Key Insights:

  • MLB Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle NFT goes for 175E.
  • Physical player cards still demand higher prices, with Mickey Mantle and LeBron James cards holding the record at $5.2m.
  • While Art NFTs have gone for more, there is some way to go before player card NFT prices catch up with physical card prices.

Despite a surge in illicit activity across the NFT marketplace, NFT-related trademark applications and NFT activity continue to rise.

Sports and NFTs have formed a strong partnership, with U.S franchises including the NFL, the NBA, and UFC launching dedicated NFT marketplaces. For the NFL and the NBA, the launch of the respective NFT marketplaces provides an alternative to physical sports cards.

Unlike the NFL and the NBA, the Major Baseball League (MBL) did not partner with Dapper Labs to form a dedicated MBL NFT marketplace. Several NFT marketplaces do support the buying and selling of MBL sports cards. These include Candy Digital, OpenSea, and Topps.

MBL’s Mickey Mantle Baseball Card Goes for $471k

This week, a Mickey Mantle 1952 baseball card went for 175E (ETH), equivalent to around $471k, in an OpenSea auction. The Topps 1952 Mickey Mantle card is considered one of the world’s most sought-after vintage cards before becoming available as an NFT. The Mickey Mantle NFT forever etches the Mantle legacy on the Ethereum blockchain.

NFT marketplace Topps launched the Topps Series 1 NFT Collection. The collection celebrates 70 years of Topps Baseball and showcases modern-day stars in new and classic Topps card designs.

Mickey Mantle was an American professional baseball player who played for the New York Yankees. Mantle won the MVP award three times and has the World Series record for the most home runs of 18. OpenSea lists other Mickey Mantle NFTs.

Previously on WAX, Topps moved its NFT marketplace to the Avalanche (AVAX) blockchain in August 2021. Owner of NFT marketplace Candy Digital, Fanatics, acquired Topps in January.

Mantle v NBA’s LeBron James

In the world of sports NFTs, the Mantle NFT sale was one of the largest The Mantle sale surpassed NBA Top Shot’s top sales price to date. According to NBA Topshot, LeBron James NFT sales of $230,000 and $210,000 top the Topshot table.

In contrast to the NFT marketplace, physical cards still draw significantly higher prices. In early 2021, a 1952 Topps card of Mantle reportedly sold for $5.2m at auction, setting a record.

LeBron James was not outdone in the physical world, however. In 2021, ESPN reported a Rookie Patch card featuring James’ autograph and a swatch of his Cleveland Cavaliers shirt going for $5.2m.

$5.2m may be “small change” when considering the views of PWCC director of business development Jesse Craig. In the ESPN report, Craig says: “There are LeBron cards out there, I would say, worth over $10 million.” Craig goes on to say: “And let’s be clear: There are three Mantle PSA 10s that, whenever they transact, will break every record there is.”

Based on these numbers, there is some way to go for NFT player cards to catch up.

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