Former NFL O-lineman Evan Mathis sells 1952 Mickey Mantle card for nearly $3 million

Denver Broncos vs San Diego Chargers, NFL week 13

AAron Ontiveroz

Remember when your uncle told you to save those baseball cards because they'll be worth "millions" some day and you laughed at him? This is what he was talking about.

Apparently, former NFL offensive lineman Evan Mathis listened to his uncle, and he just got $2.88 million richer for doing so. Mathis, who retired in 2016 after 12 seasons on six different teams, sold his 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps rookie card in mint condition at an auction on Thursday night, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell. The $2.88 million price tag is the second highest ever for a baseball card, with the largest sum of $3.12 million being paid for a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner card in October 2016.

"It's a remarkable price," said Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage. "It was 10 years ago when we last had a Mantle 9 sell, but this sold for 10 times that."

Mathis made some solid coin over his 12-year career, including a five-year contract for $25.5 million in Philadelphia, so $2.88 million may sound like chump change for the two-time Pro Bowler. But Mathis, an avid card collector, actually told the Associated Press he sold it to free up some money to buy a new house for he and his wife in his home state of Alabama.

“Just that image of the young Mickey Mantle, over the years it’s been a centerpiece of the hobby,” Mathis said. “I guess it’s kind of like the Mona Lisa of the sports card world.

"I don’t think I’ll have any regrets because I’ll have a nice house to show for it instead of the card."

Not to mention he didn't have to take a beating in the trenches for it. Moral of the story, hang on to those cards and keep them in mint condition. Speaking of which, I have a bunch of Wayne Gretzky cards in my basement if anyone's interested.