An SGC 8 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card that originated in the hoard uncovered by Alan Rosen in 1986 sold $600,000 at Heritage Auctions late last week. The same card–one of four graded by SGC as NM/MT– last sold for $274,850 seven years ago, a 118 percent increase in value.
The card’s corners are sharp but centering issues kept it from grading higher.
It’s one of the nine best 1952 Topps Mantle cards ever examined by SGC, a list that also includes two 9s, 2 8.5s and the lone 9.5 that sold for a sports memorabilia record price of $12.6 million last year).
The auction also featured several autographed Mantle cards including a ’52 with a card grade of 2 but an autograph grade of 10 that soared to $288,000. Fewer than ten signed 1952 Topps Mantle cards are known to exist.
Another signed ’52 Mantle rated Authentic sold last September at another auction house for $165,479.
Heritage also sold a signed 1953 Topps Mantle, graded 4 with a 10 autograph grade for $84,000, a 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson (3.5/8) for $216,000 and a 1951 Bowman Willie Mays autograph (4/10) for $81,000.
Only six signed copies of Robinson’s rare card in the ’52 high number series have been recorded.
More than 2,300 bidders took part in the $10.1 million auction that saw a dozen items in the auction sold for over $100,000.
A 1951 Bowman Mays rookie card graded PSA 8 was one of four to top the $200,000 mark, netting $228,000.
Among the other record prices in the auction was a 1973 Topps Roberto Clemente graded PSA 10 that soared to $105,000. One of seven at that grade level, the card had sold in April of 2018 for $9,600.
One of the 25 1959 Topps Mantle cards graded PSA 9 established a new record for the grade at $117,000 while a PSA 2.5 1914 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson reached $111,000 and a PSA 10 1968 Topps Joe Namath destroyed the old mark of $11,200 when it rocketed to $46,800.
Other single cards sold included:
- 1979-80 OPC Wayne Gretzky rookie PSA 9 $156,000
- 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 6 $144,000
- 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie PSA 8 $81,000
- 1966 Philadelphia Gayle Sayers rookie PSA 9 $45,600
- 1972 Topps Roberto Clemente PSA 10 $43,200
Several high-grade vintage sets found new homes, including a 1952 Bowman set with all cards graded PSA 8 that sold for $156,000 and an all-PSA 8 1956 Topps set ($111,000).
There were dozens of lots featuring unopened boxes, cases and packs, led by a one-of-a-kind 1959 Topps Football vending box with groups of cards bundled in packets of seven that realized $117,000.
A case of 12 1987-88 Fleer Basketball boxes reached $90,000, a 1975 Topps Baseball rack pack box netted $55,200 while a 1979-80 Topps Hockey box sold for $44,400.
“It’s always a thrill to see which ones become collectors’ latest favorites,” says Chris Ivy, Heritage’s Director of Sports Auctions. “Some you know will top the list, like the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle – especially one of the very few signed by The Mick. Others, like that vending box of football cards or the PSA Gem Mint 10 1973 Roberto Clemente that became the first to crack six figures, remind us why we do this: because it’s just so much fun.”