A 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie-year baseball card sold for $2.88 million Thursday evening, the second most expensive ever sold at auction, ESPN reports. The Topps card was graded a 9 out of 10 by Professional Sports Authenticator, and cards in similar condition were valued at $240,000 just 11 years ago. The Mantle Topps card is extraordinarily valuable due to its rarity: Few bought the cards at the time, as they were being sold too late in the baseball season. Sy Berger, a Topps “card pioneer,” is said to have started selling them for a penny a piece, then 10 for a penny, and eventually dumped more than 300 cases of the 1952 decks into the ocean to get rid of them. The record price for a baseball card at auction remains $3.12 million for a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner card sold in October 2016.
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