The most expensive baseball card in history just sold for $12.6 million

A Mickey Mantle baseball card from 1952 sold for $12,600,000 on Sunday morning, according to a news release from Heritage Auctions shared with CNN. The sale makes the card the most valuable sports collectible in the world, according to the auction house.

The price nearly doubled the previous record for a baseball card set when a rare Honus Wagner sold for $6.6 million last year. And it also broke the record for any item of sports memorabilia, surpassing the $9.3 million sale of Diego Maradona’s famous ‘Hand of God’ jersey.

The Mickey Mantle card is especially valuable because it is so well preserved. The card is graded “Mint+ 9.5” by the Sportscard Guaranty Corporation, according to Heritage Auctions.

Mantle spent 17 years playing for the New York Yankees and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. The record-breaking card is from his rookie season and was produced by trading card giant Topps.

For the auction house, the sale represents the growing draw of sports collectibles.

“An eight-figure auction result in the sports market was the stuff of fantasy just a decade ago,” said Chris Ivy, Heritage’s director of sports auctions, in the release.

“We always knew this card would break records and expectations. But that doesn’t diminish the pleasure of being part of an auction where an item breaks the eight-figure threshold for the first time. It’s a rarity success for our amazing team of sports experts at Heritage Auctions. And, of course, we couldn’t have done it without our consignor, Anthony Giordano, who trusted Heritage to bring this amazing card to market .”

Anthony Giordano bought the Mantle card for what was a record-breaking price in 1991: $50,000. He kept it for three decades before bringing it to Heritage Auctions, according to the release.

“It possesses the best characteristics any 1952 Topps can possess: perfect centering, registration and four sharp corners,” Ivy said in the release. “That this Mantle rookie card has remained in this condition for 70 years is a true miracle.”