Mickey Mantle baseball card sells for record £10.8m at auction

A ‘miracle’ Mickey Mantle baseball card become the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia sold at auction

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A Mickey Mantle baseball card has become the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia sold at auction after being bought for a record $12.6 million (£10.8m).

The card is from the New York Yankees great’s rookie season in Major League Baseball (MLB).

The sale surpasses £7.1m paid at Sotheby’s in London in May for the shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored the ‘Hand of God’ goal at the 1986 World Cup.

“An eight-figure auction result was the stuff of fantasy just a decade ago,” said Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage Auctions, which conducted the sale.

“We always knew this card would shatter records and expectations. But that doesn’t make it any less of a thrill.”

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The card had been bought by Anthony Giordano, a New Jerseyan waste management entrepeneur, for $50,000 in 1991.

It was issued in 1952 by collectable industry-leading company Topps as Mantle helped the Yankees to the first of three consecutive World Series wins to begin his career.

Regarded by most as perhaps the finest switch-hitter of all-time, Mantle was a 20-time MLB All-Star and won three American League MVP awards, winning seven championships and hitting 536 home runs before closing his career as the Yankees’ all-time leader in games played.

The sale significantly exceeds the £6.2 million paid earlier this month for a ‘T206’ Honus Wagner card, the previous record paid for a sports card.

Only 57 ‘T206’ Wagner cards are known to exist.

Ivy was unsurprised to see the record again eclipsed by the “miracle” Mantle memorabilia: “It bears the finest qualities any 1952 Topps can possess: perfect centring, registration and four sharp corners.

“That this Mantle rookie card remained in this condition for 70 years is a true miracle.”

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