With a boost from Mickey Mantle, Heritage Auctions once again topped $1.4 billion in company wide sales this year. The $1.45 billion figure was a record high for the 46-year-old Dallas-based company, which conducts auctions in over 40 different categories including coins, art, history, comics and other collectibles. It was the second straight year the company topped that $1.4 billion number in overall sales.
The total consists of approximately $1.07 billion in auction sales, with the rest constituting private sales brokered by Heritage.
Heritage Sports realized nearly $180 million in total sales, with more than $10 million of that from private sales. Last year, that figure was nearly $200 million.
In August, the company set a record for the world’s most valuable sports collectible when a newly graded SGC 9.5 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle sold for $12.6 million.
“An eight-figure auction result in the sports market was the stuff of fantasy just a decade ago,” Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage, said at the time. “We always knew this card would shatter records and expectations. But that doesn’t make it any less of a thrill to be part of an auction during which a single item breaks the eight-figure threshold for the first time.”
In February, the autographed jersey believed to have been worn by Mantle when he played his final game as a New York Yankee sold for $2,190,000, the highest price ever paid at auction for a Mantle jersey. In that same auction, one of seven known ticket stubs from Jackie Robinson’s big-league debut in the spring of 1947 sold for $480,000 to become the most expensive sporting-event ticket ever sold at auction.
In July, Heritage sold what had been its most valuable sports collectible: Indianapolis Colts owner and philanthropist Jim Irsay paid $6.18 million for Muhammad Ali’s World Boxing Council heavyweight championship belt, which Ali earned in his victory over George Foreman in 1974’s legendary Rumble in the Jungle.
The Mantle card, which sold in August, wasn’t the lone headline from that event, during which Babe Ruth’s game-used and signed bat dating from 1918 to 1922 sold for $1.68 million to become the most valuable game-used bat ever sold at auction.
That $1.45 billion does not include the $103.5 million realized for Russian newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov’s Nobel Peace Prize medal, which he sold through Heritage on June 21. Heritage waived its commission, and every cent raised from this momentous auction was immediately paid to UNICEF’s humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine.
“This has been a historic, headline-making year for Heritage, and I could not be more thankful for our ever-growing, increasingly younger base of client-collectors nor prouder of our thoughtful, diligent team of specialists,” stated CEO and co-founder Steve Ivy. “We’re certainly delighted every time we set a record or exceed consignors’ expectations, and it remains a thrill to connect collectors with their passions, but this year we were also able to give back in ways once unimaginable.”