Summer Premium Live and Catalog Auction

Lot #20: 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card – SGC 86 NM+ 7.5


     Graded 86 NM+ 7.5 by SGC. Hall of Famer, in his debut Topps appearance. Among more than 400 copies recorded in SGC’s census reporting, just seven examples have been placed at a higher tier. There will never be enough top-tier 1952 Mantles in the hobby to satisfy collector demand for what is arguably the most desirable baseball card ever made. These special pieces have generally found solid, impenetrable homes, where bragging rights are more important than dollars. Few individuals are ever willing to part with an item that defines an enthusiast's status in the hobby. The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle has always been a key card in any collection. Even during the mid-1960s, at the very beginning of the organized hobby, the '52 Mantle card carried a premium when star cards from other prominent sets (like Cobb and Ruth!) cost the same as a common. Actually, the word "common" wasn't even used at that time – the concept giving rise to the word did not yet exist. Cards from a specific set were all "common" or they were all "rare." The "High Number" series in 1952 Topps was solidly in the latter category, even then, and a serious proposition when pondering additions to a collection. Many collectors stopped at number 310 and moved on to the next project. As the hobby grew, and time passed, more and more cards emerged from attics and basements. Vintage cards, even '52 Topps high numbers, have become more readily available, and any collector with deep pockets can complete the set. Now, the challenge is condition. Building a set of 1952 Topps in Near Mint or finer is a mission for a lifetime. The location of a suitable Mantle is the pivotal issue in such a quest, and a thoroughly satisfying example is presented here. The offered card will immediately assume its place as the cornerstone of the winning bidder's collection. (After this, all future acquisitions will be likely to pale in comparison!) This outstanding card delivers condition to match its mystique. A flawless, glistening surface announces the card's presence to the eyes. Deep, rich portrait colors blaze against an intense and lustrous azure background. The image boasts perfect registration, and the black-line frame containing it is magnificently well-centered. The card's corners are perfect right angles, and its reverse is well aligned. Here, we see one of the most impressive and valuable individual pieces in our entire hobby. This is an extremely strong example, with tremendous visual appeal. Near Mint-plus condition.

Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$180,000
Minimum Bid:$50,000
Number of Bids:13