1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311
Today on August 28, 2022 a new record was set for not only the most expensive sports trading card, but the highest priced piece of sports memorabilia ever sold – eclipsing the T-206 Honus Wagner card which sold earlier in August for $7.25 million as well as a game-worn Diego Maradona jersey from the “Hand of God” game which changed hands in May for $9.28 million.
The story of this now graded card, a Topps Mickey Mantle #311 SGC Mint+ 9.5 is interesting in itself. As Heritage describes it: “Since Heritage first announced the card’s auction in July, it has been the stuff of international headlines — primarily because Anthony Giordano bought the prized Mantle for a then-record-setting price of $50,000 in 1991. Giordano acquired the Mantle from Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen, then kept it hidden away — ungraded — for the next three decades.”
Alan Rosen had originally acquired the card from a man in Boston in the mid 1980’s who stated that his father had been a delivery driver for the botched distribution of Topps’ 1952 issue and a case of unused product had been sitting in his basement for over thirty years. Rosen ended up with the card as part of a lot of 5,500 1952 Topps cards.
Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage Auctions is quoted as saying “An eight-figure auction result in the sports market was the stuff of fantasy just a decade ago.”