1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card (SGC EX 5)
Along with the majestic Babe Ruth inaugural issue, the 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie arguably suffices as the most coveted rookie card in the 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 a superb mid-grade example of the iconic Mickey Mantle rookie card, an awe-inspiring SGC 5" marvel that exhibits stellar aesthetics for the grade. Incredibly, a PSA 9 Mickey Mantle 1951 Bowman card achieved a staggering $750,000 price tag in the Spring of 2018, ignited a spiraling uptick for all graded subjects. Considering the on-going pricing spikes for both "The Mick's" '51 Bowman and '52 Topps issues, the current sale prices may soon become "wholesale" figures.
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.
The image reflects vibrant gray/blue colored tints, immaculate contrast/resolution, a bright sky-blue background, extremely rich facial hues as well as no vertical print lines that typically plague this issue. Atypically, the hallowed illustration exhibits fine "side-to-side" centering, and like so many examples, the image does favor the upper edge. No obtrusive creasing is evident on either side, a negligible gum stain appears on the verso, and the corners reflect modest/uniform wear consistent with the grade. To reiterate, the "true" Mickey Mantle rookie card holds a special place in the hobby that is surpassed by only a handful of cards, with the mere sight of any eye pleasing specimen arousing any esteemed collector's attention. With its sheer existence sufficing as the undisputable inaugural Mantle baseball card, we highly expect a myriad of hobbyists to steadfastly pursue this timeless marvel that should continue escalating in value over the course of time!
MIN BID $3,000