A 1952 Topps rookie card featuring New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle sold Thursday for a near-record $2.88 million, ESPN reported.
Former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Evan Mathis, an avid collector, sold the mint-condition card at an event conducted by Heritage Auctions. His windfall narrowly missed the record of $3.12 million paid in October 2016 for an exceedingly rare 1909 card featuring baseball Hall of Famer Honus Wagner.
The Mantle card earned a 9 out of 10 rating from Professional Sports Authenticator. Higher ratings generally translate to higher price tags.
“It’s a remarkable price,” Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage, told ESPN. “It was 10 years ago when we last had a Mantle 9 sell, but this sold for 10 times that.”
In a recent interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” program, Mathis said he planned to use proceeds from the card to buy a new house for his family. The former NFL lineman did not reveal how much he paid to acquire the Mantle card.
Mantle played for the Yankees for 18 seasons, winning three most valuable player awards and seven World Series championships. The slugger finished his career with 536 home runs and 1,509 RBI.