Sports | January 14, 2021 11:01 am

Topps 1952 Mickey Mantle Baseball Card Sells for Record $5.2 Million

Rob Gough, the entrepreneur/actor behind the brand DOPE, purchased the mint-condition card

Mickey Mantle plays in Yankees game
Mickey Mantle, Yankee, pops up to shortstop PeeWee Reese of the Dodgers.
Bettmann Archive via Getty

A mint condition 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card has sold for $5.2 million through PWCC Marketplace, shattering the previous trading card record of $3.9 million paid last August for a Mike Trout rookie card.

The card was purchased by Rob Gough, the entrepreneur/actor behind the brand DOPE. It was graded by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) as a 9 on a scale of 10 and is one of only six of its kind in existence.

Topps began making sports cards in 1952 for the first time, making the ’52 set a popular one to own. Due to that popularity, “even common cards in mint condition can fetch over $1,000.” In 1952, five-card packs cost a nickel. 

“The 1952 Topps Mantle is the holy grail of sports cards,” Gough said, according to ESPN. “As a kid ripping packs in the ’90s, I always dreamt of owning one … I felt this Mantle was highly underpriced.”

The card has Mantle’s 1951 statistics (.267 batting average with 13 home runs and 65 RBIs) and also refers to him as Joe DiMaggio’s successor.

NFL lineman Evan Mathis previously sold the ’52 Mantle in 2018 for $2.88 million.

In addition to Trout’s card and this sale, cards of NBA stars LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo have also sold for more than a million dollars in the last 12 months as the marketplace for sports collectibles has exploded.

Gough has been part of that explosion as he has acquired a 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth rookie, a 1917 Collins-McCarthy Joe Jackson and several PSA 10 Michael Jordan rookie cards since August.

Now, he adds the Mantle to his collection.

“It’s obviously the most iconic card in the world, the Mona Lisa of sports cards,” Gough told The IndyStar. “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. It’s a rare opportunity to be able to purchase this … I’m just honored to have it.”

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.