1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Card Sells for $12.6 Million, Destroys Record
A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 SGC Mint+ 9.5 from the famous 1985 ‘Rosen Find’ collection has officially sold at Heritage Auctions for USD$12.6 million. The card broke the USD$7.25 million record, previously held by a T206 Honus Wagner card that sold in August 2022.
The auction house is confident that this is the “Finest Known Example” known to man and with only six left in existence (three rumoured to be ‘PSA Gem Mint 10’ examples) the team are asking those who hold them to bring the cards forward and put them side-by-side with this SGC Mint+ 9.5 and its “1985 Rosen Find – Finest Known Example” moniker to see who owns the finest sports trading card ever made. The sale follows a AUD$6.6 Million 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 9 sale in January 2021.
Related: Looking for more priceless pieces of history? Check out all our auction coverage here.
The Provenance of the “Rosen Find” Mantle Card
Like any fine piece of art, provenance is just as important in trading cards, and this 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card holds some of the best in trading lore. If you’re looking for a full explanation of “why” your average Mantle card is worth seven or eight figures, we’ll refer you to the auction house website where they explain the ‘burial at sea’ history of the #311 cards in full detail. What sets this Mantle apart is the history and a man called Al Rosen, or ‘Mr Mint’ as he was known.
The Story Goes Something Like This…
The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 SGC Mint+ 9.5 ‘Rosen Find’ story began with a telephone call from a gentleman in suburban Boston claiming to possess a large collection of ‘Mint Condition’ 1952 Topps high numbers. His father had been a delivery driver for 1952 Topps distribution and a case of the unused product had been sitting in the basement for over thirty years.
“He put this big tray of cards on the table…and he says, ‘They’re in numerical order, don’t worry.’ So I went 268, 285, I got to 306. So I took 306 off the top, 308, 309, and there it was: 311. I lay it face down now. I took 311. I took a stack – still more 311’s. Took a stack, still more. Took another stack and finally got to the end. Seventy-five ’52 Mantles. Mint.”
Rosen explains the full history behind the card in the video above. It’s well worth a watch.
Has the Card Changed Hands Before?
Yes, the card has changed hands a few times in the past, including;
- When Rosen sold the card after purchase for USD$1,000.
- Rosen then bought the card back six years later in 1991 for USD$40,000.
- He then sold the card immediately for USD$50,000 to a man called Anthony Giordano.
- It remained in the Giordano collection until August 27th, 2022 when it sold for a record USD$12.6 million.
When Giordano bought the card back in 1991, Mr Mint inscribed a note to the family inside his card investing book, “Mr Mint’s Insider’s Guide to Investing in Baseball Cards and Collectibles,” with the words, “To Tony & Ralph , Nice meeting you at M.S.G. Thanks for your purchase of the 52 Mantle. It’s the best in the world. Your Pal, Alan Rosen, Mr Mint.”
Will we ever see a trading card sell for more? Only if the rumoured ‘PSA Gem Mint 10’ cards appear. More information on the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 SGC Mint+ 9.5 – 1985 Rosen Find – “Finest Known Example!” can be found via the auction link below.
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