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Mickey Mantle rookie card sells for a record $5.2 million, crushing Mike Trout record

A closeup of hands in blue plastic gloves holding a plastic-encased baseball card with an image of Mickey Mantle.
A Mint 10 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card is put on display at the Colorado History Museum. A Mint 9 version of the card recently sold for a record $5.2 million.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

It’s the Holy Grail.

It’s the Mona Lisa.

Entrepreneur Rob Gough believes he got both wrapped in one when he purchased a rare Mickey Mantle rookie baseball card for a record $5.2 million in November.

“I’ve always wanted this card,” Gough recently told Forbes. “I’ve been searching for this Holy Grail, the Mona Lisa of sports cards.”

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He also believes he got quite a bargain.

“I think I got a tremendous deal on this card.” Gough said, adding that he thought it was “massively undervalued” and “a steal” at that price.

The previous record price for a sports card was for a signed Mike Trout rookie card from the 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Superfractor series, which sold for $3.9 million in August.

Mickey Mantle won his first Most Valuable Player award after his sixth major league season.

Gough, CEO of Dope apparel and an investor with an estimated net worth of $75 million, has owned a 1952 Topps #311 Mantle rookie card twice before, but those were graded Mint 5 and 6, on a scale of 1 to 10, by Professional Sports Authenticator.

The one he recently purchased is one of only six Mint 9 versions of the card known to exist. (There are three known Mint 10 versions of the card, but the owners are said to have no interest in selling.)

It was last sold in 2018 to an unknown buyer for $2.88 million.

“As a kid, this card was the most iconic card ever,” Gough told the Indianapolis Star. “It’s always been the face of the hobby, the card that everybody knows.”


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