Hobby Musings: Mathis’ Mantle card makes its mark – The big hobby story of the week was the sale of a PSA 9 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card. Owned by former NFL lineman Evan Mathis, the card sold for $2.88M via Heritage Auctions. The second-highest price ever paid for a baseball card, the highest price still stands at $3.12M for a Honus Wagner T206 card sold in 2016. Mr. Mathis was kind enough to take some time to offer his thoughts on the sale of the impressive card. The following interview was conducted via email.
KS: Evan, now that the auction is completed, what was your reaction to the final sale figure?
EM: I was hoping it would break the record held by the PSA 5MC Wagner that sold for 3.12m but I’m okay with the end result.
KS: I know you’ve dealt with a lot of high-end cards that typically attract big dollars. That being said, does it boggle your mind at all that a trading card, especially one other than the Honus Wagner T206, could go for this kind of money?
EM: When you look at how the best of the best performs in other industries, I still think elite cards are undervalued. With art pieces bringing well into the nine figures, the high grade, historically significant cards seem like a bargain.
KS: Looking back on it, how difficult was it to part with the card?
EM: It wasn’t as hard as you’d think. I still have more than enough money in cards and one day I may enjoy the hunt to get another high grade 52 Mantle.
KS: You’ve said in a lot of your interviews that you wished to buy your family a dream home with the sale proceeds. Besides what your family wants, any chance that dream home includes a nice man cave/memorabilia room for you?
EM: I’ve been planning my future man cave since I was a teenager.
KS: This story received a lot of mainstream media coverage. As someone who is a collector and very involved in the trading card community, how did it feel being able to bring the hobby this much attention in a positive light?
EM: I was hoping that it would bring attention to the hobby, and I was very pleasantly surprised to see how much quality coverage it received.
KS: The popularity and big dollars for vintage cards has drawn a wide variety of people into buying cards. Have your experiences encouraged any former teammates or friends of yours to want to get in the card game?
EM: A lot of them were intrigued by it and I had a few that jumped in and started playing around with it.
KS: Looking ahead a little, are there any other big gems in your collection that we might be seeing up for auction in the near future?
EM: That’s it for the near future.
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