All of you who have an extensive baseball card collection check to see if you have a Topps 1952 Mickey Mantle PSA-9. If you do, you may be able to retire. A card fitting that description sold this week for an unbelievable $5.2 million bucks. That makes it the highest selling sports card in history. The " PSA 9 " at the end of the card's title stands for the condition of the card on a scale of 1-10. Which means it's in almost mint condition.
A few months ago, I wrote about my baseball card collection that I lost in a house fire in 1978. It was rather large and worth more than $50,000 in today's market. I didn't have a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA-9 however.
That lot of cards was part of the very first annual set produced by the Topps organization in 1952. It's believed that there are only six in the entire world because when Topps decided in 1960 that the card had been over-produced, thousands of them were dumped in the Hudson River in New York City. The Mantle card broke the record held by the Mike Trout rookie card of 2009 by Bowman, which sold for almost $4 million just last August.
I have always been unlucky when it comes to collecting things, whether it be baseball cards, comic books or coins. As a boy I was given silver dollars from years past and told that if I kept that coin and took care of it, it would be worth a lot of money when I was older. I had several nice coins but when I sold them a few years ago as part of a big "downsizing" project, they brought just over a hundred bucks, not exactly a great investment.
I also have a small comic book collection, as well as a small collection of Sports Illustrated magazines, some from the 1960s. I have also collected a decent vinyl collection of albums and 45s, mainly country music. I am not a nerd, nor am I a hoarder. I would love to get rid of these collections but I'm afraid that I'll discover they aren't worth anywhere near what I want them to be. So, I'll probably leave them to my grandkids and let them worry about it.
The sale prices of sports cards has really exploded in the last few years, with many being worth six figures or more. In my original collection, I had three of the Topps Mickey Mantle 1956 cards, which are now worth a minimum of $15,000 each if they're in mint condition. When I lost my collection in a house fire, I felt bad, but not as bad as I would have felt if my mother had thrown them away while I was away at college. Can you imagine throwing away a batch of baseball cards with many Mickey Mantles in it?
Whether it's baseball cards, coins, comics, butterflies or stamps for a while it may be a lot of fun, but eventually it just becomes stuff. Stuff you really don't need....unless you have a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA-9.
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Randy Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org