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Overnight markets have been plunged into excitement, with clear signs of strong tailwinds and resurgent animal spirits as as the price for Mint Condition Mickey Mantle Baseball Cards – long considered a SportHead bellwether asset, broke new records on the open market.

The-one-for-the-Mantlepiece-Mantle easily smashed sports memorabilia records at auction, securing $12.6 million late last night US time.

The card featuring some baseballer, came out in 1952 was wax-wrapped and went for “either a penny or a nickel,” according to Christopher Ivy, the soon-to-retire-to-the-Bahamas sports director at Heritage Auctions.

The sale of the kids collectable card which critics of the booming sports memorabilia market have criticised as absolutely, 100%, no BS, probably more useless than an NFT, kill me now dear God, just kill me, sets a new high watermark for the sector which everyone at Sporthead agrees can only possibly go up now and will never die.

Attention now turns to the upcoming market-moving sale of some basketballer’s Chicago Bulls jumper (or is it a singlet?) which this chap Michael Jordan’s sweated through during an NBA Finals game – I mean, his team won like seven of those and there’s seven finals games… so without doing too much math, it’s not like there’s only one of them out there – so…

Anyway the “iconic” shirt is up for grabs next month and speccy is rife it could rival Mantle’s place on the sports collectable mantle.

At this stage analysts believe the shirt will fetch somewhere between £3 million and £5m when Sotheby’s flogs it on September 14, although Sporthead’s most basketball-aware expert Bevis Yeo says it could go for as much as one billion dollars.

“Oh even more, $2 maybe $3 billion. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if NBA fan and legend magnet PM Anthony Albanese swaps it for Tasmania – it’s not like we’re using it anymore. And with the Legend of The Air’s gorgeous No.23 emblazoned like a shooting star across its blood red sky – this jumper or singlet or jersey – was actually sticking to Jordan’s sweat reamed flesh during Game One of his Sixth and Final Championship series.

Yeo says Mr Jordan’s team the The Chicago Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz (although I find it hard to believe a team is called The Jazz, that’s just dumb) 4-2 in the Finals, but the Jazz took Game 1 with a 88-85 win. I hope this is making sense to someone.

Meanwhile across other sports stuff markets, the news that the Mantle card has eclipsed even the kill-my-own-mother-to-get-a T-206 Honus Wagner card which was then considered the most expensive card asset (at some $7.2 million) when it sold just a few weeks ago on August 5, has punters dancing in the aisles.

Now the floodgates have opened, sports fans everywhere are digging through their closets and attics and bomb shelters looking for something which looks like that filthy baggy green Steve Waugh used to disgrace the nation to every time he went out to represent grumpy Australians as the Grump Master Supreme.

Somehow there is a lot of bearish sentiment in the sports crap market that Waugh’s unwashed 100-plus Test cap is equal to the “mint condition” Mantle card, which Christopher ‘Already-on-the-plane-sipping-Harvey-Wallbangers’ Ivy of Heritage Auctions said was of a grade 9.5 quality, ie: it was classified as Gem Mint.

Waugh’s Cap – or the millions of imitations about to the flood the market – was most likely considered Bin Mint, or Hazardous Bio-material Mint.

As readers of Sporthead know, memorabilia values have just eclipsed crypto, property, the open hit on John Wick and human life as the most valuable asset over the last year or so.

Everytime some fruitbag finds a piece of sporting history it breaks a new auction record. The Mantle card has even made a mockery of the price of Argentinian hot mess and cheating footballer Diego Maradona’s jumper from the fantastic “Hand of God” game, where he totally cheated to to cheat England out of a world cup of some sort, some time ago. That bad boy went for US$9.28 million at a Sotheby’s auction back in May when it was bought by an anonymous buyer we can reveal as former Resources Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Morrison told Sporthead from his Fortress of Solitude (bought from Superman at the height of the pandemic for one less set of kryptonite underpants and a signed pledge not to smuggle them back into Clark Kent’s undies drawer) he liked to buy stuff.

“Oh I like to buy stuff like that. I’ll buy anything. Go Sharkies.”

The Mantle, Wagner card and Maradona memorabilia, have all gone on the open market in the last months, showing 2022 is a great year for buying this stuff.

Gregor Stronach of VideogameHead said the surge in market values totally reminds him of the retro video game market when Wata Games and Heritage catch-me-if-you-can Auctions allegedly colluded to amp up prices for collectables in that market.

“Yeah… appaz they both manipulated everyone using unfair business practices, making false statements, totally making stuff up and then did a bunch of ‘affirmative acts to manipulate the bollocks off the retro video game market,” Stronach said from an undisclosed location.

Stronach added that back in September an unopened copy of something seriously called Sonic the Hedgehog sold for over US$400,000 and that even its creator Yuji Naka thought it was utter bollocks.

“And that was just a minnow – compared to the unopened copy of Super Mario Bros. which went for a reasonable $2 million.


Here’s a list of the top sports memorabilia sales:

Mickey Mantle Card – US$12.6 million  

(see above)

Maradona jumper – US$9.3 million  

(see above)

Wagner card US$7.2 million  

(see above)

Original Olympic Games Manifesto – US$8.8 million

Written by Pierre de Coubertin, founder of modern-day Olympics.

Babe Ruth 1928-30 jersey – US$5.65 million

Ruth hit 60 home runs and batted .356, in 1929, both records that still stand today.

Babe Ruth 1920 jersey – US$4.42 million

This one sold for $4,415,658 at auction and is the earliest known surviving jersey of Babe Ruth’s in existence.

James Naismith’s 1891 Rules of Basketball – US$4.3 million

Naismith invented the game ‘basketball’ in 1891 while working as an instructor at the YMCA.

Daniel Adams’ Rules of Baseball – US$3.26 million

The “Laws of Base Ball”, written by D Lucius Adams is the first known set of rules to be published in 1845.

Wayne Gretzky’s final Edmonton Oilers game jersey – US$1.45 million

Sold in June this year, Gretzky was really, really good at whacking a puck into a net on ice.

Aussie sports market:

Shane Warne’s Test cap – $1 million

Not Steve Waugh’s baggy green.

Don Bradman’s Test cap – $450,000

Bradman wore it in his first Test against England in 1928 when he made 187 not out and scored another century in his next match. The cap was sold at auction by Kerry Packer and fetched $450,000. $450,000 more than Waugh’s cap