A rare Mickey Mantle card was sold for a record-breaking $5.2 million, the highest price ever for a baseball card, broker PWCC Marketplace announced Thursday. The card was purchased by "Billionaire Boys Club" actor and entrepreneur Rob Gough.
"I always dreamt of owning a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle since I was a kid collecting cards," Gough said in a statement. "It's the Mona Lisa of sports cards and I've been searching for this high graded example talking to industry experts, dealers, auction houses, friends and I'm ecstatic that I'm now the proud owner of this iconic card."
It's one of six PSA 9 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards in existence, PWCC said in a release. Jesse Craig, director of business development at PWCC Marketplace, spoke highly of the unique item.
"Based on our research, this is the nicest looking 1952 Topps Mantle PSA 9 in existence," Craig said.
Some of the other cards were discovered by two New Jersey brothers, who found five of them in their childhood collection,reported in 2018. Two of the brothers' Mantle cards sold for more than a quarter million dollars. The brothers' prized third Mantle card — a near-mint version of it — was put on display at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland — and was receiving bids of more than $600,000 at the time.
The brothers got the idea to look through their collection when they heard a '52 Topps Mantle had sold for nearly $3 million. Former NFL lineman Evan Mathis parted with that card. CBS News confirmed with PWCC on Thursday that Gough's card once belonged to the player.
Considered the "holy grail" for baseball memorabilia collectors, Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions for Heritage Auctions, explained why the cards were so valuable.
"Mickey Mantle is one of the most popular players of a generation, and 1952, 'cause they made the cards larger, they used real photography, they had statistics on the back. So, those were all things that were exciting for kids at the time," Ivy told "CBS This Morning" two years ago.
The sale of the Mickey Mantle card surpassed the previous record held by a Mike Trout rookie card that sold for $3.93 million at an auction last summer. This particular card received a grade of MINT 9 by Beckett Grading Services, which is the third-highest grade that a card can receive, according to CBS Sports.