"Fresh to the Hobby" 1951 Bowman #253 SIGNED Mickey Mantle w/an Amazing PSA Mint 9 Autograph Grade
One of the hobby's most coveted cards continues to be his 1951 Bowman #253 subject that stands as the "TRUE ROOKIE" issue for the Commerce Comet. Indeed, while Mantle's 1952 Topps subject inexplicably receives more adoration, it is his 1951 Bowman issue that stands tall as his irrefutable inaugural baseball card. While a large pricing disparity still exists between these two iconic cards, clearly, the past few years have seen the 1951 Bowman steadily move "up the ladder" with regard to its pricing escalation. Most recently, a PSA Mint 9 example sold for a staggering $750,000 and a highly coveted AUTOGRAPHED specimen fetched an incredible $66,000 in a 2018 Spring auction! The sale for the signed 1951 Mantle shattered all previous records which doesn't surprise us in the least
It is no secret that signed "rookie cards" of our National Pastime's legendary stars have skyrocketed in the past several years, with the immortal Mickey 'Charles" Mantle paving the way. It was only a few years ago that his 1952 Topps #311 subject fetched an extraordinary $96,000 in a Memory Lane auction that set a still standing record for ANY post-war signed baseball card. Simply stated, signed examples for BOTH his 1951 Bowman rookie and 1952 Topps high-number are few and far between, with PSA's illustrious population report currently listing only 17 examples for his autographed 1951 Bowman rookie card. Therefore, it should come as little surprise that a signed "Mint 9" specimen realized a $66,000 amount, especially considering that "un-signed" PSA 8 examples (currently totaling 53 PSA encapsulated copies) fetch approximately $150,000-$200,000, with a 212% surplus versus the number of autographed specimens!
The aforementioned population data clearly indicates that a signed 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie is extremely undervalued versus its un-signed brethren, even in lieu of its recent record-breaking sale. With that in mind, Memory Lane is proud to present the sophisticated enthusiast another grand opportunity to capture a sensational 1951 Bowman autographed Mantle card, with this PSA "Mint 9" offering only recently encapsulated by PSA. "Fresh to the Hobby", this cardboard gem was a recent "basement" shoebox find in a small Connecticut town, and offers what we consider the largest and most formidable Mickey Mantle script we have ever seen on his iconic rookie card. It is clearly obvious that this extremely bold blue sharpie "Mickey Mantle" script resides as not only the largest autograph on his 1951 Bowman subject, but one of the largest scripts on ANY Mantle cardboard keepsake.
Measuring approximately 2-1/2" long and slightly over 1" tall, the signature miraculously covers nearly 40% of the card's surface, neatly inscribed across his legendary #6 period-style jersey. Most significant is the atypical fine centering, with the image's top to bottom measuring somewhere between 50/50 – 55/45, and the side to side approximately 60/40 (left to right). None of the typical vertical print lines are evident, the hallowed pose portrays sparkling gray and blue hues, Mantle's stoic facial expression is crystal clear and the verso is relatively clean. The stellar VG+/VG-EX aesthetics are only compromised by a few soft corners and a vertical crease extending from the top to lower edges that is barely noticeable versus the card's otherwise outstanding eye appeal. Simply stated, the signature literally "jumps-off" the card, with its unparalleled stature meriting a final resting place in any pinnacle-like collection.
The manner in which the Mickey Mantle's iconic hobby stature achieved its current mystique may never achieve full resolution, but it is surely "here to stay", with only a handful of cards arguably surpassing the stature of "The Mick's" inaugural 1951 Bowman and 1952 Topps subjects. "The Mick's" sudden rise to cardboard stardom in the late 80's and early 90's irrefutably propelled the overall card market, with its incredible pricing points redefining one's perspective for utilizing cardboard heirlooms as viable investment options. Typical with any market commodity, the investment values of valuable baseball cards likewise run in cycles, with signed examples of his true 1951 Bowman rookie card now experiencing an amazing pricing surge.
To reiterate, the $66,000 record price tag recently realized for a "Mint 9 Autographed" specimen has redefined the pricing scope for this momentous signed issue. Therefore, considering this incredible offering depicts a more formidable script that possibly suffices as the finest of its kind, we can only begin to speculate as to its true value. Unquestionably, the recent tsunami-like pricing up-ticks coupled with any 1951 Bowman Mantle justify this signed example's world-class stature. The "Commerce Comet" redefined the confines of every ballpark, with his mammoth blasts besting even the furthest fences, and it is no surprise that his autographed inaugural cardboard issue is currently experiencing a seemingly unbounded pricing surge.
Keep in mind that only 17 PSA encapsulated signed examples exist; a mere fraction of the 53 "PSA NM/MT 8" un-signed specimens that are worth $150K - $200K+. Additionally, this momentous offering portrays arguably the most imposing autograph on ANY 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie card, justifying why it emulates the classic phrase "SIZE MATTERS". That said, we will let you, the esteemed collector, ultimately decide what this seemingly priceless cardboard treasure is truly worth!
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THIS CARD IN OUR OPINION WOULD GRADE OUT VG-EX CONDITION IF GRADED BY PSA.
MIN BID $8,000