LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. — Certified Sports Guaranty says it received the 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle baseball card for grading and found it was the most valuable card the company has ever certified, valuing it at more than $2 million.
According to the sports appraisal company, fewer than 20 are graded higher out of about 2,000 in the world, including one that sold for $12.6 million in August of 2022.
"It was an honor to authenticate and grade what is one of the most valuable cards in the hobby," Vice President of CSG Andy Broome said.
In addition to the card valued at over $2 million, CSG also certified a Type 2 example CSG 4.5. A card with that grade would be estimated to sell for around $100,000 at auction.
So, why is this card so treasured? CSG says in 1952, Mantle's All-Star career had just started, and the world of sports cards was changing with a newcomer known as Topps Chewing Gum, Inc. CSG adds Topps' ambitious 1952 set is widely considered to have set the framework for modern sports cards.
However, the card didn't sell well at the time and legend has it that Topps loaded unsold cases of these cards onto a barge and sent them to a watery grave, the company explained.
Mantle played for the New York Yankees from 1951 to 1968, with the team winning seven World Series championships. Mantle won the Triple Crown in 1956 and the Gold Glove Award in 1962. CSG says many consider the Hall of Famer to be the best switch hitter in history.