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Rare Mickey Mantle Rookie Card Broke Sports Memorabilia Record

A mint condition rookie card of late Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle sold for $12.6 million on Sunday, setting a new record for the highest amount ever paid for sports memorabilia, according to the Associated Press .

The rare, 1952 Topps baseball card was sold by Anthony Giordano, 75, of New Jersey through Heritage Auctions surpassed the previous sports memorabilia sales record set at an auction earlier this year when the Argentina jersey worn by late soccer legend Diego Maradona during his notorious 'Hand of God' goal in the 1986 World Cup sold for $9.3 million (7.1 million pounds).

Giordano, a waste management entrepreneur told the AP that he initially purchased the card for $50,000 during a New York City auction in 1991.

“As soon as it hit 10 million I just turned in. I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore,” Giordano said, adding that his sons monitored the auction for him and "called me this morning bright and early to tell me that it reached where it reached.”

The Mantle rookie card is the most recent example of a record-setting sale amid sports memorabilia's exponential market growth.

The same card had previously sold for $5.2 million in 2021, setting a record for the highest-selling sports card in history at the time.

Earlier this month, the rarest baseball card in the world, the T206 of late 19th and early 20th century Hall of Fame baseball player Honus Wagner, was for $7.25 million during a private sale earlier this month, according to ESPN.

Additionally, the 1954 rookie card of late Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron sold for $720,000, the highest total for any card depicting the longtime former MLB home run king, earlier this month.

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