1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie (PSA NM 7)
"Every now and then, some athlete is touched for a moment with a kind of higher level of greatness which they may never achieve again, but at that moment they were more than life allows... " - Heywood Hale Broun
Such were the iconic words of the late renowned CBS sportscaster Heywood Hale Broun when referring to a supernatural-like player that has performed above and beyond the physical limits of the standard athlete. Unquestionably, with regard to Goliath-like power, baseball history could not provide a more classic example of Broun's quote than Mickey Charles Mantle who consistently tested the furthest confines of any professional ballpark. Time after time, "The Mick's" mammoth tape measure blasts would not only outdistance any stadium's fences, but also their outer perimeters, with this immortal Cooperstown inductee twice blasting home runs off the façade of Yankee Stadium! It was in 1953 batting right-handed, that Mantle crushed a Chuck Stobbs fastball at Washington's Griffith Stadium off of the scoreboard and into a neighboring backyard, some 565-feet from home plate.
This continues to be the longest "official" home run ever recorded in a Major League game, and even with today's sophisticated conditioning programs, harder throwers, tightly wound baseballs and infinite-like outbreak of PED users, no one can come even close to matching Mantle's record-setting blast. It was this "Godly-like" power that certainly resides as one of the foremost reasons the 1952 Topps Mantle subject achieved its current mystique. Enthusiasts surely agree that the sheer combination of his unparalleled long balls and the 1952 Topps #311 "high-number" stature places this momentous Mantle issue right alongside the T206 Wagner "Holy Grail" as the two most recognizable baseball cards on the planet!
This cardboard marvel's sudden rise to stardom in the late 80's and early 90's assisted the overall market stature, with its incredible pricing points redefining one's perspective for utilizing cardboard heirlooms as viable investment options. Typical with any market commodity, the pricing levels of valuable baseball cards likewise run in cycles, and the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card continues to realize ultra-strong price tags for all grade levels, especially NM/7 or better examples. No wonder it has been dubbed the post-WWII "Holy Grail", and synonymous with an uncontrollable brush fire, since 2013, the Topps Mantle rookie value has risen to an unprecedented level.
While all grading levels continue to rise, it is the high-grade specimens that are now realizing "off the chart" figures, exceeding prior 2013 values by over 500%! "Seeing is believing", and the most definitive case of this seemingly infinite escalation was when a PSA 8.5 example sold for the staggering sum of $1,135K in a Fall 2016 Auction, besting a 2010 NM/MT+ 8.5 $130K sale by roughly 800% in a 6-year span. If that wasn't convincing enough, the $2.9 Million sale of a PSA Mint 9 example literally "rocked" the hobby, with that unfathomable sale standing as the second highest figure ever achieved by a sports card (second only to the $3.1 Million price of a PSA 5/MC T206 Wagner). PSA NM/MT 8's are fetching $450K-$600K (based on overall eye appeal), and PSA 7's consistently fetch strong six-figure plus pricing points. While these miraculous pricing up-ticks are "jaw-dropping" to say the least, it was only a matter of time before this iconic baseball card achieved a seemingly unlimited pricing surge.
With regard to this hallowed PSA 7 offering, the overall superb eye appeal is synonymous with Mantle's magnificent legacy, starting with the classic bat over shoulder pose portraying a richly hued aqua-marine blue background that does reveal some diminutive "snow" and/or subtle white "spottiness" in the upper left and right quadrants (situated to the left and right of Mantle's cap). You can virtually feel Mickey's curious nature as he gazes into the future with a youthful innocence that would eventually lead to his immortal Yankee standing. The stoic portrait image reveals crystal clear clarity and rich facial hues, with the gleaming obverse side surface sporting clean white borders and strong right-angled corners consistent with the grade.
While the iconic image does favor the upper right edges, the aforementioned brilliant central image aesthetics more than offset the typically seen skewed image, and a relatively clean verso stands as its final exclamation point. Historically speaking, had it not been for "truckloads" of 1952 Topps high-number vending cases being dumped into New York's murky waters, the incredible mystique of the '52 Topps Mantle might have never been born. Yet, the reality of this card standing tall as our hobby's post-war "Holy Grail" shines forth today synonymous to a beacon of light, with its uncontested popularity the driver of its redefined value. The card market's most renowned issues continue to experience record setting prices seemingly every day, and no one would argue that any high-grade 1952 Topps Mantle stands as one of the hobby's soundest investments.
For 18-years, Mantle stole the hearts of millions of avid fans, and it is with little surprise that this "clutch" performer continues to hold the all-time record for the most World Series home runs with an astounding 18 round trippers. Indeed, performing at a superior level on our National Pastime's grandest stage was a simple task for this Oklahoma raised "coal miner" who could hit a baseball further than anyone who ever stepped into a batter's box. No wonder all of "The Mick's" high-end cardboard issues continue to light up the hobby with his sanctified 1952 Topps #311 subject paving the way. Of course, as is the case with any investment opportunity, one can only wonder what the future holds for the extraordinary 1952 Topps Mantle, but its virtual unparalleled popularity and robust pricing points certainly support the prospect for its unlimited growth potential!
MIN BID $25,000