Bidding for the SGC 9.5 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle has reached $7.74 million with the buyer’s premium and it’s set to become the highest priced sports card ever sold when bidding ends August 27.
Derek Grady, Executive Vice President of Sports Collectibles at Heritage Auctions, joins TTM Cast this week to discuss the story of how the company was selected to sell the card that Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen called the “finest” from his find of 1952 Topps high numbers in 1986.
Anthony Giordano has been the sole owner of the card since he bought it from Rosen at a card show more than 30 years ago. It took multiple meetings and phone calls before the owner of a national trash and recycling business agreed to turn the card over to auction.
Grady chose SGC to grade the card because he felt it was of better quality than a standard Mint 9 it might get from PSA, even though he thought was better than at least two of the three 10s PSA graded many years ago. SGC offers a 9.5 grade that Grady was fairly confident the card might get. PSA’s scale includes only 9 and 10.
“People are already comparing this card to the (three) 10s (that PSA has graded). Had we got a 9 they would be comparing it to the 9s and not the 10s. I think we made the right move all the way around.”
After receiving the 9.5 grade from SGC, the card went back to Dallas, then to the National and finally, back to Dallas, all by armored truck.
You can listen to the entire show below. Derek’s interview starts at about 54:30.
My regular co-host Drew Pelto is still traveling so long time autograph dealer and show contributor Les Wolff joins me as guest co-host this week.
TTM This Week
I’ve started to see some returns roll in after a ten-day layoff because of the National. I sent out 50 requests this week including a bunch of cards I picked up in Atlantic City. I’ve started to send out some 1976 Topps basketball cards and you should be seeing some of those successes in the coming weeks. I also send out a bunch of 1983, 1986 and 1987 Topps football cards to get signed.
TTM Successes this Week
Despite not being drafted coming out of NC State, Kramer played 10 seasons in the NFL at quarterback for the Lions, Bears and Chargers from 1991-1999. He started his career in Canada, playing two seasons with the Calgary Stampeders. Kramer threw for over 15,000 yards and 92 touchdowns during his NFL career.
Kramer appeared in an episode of the TV sitcom Married with Children during his time with the Bears.
He signed his 1992 GameDay card for my set and returned it in about a year. I’m now at 450 cards signed of the 500 card set.
Jefferson was a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for Pittsburgh, Baltimore Colts, and Washington from 1965-1976. He led the NFL in receiving yards in 1968 and won Super Bowl as a member of the Colts in 1970. He tallied over 7,500 yards and 52 touchdown catches during his career.
Now 7, he signed his 1969 Topps card for me in about a month, adding his “Sweet Pea” nickname.
Leonard “Truck” Robinson
At 6’ 7”, 225 lbs. Robinson was indeed a “Truck” clogging up the lanes for Washington, Atlanta, New Orleans, Phoenix, and the NY Knicks from 1974-1985. He was a two-time NBA All-Star and led the NBA in rebounding in 1978. Robinson scored almost 12,000 points and grabbed over 7,200 rebounds during his eleven-year career.
He went on to serve as assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings from 2009-2012.
Robinson is a great TTMer and signed his 1976 Topps card for me in less than a week.
Neal was a forward for the Portland Trailblazers from 1972-79. He was a member of the 1973 NBA All-Rookie First Team and played on the 1977 World Championship team in Portland in 1977. Neal had his number 36 retired by the Blazers. He scored 4,846 points during his professional career.
He signed his 1976 Topps basketball card for me in less than a week.
Hill was a Pro-Bowl tight end for the Lions and finished his career with the LA Rams from 1976-1987 after staring at Texas A&M. He played in over 175 games and grabbed 28 touchdown passes during his career. He played in the 1978 and 1979 Pro Bowls while with Detroit.
He signed his 1980 Topps card for me in about a month.
Harris was an infielder with the Cubs, Expos, Reds, Devil Rays, Twins and Angles from 2004-2013. He slugged 33 home runs and drove in 167 during his major league career.
Harris signed his 2003 Topps rookie card for me in about a week.
Malaska was a relief pitcher for Tampa Bay and Boston in 2003 and 2004 winning 3 games during his brief major league career. He won a World Series as a member of the 2004 Boston Red Sox.
He signed his 2003 Topps rookie card for me in about 10 days.
Jim Tracy played parts of two seasons with the Chicago Cubs in 1980 and 1981 and managed the Dodgers, Pirates and Rockies in the 2000’s. Tracy won over 400 games with the Dodgers and won NL Manger of the Year with the Rockies in 2009. He has over 850 wins as a major league manager.
Tracy signed his 2003 Topps card for me a less than 10 days.
Please note: Most athlete mailing addresses are available on several TTM related web sites including SportsCardForum.com and SportsCollectors.net.
Here are a few other athletes who are currently signing for free. I have had success with all of them in the past:
- Jamaal Wilkes – Basketball Hall of Famer
- Ron Schueler – Phillies and White Sox pitcher
- Lynn Dickey – Green Bay Packers quarterback
- Gary Fencik – Chicago Bears
- Tommy Helms – Reds, Astros and Red Sox infielder
- Ken Anderson – Bengals quarterback
- Harold Jackson – Rams and Patriots wide receiver
- Antony Carter – Vikings wide receiver
Have a TTM success story you would like to share with me? Please, send it me at [email protected]. If I use it in my column, I’ll send you a prize.