Topps Set to Auction Iconic Mickey Mantle Rookie NFT

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Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

The past two years have seen incredible growth in the sports card market, with sales of some of the rarest and most iconic cards sometimes reaching in the seven figures. Notably, on January 14th 2021, entrepreneur Rob Gough bought a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 9 (one of only 9 graded that high on the planet) for a then record-breaking $5.2 million dollars in a private deal brokered by PWCC Marketplace. The same card had previously sold for $2.88 million in 2018. 

We have also seen a boom in the NFT market over that same period of time, with trendsetting projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, VeeFriends and CryptoPunks opening eyes in the mainstream media, merging utility and collectibility. 

The merger of sports and NFTs has also generated quite a bit of attention, with the introduction of platforms such as NBA Top Shot, ToppsNFTs, Panini Blockchain, Candy Digital, SoRare, Autograph and NFL All Day giving fans some fun new collectibles to explore and purchase. 

While each one of these platforms offers their own unique approach to digital collectibles, the world’s most iconic sports card brand (Topps) is about to launch a unique one of one NFT on Opensea based on the hobby’s most iconic card, the previously mentioned 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie. 

I recently had a chance to sit down with Hera Andre-Bergmann, Content Product Manager for Blockchain at Topps, to discuss this historic upcoming auction. 

ONE37pm: Can you give me the specifics of this Mickey Mantle auction? When does it go live? 

Hera Andre-Bergmann: It goes live on Opensea on March 1st at 1pm for 72 hours, closing on March 3rd at 1pm EST. Bids made in the final 10 minutes will extend the auction by 10 minutes. In order to bid you will have to convert your ETH to wrapped ETH.

ONE37pm: Is there going to be any utility behind the collectible itself? 

Hera Andre-Bergmann: We set this up in partnership with the Mantle estate, officially. Mickey Mantle’s sons Danny and David will do a 30 minute call with the winner, if they so choose to redeem that prize afterwards.

In terms of actual utility, there’s nothing yet. We’re hoping with Opensea’s inherent utility that maybe down the line, we will be able to move it around a bit.

This card has been part of my father’s legacy for 70 years and it is amazing to see its continued impact with collectors and baseball fans around the world. We are very pleased to share this piece of history with Topps in a new and exciting way through NFTs.

- Danny & David Mantle, sons of Mickey Mantle

ONE37pm: Why did you choose to run this auction on Opensea?

Hera Andre-Bergmann: One of the reasons was because we wanted to cast a really wide net, so we have people who are more dedicated to the NFT collecting. But then, with the 1952 Mickey mantle card you have the tradition and the sort of the lore in physical baseball card collection.

ONE37pm: How cool would it be if somebody like Rob Gough – who owns a physical copy of the card – wins this auction and pairs them together?

Hera Andre-Bergmann: That would be awesome because of its history. We really tried to show that in the art of the NFT, and also bring it to the digital age, so you get a taste of everything. For the card art, we kind of recreated it in an animated environment that has sort of memorabilia that showcases and celebrates Mantle’s legacy. So there’s definitely lots of motion and different items to explore in the video itself. The card is sort of front and center with a digital re-imagination of the physical product, but we tried to add something that you can't find in the physical product.

ONE37pm: Tell me a little bit more about Topps Timeless.

Hera Andre-Bergmann: What's cool about Topps and the Topps Timeless brand that we're creating with these iconic cards is that there are so many different iconic cards in Topps’ history that are grails in the hobby. This Mickey Mantle NFT is our first release in the Topps Timeless series and our first public offering since the Fanatics aquisition, so we are really excited about that. 

For more information on this auction, you can visit

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