A decade old, mint condition Mickey Mantle baseball card could break a record at auction.
The 1952 collector’s item features one of baseball’s most celebrated and charismatic legends and is considered one of only a handful in near-perfect condition.
The final price of the card is estimated to exceed $10 million when the auction ends on August 27. The record is $6.6 millionThat sold at auction a year ago, months after another 70-year-old mantle card brought $5.2 million.
Interest was already heavy when the auction debuted online on Monday, with bidding already up to at least $4.2 million
Whatever the final value of the rare Mantle rookie card, it will be a hefty profit for the current owner, a New Jersey waste management entrepreneur who bought it for $50,000 at a New York City show in 1991.
Cards owner Anthony Giordano said of Mantle, “Every time he stepped up to the plate, the crowd would go crazy, there would be roars. And he never let you down. … He had that aura about him,” throughout his career with the New York Yankees from 1951 to 1968. .
Switch-hitting mantle – “The Mick” – Triple Crown winner in 1956, three-time American League MVP and seven-time World Series champion. The Hall of Famer, who died in 1995, was considered a humble player on the field. When he hit a home run, he often ran the bases with his head down.
“I realized that the pitcher already felt bad enough without me showing him rounding the bases,” Mantle once said.
As for the baseball card, its rarity equals the legendary reputation of its subject.
“Card quality is key,” said Derek Grady, executive vice president of sports auctions at Heritage Auctions, which is handling the bidding. “Four sharp corners, gloss and color jump off the card.”
Grady said the collectibles market is undergoing a renaissance, noting that the cards are “the crème de la crème, the best of the best, selling despite the economy right now” and that Mantle, the “king” of baseball cards, “has always done well.”
Giordano, 75, said it’s time to give the mantle card a new home.
“It’s the right thing to do,” he said. “My sons and I have had the card for over 30 years, and we’ve enjoyed it. We’ve enjoyed showing it to someone close to me – friends and relatives – and I think it’s time for someone else.”
The card will be on display at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City Wednesday through Sunday and next week at Heritage Auctions’ New York office.