Hey there, fellow sports fans! I’ve actually got some pretty exciting news that’s sure to knock the sox (socks) off of passionate sports card collectors everywhere! On January 14th, Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps RC #311 was sold for an earth-shattering, record-breaking price of $5.2 million dollars! Yep, in true ‘Mick’ fashion, this card knocked it out of the park and even set a record in the process.
Now, I realize that some of you may already be aware of this latest development in the sports card world. But, given the magnitude of it, I felt that I HAD to put this in a post, just in case anyone missed it. What’s even weirder is that not too long ago, I highlighted this particular card in my Top 6 Rarest Baseball Cards listicle. In that post, I mention that Mantle’s 1952 classic is worth around $2.5 million at auction and just three months later, that figure has doubled!
So, why is this card so rare in the first place? Well, as I point out in the same post, it’s due to the fact that it was one of the first cards that Topps ever produced and distributed. Think of it this way: the card goes back to 1952 and the Topps began printing cards in the year...1952! It just hit me now actually, a card from 1952 sells for $5.2 million dollars. There’s a headline for you!
Now you know why it’s worth so much, but your next question is probably, “Who would pay that much?” That’s a good question and one that I was extremely curious about myself. As it turns out, the purchaser of this precious piece of treasure is someone that you may know. Rob Gough is an actor, producer, entrepreneur and dedicated card collector. Some of you may know him better by his company...DOPE.
$5.2 million is a big jump from $2.5 million, so what pushed the price? There were actually a few factors that came into play when this card went auction, but probably one of the more significant ones had to be the card’s impressive PSA grade. PSA is known for being the biggest and most trusted card grading/authentication services out there. The PSA grading scale ranges from 1 - 10, 10 being the best (or Gem Mint) condition. This 1952 Topps RC #311 Mickey Mantle card was graded at PSA 9, which means it is a Mint condition card.
What does this mean for the sports card collecting universe? Simply put, A LOT! As I mentioned earlier, this card not only sold for a mind-blowing amount, but it set a new record that was previously held by Mike Trout’s rookie card, which sold for $3.94 million dollars just 5 months prior. To give you some perspective, that card was a one-off and was given a grade of PSA 10 - Gem Mint condition. At $3.94 million dollars, Trout’s rookie card was considered the most expensive sports card in the world. However, that all ended when Rob Gough opened his wallet and paid $5.2 million for what many collectors consider to be the true ‘Holy Grail’ of sports cards!
This latest news actually sparked another idea that I think you may find very interesting. I’m thinking about coming out with a series that talks about some of the rarest sports cards in existence. Each post will feature just one card and briefly highlight who the player is/was, what makes the card so rare and how much it would be worth today. Perhaps we’ll make this post the first in what I hope will be a long line of many others to come. Sound cool?
Let me know what you think down in the comments below and be sure to share your thoughts about the sale of this Mint Mantle card as well!
Until we meet again,
Vince the Prince