Oh, Mickey, you’re so fine.
A Mickey Mantle card from 1952 just sold at an auction for $12,600,000, making it the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia in the world.
The previous record was held by Diego Maradona’s Hand of God jersey from the 1986 World Cup, which a Russian oligarch purchased for a cool $9.3 million. Honus Wagner’s baseball card fetched $6.6 million last year, but Mantle’s rookie card almost doubled that impressive figure.
“An eight-figure auction result in the sports market was the stuff of fantasy just a decade ago,” says Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage in Dallas.
But that fantasy became a reality over the weekend. Why the recent surge? For starters, the Mickey Mantle card is in impeccable condition — it was graded Mint+ 9.5. by Sportscard Guaranty Corporation. But experts say there’s also been a rise in investors shelling out big bucks for nostalgia.
“All of a sudden, people are like, ‘Wow, this stuff could be art,'” says Michael Osacky, the lead appraiser for Professional Sports Authenticator, in an interview with The New York Times.
Might be time to pull that old shoe box of collectibles out of the closet.
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