1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle Rookie PSA 8 NM-MT
No one would argue that the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card resides as the post-WWII's most iconic card, yet it is Mantle's 1951 Bowman subject that resides as his true rookie card. Next to the majestic Babe Ruth inaugural card, the 1951 Bowman Mantle Rookie arguably suffices as the most coveted rookie card in the entire collecting community, eternally residing as one of the hobby's pinnacle "world class" cardboard artifacts. The seemingly infinite rise of Mantle's sanctified 1952 Topps subject has likewise propelled the desirability and value of his inaugural 1951 Bowman issue, with each high-grade sale producing record setting prices. With that in mind, presented here is an absolutely breathtaking example of the iconic Mickey Mantle rookie card, an awe-inspiring PSA 8 gem that has only been bested by a mere 10 PSA specimens.
Imagine, of the nearly 1,600 encapsulated copies only 10 finer examples have been handled by PSA, with a microscopic-like 3% achieving the hallowed "NM/MT 8" grade! Incredibly, the last PSA 8 Mickey Mantle 1951 Bowman subject sold for a mind boggling $120K price tag with the buyers premium, and considering the on-going pricing upticks of both "The Mick's" '51 Bowman and '52 Topps issues, that aforementioned sales price may quickly become a "wholesale" figure! However the Mickey Mantle mystique was established, no one will argue that Mantle's 1951 Bowman image will forever be embedded in hobby lore, and along with the 1952 Topps Mantle, is one of the few post-war cards that supersedes almost all high-end pre-WWII cards. Mantle's unquestionable power, long tape measure home runs and overall love for the game and fans add to the legacy of all his cardboard treasures. He was Goliath, Davey Crockett, John Wayne and Joe DiMaggio all rolled up into one super icon, the ultimate embodiment of a National hero.
With that in mind, what card could better represent the strength of our hobby than Mickey Mantle's inaugural cardboard issue, treasured by every young boy who grew up worshiping the "Commerce Comet" dominate the game via his mammoth sized round trippers. The seemingly timeless "bat over shoulder" lithographic pose with Mickey's #6 (vs. his famous #7) partly showing on his uniform was taken from a classic original black & white photograph from Mantle's rookie season. Virtually all of the qualities associated with this legendary picture are pristine including vibrant gray/blue colored hues, immaculate contrast/resolution and a flawless sky blue background. The relatively well-centered image includes approximate 40/60 "left to right" and superb 45/55 "top to bottom" positioning between strong white borders; a critical positive attribute since most examples reflect skewed illustrations.
The obverse is as good as the front. To reiterate, the "true" Mickey Mantle rookie card holds a place in the hobby that is surpassed by only a handful of cards, with the mere sight of this classic gem in high-grade condition arousing any esteemed collector's interest. Along with the 1952 Topps Mantle that continues to soar in value, this offering is likewise realizing lofty price tags that will surely surpass the previously mentioned $120K figure. Yet considering it resides as Mantle's irrefutable inaugural card, it still remains significantly undervalued as opposed to its 1952 Topps brethren. In an unstable economy, the clever individual should carefully choose the best methodology for appropriating their funds, so if you are looking for a "bona-fide" investment, this extraordinary 1951 Bowman Mantle crown jewel unquestionably stands as one of the most assuring candidates extant!
MIN BID $35,000