The 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card.
Getty Images via Bloomberg—2021 Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies
August 29, 2022 5:58 AM EDT

A 1952 trading card of Major League Baseball Hall of Fame player Mickey Mantle was sold for $12.6 million, according to the auction house that sold the item, setting a new record for sports collectibles.

The price topped the $9.3 million paid earlier this year for the jersey worn by Argentinian football player Diego Maradona when he scored the so-called “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup. It was almost twice the previous record price for a sports card.

Sports collectibles have surged in value and popularity over the past year along with non-fungible tokens, sneakers and other alternative asset classes. Fanatics Inc. signed deals with Netflix Inc. and Legendary Entertainment to create collectibles earlier this year, and also bought the trading card division of Topps Co. for $500 million in January.

The card was sold by Anthony Giordano, who bought it for $50,000 in 1991, according to Sports Collectors Digest.

Mantle, who was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999 and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974, played for the New York Yankees in the 1950s and 1960s.

“We always knew this card would shatter records and expectations,” Heritage Director of Sports Auctions Chris Ivy said. ‘That doesn’t make it any less of a thrill to be part of an auction during which a single item breaks the eight-figure threshold for the first time.”

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