Abe Lincoln autograph. You don't have to collect baseball cards to recognize it, so thoroughly is it woven into the national consciousness."

Regarded as the most iconic post-war baseball card in the hobby, the 1952 Topps Mantle rookie was part of the popular 1952 Topps set which featured the largest cards ever sold with a pack of gum.

The set was released in two parts, with the first (cards #1-310) proving hugely successful for the company. However, they quickly realized that the second set of cards (#311-407) would hit stores towards the end of the baseball season, when interest was already waning.

Some were sold in the Northeastern United States and Canada, but the majority of the high number cards sat collecting dust in a warehouse, until Topps eventually decided to dump them into the Atlantic ocean.

Had the second set of cards started at #312, there would doubtless be hundreds (or even thousands) more examples of the Mantle card floating around the hobby. But with countless boxes featuring the Commerce Comet's #311 card having sunk to the bottom of the sea, collectors know that today top examples exist in limited numbers.

"The sky seems to be the limit for high-grade Mantle rookies right now," said Ivy. "It's the one card that all collectors want, and the top collectors want to the top examples. They're obviously very willing right now to pay what it takes to get them."

The Heritage featured a complete set of the Topps 1952 set, one of the highest registry sets graded by PSA. Further notable results included an Ed Mathews #407 PSA NM-MT 8 which sold for $71,700; an Andy Pafko #1 PSA NM-MT 8 which fetched $52,580; and a Willie Mays #261 PSA NM-MT 8 which realized $47,800.

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