January 2010 Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/22/2010
Surpassed by fewer than a dozen superior specimens on record from well over 1,900 total submissions to the hobby's most trusted grading source, offered is a brilliant PSA 8 NM/MT example of one of our cherished hobby's most alluring baseball cards ever produced, the 1953 Topps short-printed masterwork of Yankee switch-hitting prospect and future legend, Mickey Mantle. During his brief call-up in 1951, Casey Stengel remarked, "He's got more natural power from both sides than anybody I ever saw." Although #6 struggled throughout most of that 1951 season, returning to the minors, nearly quitting, and then ultimately coming back to the Bigs wearing #7, he still performed well enough to elicit countless accolades and infinite adoration from teammates and fans alike, the most impressive of which no doubt came from his predecessor in centerfield. Playing in his final season in 1951, Joe DiMaggio called Mantle "the greatest prospect I can remember." Taking over for Joe in 1952, Mick continued to impress with his blazing speed, hence his moniker "The Commerce Comet," as well as his impressive power numbers at the plate, leading the league in OPS (.924) but also in strikeouts (111). The following season, 1953, would bring Mick his third consecutive World Series ring, along with enough MVP consideration to finish third in the BWAA voting, and yet his star had really just been born. In time, he would play in 11 total World Series affairs, winning 7 rings and setting records for most World Series HRs (18), RBI (40), runs (42), walks (43), extra-base hits (26), and total bases (123). Mantle also had a flair for the dramatic, setting the career record for walk-off home runs with 13. He remains one of the most beloved athletes in all of American sports history. Presented here is an immensely pleasing example of Mickey's 1953 Topps issue that boasts an appealing mix of NM/MT to NM/MT+ and even better qualities for a conservative but accurate overall assessment of NM/MT 8 from PSA. Strong NM/MT+ or even better corners at all points but the marginally inferior NM/MT bottom left join well-formed NM/MT edges at the top and bottom between strong NM/MT+ to even MINT side edges. The reverse shows some expected but reassuring NM/MT wear around the perimeter of the susceptible red box at top but is in otherwise strong NM/MT+ to MINT condition, with near perfect centering and no significant print defects or stains. The obverse, likewise, presents far in excess of the opined grading tier, with a borderline MINT image counterbalanced by a NM/MT self-evident centering preference for the east. Noticeably sharper and cleaner than most other examples in the grade, and very strongly encouraged.
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