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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).
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.”