1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card 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. 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 a myriad of high-grade sales producing staggering price tags. 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 2,100+ encapsulated copies, only 10 finer examples have been handled by PSA with a microscopic-like 2.5% achieving the hallowed "NM/MT 8" grade. Incredibly, this actual offering previously sold for $179,000 several years ago, with a handful of Mantle rookie cards achieving price tags in excess of $200,000! The floodgates have surely opened for "The Mick's" inaugural cardboard memento, and considering the on-going pricing upticks of both "The Mick's" '51 Bowman and '52 Topps issues, those aforementioned vales may quickly become "wholesale" figures. In fact, it was only last year that one of the ever-elusive PSA Mint 9 specimens achieved a record setting $750,000 pricing point. Regardless of how the Mickey Mantle mystique was established, no one will argue that Mantle's 1951 Bowman image will forever be embedded in hobby lore, standing tall as one of the most significant rookie cards on the planet.
Mantle's supernatural-like power ably assisted his mammoth sized tape measure home runs, bolstering "The Mick's" legendary stature that has led to his insatiable cardboard frenzy. 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". 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 extremely well-centered image atypically falls between "45/55" and "50/50" positioning between four dazzling white borders (only a microscopic-like hint of favoritism towards the upper right edges); a critical superlative since most examples reflect skewed illustrations. A razor-sharp perimeter boasts four pinpoint corners, the obverse side surface glistens with a pack-fresh aura, and the verso is relatively clean. Many enthusiasts would agree this miraculous offering's eye appeal is consistent with most of the few "Near Mint 9" examples in circulation due to the impeccable central image and centering aspects. 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 a high-grade specimen immediately arousing the utmost attention of any esteemed collector.
Along with the 1952 Topps Mantle that continues to soar in value, high-grade '51 Bowman Mantle subjects are likewise realizing lofty price tags that one would assume will continue "narrowing the gap" versus the overwhelming delta of the 1952 Topps Mantle pricing (a PSA '52 Topps has sold for $660K). Considering it resides as Mantle's irrefutable inaugural card, it still remains significantly undervalued as opposed to its 1952 Topps brethren. Indeed, the clever enthusiast should carefully bear in mind the considerable growth potential of the 1951 Bowman Mantle versus its 1952 Topps brethren, with this extraordinary 1951 Bowman Mantle gem unquestionably sufficing as a bona-fide investment!
MIN BID $30,000