A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sold for a record $12.6 million through Dallas-based Heritage Auctions early Sunday morning. Photo courtesy Heritage Auctions

A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sold for a record $12.6 million through Dallas-based Heritage Auctions early Sunday morning. Photo courtesy Heritage Auctions

Aug. 28 (UPI) — A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card sold for $12.6 million at auction on Sunday becoming the most valuable sports collectible ever sold at auction.

The card sold through Dallas-based Heritage Auctions at 12:28 a.m. CST Sunday but the auction house said it had already become the most valuable sports card sold at auction weeks ago.

“An eight-figure result in the sports market was the stuff of fantasy just a decade ago,” Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage said in a statement. “We always knew this card would shatter records and expectations.”

The $12.6 million price tag topped the record for the most valuable sports card sold at auction set by a T206 Honus Wagner card that sold for $6.6 million last year. It also claimed the record for most valuable sports collectible of any type, surpassing the $9.3 million price that a jersey worn by Diego Maradona during his “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup fetched at an auction earlier this year.

Heritage Auctions said that consignor Anthony Giordano bought the card from Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen for $50,000 in 1991 and decided to keep it “hidden away” and ungraded for the next 30 years.

Rosen, who came across the card and several other Mantles in a haul of 1052 Topps cards Rosen bought from a Massachusetts man in the mid-1980s, wrote a letter to Giordano saying the card was “in my estimation the finest known example in the world.”

The Mantle card was graded a Mint+ 9.5 by Sportscard Guaranty Corporation, which Ivy said made it especially desirable at auction.

“It bears the finest qualities any 1952 Topps can possess: perfect centering, registration and four sharp corners,” he said. “That this Mantle rookie card remained in this condition for 70 years is a true miracle.”

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