1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card sells for $2.88 million: Report

In 1988, the baseball card was worth only $3,300.

April 20, 2018, 5:26 PM

A 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card in mint condition has sold for $2.88 million -- making it the second-highest price ever paid for a baseball card, ESPN reported.

The card, sold by former NFL offensive lineman Evan Mathis and auctioned by Heritage Auctions, fell just short of the $3.12 million paid for a 1909 Honus Wagner card in October 2016, according to the report.

The Mickey Mantle card was graded a 9 on a scale of 10 by Professional Sports Authenticator, an organization that describes itself as the "world's largest third-party sports card authentication service."

The value of the late Hall of Famer's rookie card, which was sold on Thursday, has gone up dramatically in the last few decades, ESPN reported.

In 1988, the card could be had for $3,300; by 2007, the top sale of the card, also graded a 9 out of 10, was $240,000, according to the report.

"It's a remarkable price," Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage, told ESPN. "It was 10 years ago when we last had a Mantle 9 sell, but this sold for 10 times that."

Prior to Thursday night's auction, the record for the card was set at $1.13 million in 2016.

Mantle spent his entire 18-year career with the New York Yankees, according to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was selected to the All-Star game 20 times, won the most valuable player award three times, and was part of seven World Series-winning teams.

Mantle was enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

In a statement provided to ABC News, David Leiner, Topps' global general manager of sports and entertainment, expressed the company’s excitement about the auction. “Topps baseball cards have resonated deeply with baseball fans for more than 60 years. From our original 1952 Topps set to this year’s cards featuring today’s Major League Baseball stars, Topps cards have been highly collectible. We are excited with the rest of the baseball world to see the completed auction."