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A Mickey Mantle rookie card shatters record. What's next for sports collectibles?

·Anchor
·2 min read

We have a new record. Nearly 30 years after his death, one of Mickey Mantle's 1952 rookie cards sold at Heritage Auctions for a whopping $12.6 million.

The big question now: Who or what will top the New York Yankee baseball legend?

The Mantle haul was far more than the previous record for a sports-card — $7.25 million for a Honus Wagner baseball card in early August — as well as the first piece of sports memorabilia to ever fetch 8-figures, topping the $9.3 million paid for a game-worn Diego Maradona jersey from the infamous “Hand of God” soccer game in 1986.

The biggest impact, according to Goldin Auctions Founder Ken Goldin, is that a sports memorabilia piece may fetch nine-figures someday. The Mantle sale “really puts sports cards into the same category as fine art and other collectibles because one day there will be a $100 million sports collectible sold,” Goldin told Yahoo Finance Live (video above).

DENVER, CO - July 10, 2021: The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card from the collection of Marshall Fogel arrives at McGregor Square's Rally Hotel. The card is graded PSA 10 Gem Mint and will be displayed as part of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game's Hall of Legends exhibit in Denver, CO. (Photo by Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - July 10, 2021: The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card from the collection of Marshall Fogel arrives at McGregor Square's Rally Hotel. The card is graded PSA 10 Gem Mint and will be displayed as part of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game's Hall of Legends exhibit in Denver, CO. (Photo by Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)

Goldin, whose company produces some $300 million in annual sales, added that the Mantle card, in fact, could have brought in as much as $15 million. “I figured,” he said, “it was going to go anywhere from a low of $9 million to a high of $14 or $15 million, and it went right in the middle of the range.” (Goldin once offered $28 million on behalf of a client for the same Mantle card in better condition.)

What else could bring in that kind of haul? Goldin has a few ideas.

The next Holy Grail of collectibles, for instance, could have something to do with Michael Jordan. “If anybody ever unearthed a Michael Jordan Dream Team game-used photo matched jersey, I think that would beat” Mantle, ” he said. “That's the most important team of all time, the greatest team of all time, and the greatest player of all time.”

Two other gems Goldin thinks could easily eclipse Sunday’s eye-popping total. “A Babe Ruth New York Yankees photo-matched jersey from the World Series, that would beat it. The very first jersey that Jackie Robinson ever wore in a game, on April 15, 1947, that's going to destroy this record.”

Sorry, Mickey.