A Mickey Mantle baseball card has just set a new record. On Thursday, the PWCC Marketplace announced a 1952 Topps Mickle Mantle card was sold for $5.2 million, breaking a five-month-old record for the highest-selling sports card of all time. The card is a PSA 9, which is a grading system that ranges from 1-10. The now second-highest selling baseball card is a one-of-one Mike Trout rookie that sold for $3.94 million in August.
Actor Rob Gough, who acquired streetwear brand Dope in 2017, purchased the '52 Mantle. "The 1952 Topps Mantle is the holy grail of sports cards," Gough said, as reported by ESPN. "As a kid ripping packs in the '90s, I always dreamt of owning one. ... I felt this Mantle was highly underpriced." Former NFL lineman Evan Mathis sold the Mantle card for $2.88 million in 2018. 1952 was not Mantle's rookie season, but 1952 cards are known for being Topps' first annual set as well as being dumped by the thousands in the Hudson River in 1960 after overproduction.
This is not the first big sports item Gough has purchased. Since August, the actor has acquired a 1961 Sporting News Babe Ruth rookie, a 1917 Collins-McCarthy Joe Jackson and several PSA 10 Michael Jordan rookie cards. ESPN mentions that 10 card sales have not topped $900,0000, with eight of sales happening in the last 12 months. In 2016, a T206 Honus Wagner PSA 5 sold for $3.12 million, which set the record at the time.
"It's obviously the most iconic card in the world, the Mona Lisa of sports cards," Gough said to the Indianapolis Star. "Five point two million seems high, but if you look at the data, other less iconic cards have (sold for) more than 10 (times) that in the same period of time since this card was last sold 2.8 million. It's a rare opportunity to be able to purchase this. ... I'm just honored to have it and anything is possible. Anybody from Indianapolis can do the same thing."
Mantle is considered the best switch hitter in baseball history. He finished his career with 2,415 hits, 536 home runs and 1,509 RBIs. Mantle was a 20-time All-Star, a seven-time World Series champion and a three-time winner of the AL MVP award.