Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps Card Sells For Record $5.2 Million
Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Pictured: Mickey Mantle.
Aside from the T206 Honus Wagner card, the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle has been the holy grail of sports cards.
On Thursday morning, it regained its place at the top, as actor and entrepreneur Rob Gough bought the card, graded a PSA 9, for $5.2 million in a sale brokered by leading card seller PWCC.
Gough told The Action Network that he recently got back into cards and had to get the iconic Mantle, a card he wanted as a kid, but didn’t grow up with money.
The price topped the record — the $3.9 million paid for the Mike Trout 2009 Superfractor last August in a Goldin Auctions sale.
The scarcity of the 1952 Mantle is owed to how cards were seen at the time, less investment and more to play with.
Kids would flip cards, put them in bicycle spokes and toss them in shoeboxes. Then there’s the 1952 set, including many Mantles, that were loaded up on a barge and thrown into the Hudson River.
It’s the only set that met that fate, due to retailers at the time being unable to sell enough of them and having the desire to make room for the 1953 cards.
For much of the 1980s and early ’90s, a ’52 Mickey Mantle #311 could be had for anywhere in between $3,000 and $7,000.
Renowned collector Marshall Fogle got the attention of the card world in 1996 when he bought what looked to be the most perfect version of the card for $140,000 in 1996.
It became one of three PSA 10’s of the card that exist: one owned by Fogle, one by Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick, who bought his in 2001 for $275,000 and another by a private collector.
Fogle insured his for $12 million and it’s likely worth a whole lot more, but neither he nor the other two have been interested in selling. That leads guys like Gough with a PSA 9 to buy.
The Mantle that Gough bought is thought to be the best exemplar in that grade. It sold for $282,588 in 2006 and again for $2.8 million in ’18.