Evan Mathis played 12 seasons in the National Football League for six different franchises and won a Super Bowl with the Broncos, eventually retiring in 2017.
It landed in the hands of an anonymous owner after several rounds of "vigorous bidding", officials said. The card was graded by the authenticating firm PSA as a Mint 9, the second-highest grade available and a rare classification for a 1952 Mantle.
The winning bid that was placed Thursday shattered its previous auction record by a whopping $2.6 million. For comparison, the highest price paid for a card at auction was $3.12 million two years ago for a 1909 Honus Wagner card.
The card was estimated to sell for $3.5 million, which would have beaten the sale price for the Wagner card. "I guess it's kind of like the Mona Lisa of the sports card world".
Retired NFL lineman Evan Mathis sold his 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card for the near-record sum of $2.88 million. The company has offices in California, New Jersey, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and services coins, banknotes, trading cards, event tickets, autographs, professional model bats and gloves, photographs and memorabilia.
Value in the card has shot up as fast as one of Mantle's massive homers at Yankee Stadium. He was drawn to the 1952 Mantle card and bought several versions of the card inferior to the one he now owns, and his best was a Mint 8 until about two years ago.
The card was considered to be in "Mint 9" condition. Rovell reported the card could be had for $3,330 in 1988.
"I don't think I'll have any regrets because I'll have a nice house to show for it instead of the card", he said. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and was part of the Broncos team that won Super Bowl 50. The slugger finished his career with 536 home runs and 1,509 runs batted in.