Mickey Mantle card sells for $5.2M, becomes highest-selling sports card ever

The "Holy Grail" of baseball cards, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle that is valued at more than $10 million, is put on display as part of baseball memorabilia exhibit at the Colorado History Museum. (David Zalubowski/AP)

A Mickey Mantle baseball card has become the highest-selling sports card of all-time after selling for $5.2 million, PWCC Marketplace announced on Thursday.

The card in question — a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 9 — was sold to actor Rob Gough, increasing in price after it was originally sold by NFL lineman Evan Mathis for $2.88 million in 2018.

"I've always wanted this card," Gough said of the deal to Forbes. "I've been searching for this 'Holy Grail,' the Mona Lisa of sports cards, the [1952 Mantle PSA-graded] 9. I finally got the 9."

The 'PSA' in the card's name refers to a grading system by Professional Sports Authenticator, ranging from 1 to 10. There are only six PSA 9-level '52 Mantle cards in existence, according to the PSA database — a sort of rarity that helps explain the card's value.

Gough has stocked his collection with a number of premier pieces in the past few months, per ESPN, including a 1916 Sporting News Babe Ruth rookie card, a 1917 Collins-McCarthy Joe Jackson card and multiple PSA 10-level Michael Jordan rookie cards.

In selling for $5.2 million, the Mantle card broke the record set by a Mike Trout rookie card back in August, which sold for $3.94 million.

Another of the same set could see the record broken at some point yet again, as there are three PSA 10-level Mantle cards out there in existence, per ESPN, each valued at more than $10 million.

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