Rare 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card sells for record $525,000

DALLAS -- A rare Topps 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card has sold at auction for more than $500,000.

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions said the pristine card sold for $525,800 Thursday night to a collector who wanted to remain anonymous.

A Heritage statement said the price set a record for a Mantle rookie card. A near-mint card sold for $486,100 in early November, setting the record at the time for price paid at auction for a card of Mantle, the Hall of Fame slugger who played 18 seasons for the New York Yankees, and the most paid for a card sold on eBay.

The '52 Mantle rookie card has long been the most valuable postwar baseball card, with comparable examples selling for $386,000 to $486,000 over the past 12 months.

The Mantle card was part of a 407-card set Topps distributed in 1952. However, as a rookie card, it was a "high number" card that didn't reach the Topps distribution chain before the end of the 1952 season. As a result, only a relative few of the cards were distributed to stores in the northeastern United States and Canada, with the rest dumped at sea.

ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell contributed to this report.