Oh, Mickey, you’re doing so well.
A 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card has just sold at auction for $12.6 million, making it the most valuable 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 bought for a cool $9.3 million. Honus Wagner’s baseball card brought in $6.6 million last year, but Mantle’s rookie card nearly doubled that impressive figure.
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“An eight-figure auction result in the sports market was a fantasy just a decade ago,” said Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage in Dallas.
But that fantasy became reality over the weekend. Why the recent rise? For starters, the Mickey Mantle card is in pristine condition – it was rated Mint + 9.5. by Sportscard Guaranty Corporation. But experts say there’s also an increase in investors spending big on nostalgia.
“All of a sudden people are thinking, ‘Wow, this could be art,’” said Michael Osacky, the chief appraiser for Professional Sports Authenticator, in an interview with The New York Times.
Maybe it’s time to get out that old shoebox of collectibles.
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