Rookie baseball cards are typically more valuable than others and that has been illustrated once again after an auction sold a 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card.
The card fetched $2.88 million, which is good enough for the second highest amount for any baseball card behind the legendary 1909 T206 Honus Wagner card. Professional Sports Authenticator graded the Mantle card's condition as a 9 on a scale of 10.
This particular card hasn't always been this valuable. In 1988, this card would fetch $3,300 in its best condition. By 1998, that number was up to $121,000. Nine years after that, the top sale was $240,000.
The question has to be asked: Why are these cards so valuable?
It's all about availability. The Wagner card had its production stopped way back in 1909 because the star shortstop did not want to help promote the tobacco products that were issuing the cards at the time.
ESPN's Darren Rovell explained why this Mantle card's value has skyrocketed:
"The Mantle was the first card in the Topps 1952 high number set, which was the second wave of that year's product. But Topps, in only its second year of making baseball cards, found that the cards came out too late in the year and there was little to no interest in consumers buying more. So the 1952 high number packs sat in Topps factory for seven years, before Topps' card pioneer Sy Berger made an attempt to get rid of them."
How did he try to get rid of them? By trying to give them away for 10 cards per penny. When he still couldn't get rid of them, Berger dumped more than 300 cases of baseball cards into the ocean.
That is one bizarre tale but because there are a limited amount of cards that have survived, these prices are likely to keep climbing.
You can hear our conversation about the card as heard on "Have You Seen This?" right here: