August/September 2020 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/4/2020
If there was ever a card that could challenge the iconic T206 Honus Wagner as the standard-bearer of the hobby, it would have to be the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. The '52 Mantle is not only the most coveted post-war card ever produced but its very presence in a collection, like the T206 Wagner, instantly vaults the collector's status to the forefront of the hobby. When Topps distributed their inaugural baseball card set in 1952, with Mantle as the first card in the limited high-number series, no one could have imagined that this 407-card collection would one day become the baseball card set for which all future issues would be compared. Even more unlikely was that card #311 would become one of the most coveted sports card collectibles. With "The Mick" having already completed his rookie season with a less than spectacular 13 round-trippers and .267 average over 99 games as well as his appearance the year before in the smaller-sized Bowman series (his true rookie card), the 1952 Topps Mantle wasn't overly popular except to the most die-hard fans of the pinstripes. It wasn't until he led the American League in homers in 1955 that Mantle was starting to be taken seriously as potentially the next great icon in line after Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio. Had Mickey given up baseball to go to work in the mines of Oklahoma as his father suggested during a particular low-point in Mantle's early career, one could argue that Topps might not have survived their battle with Bowman, let alone thrived for over 60 years. From that 1952 classic throughout Mantle's career (excluding 1954 and 1955 when he had an exclusive contract with Bowman), the Mickey Mantle card has been the lead card in virtually every set Topps produced, outclassing a whole slew of significant rookie issues along the way. Topps even issued a Mantle card in 1969, though Mantle had already announced his retirement, which rivals the Reggie Jackson rookie card for top honors in the set. The presented specimen has been graded 86 NM+ 7.5 by SGC and exhibits many qualities that compare favorably with contemporaries at the NM/MT level, a plateau that carries with it a considerable increase in price. First off, the superior centering is more accurate than 95% of all cards produced, virtually dead-on side to side with just a degree or two preference toward the bottom edge. Three of the four corners meet or exceed the NM+ grade and the central image, the iconic portrait of Mantle with his golden bat on his right shoulder, is bold and sharp and supported by a clean aqua-blue field that avoids any unwanted stray print. The reverse side shows equally adept centering and exhibits a completely problem-free slate-gray canvas with bold red and black print. Few examples at this grade level, or some higher graded specimens for that matter, can claim to possess the magnetism and overall allure of this iconic masterpiece!
1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle SGC 7.5 NM+
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $40,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $154,462.70
Number Bids: 25
Auction closed on Friday, September 4, 2020.
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