A Mickey Mantle baseball card entered a league of its own on Sunday.

The mint Mantle card from 1952 was sold at auction for $12.6 million, making it the most ever paid for sports memorabilia, surpassing the $9.3 million paid for Diego Maradona’s jersey from the 1986 World Cup and the $7.25 million for a Honus Wagner baseball card recently sold in a private sale.

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Mickey Mantle

A Mickey Mantle baseball card is displayed at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on July 21, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero / Associated Press)

Anthony Giordano received the big check for the card. He bought the bard for $50,000 at a New York City show in 1991. He said his children were monitoring the auction.

"As soon as it hit 10 million, I just turned in. I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. They stayed up and called me this morning bright and early to tell me that it reached where it reached," he said.

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Mickey Mantle in 1957

New York Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle holds a baseball marked ‘1000’ to indicate that he got his 1,000th hit. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

The New York Yankees legend was a Triple Crown winner in 1956, a three-time American League MVP and a seven-time World Series champion. He died in 1995.

"Some people might say it’s just a baseball card. Who cares? It’s just a Picasso. It’s just a Rembrandt to other people. It’s a thing of art for some people," John Holden, a professor in sports management law at Oklahoma State and amateur sports card collector, told the Associated Press.

"The value is whatever the market’s willing to support."

Mickey Mantle in 1968

New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle is shown on Mantle Banner Day at Yankee Stadium. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

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The card was expected to fetch more than $10 million. A similar 70-year-old Mantle card previously fetched $5.2 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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