"Fresh to the Hobby" 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle - From the Iconic Mr. Mint 1952 Topps High-Number Find PSA 6 EX-MT
No post-WWII baseball card can even remotely boast the unparalleled mystique of a '52 Topps #311 Mantle subject, with this PSA EX/MT 6 marvel coming directly from the historic Mr. Mint "1952 Topps High-Number Find" in 1986. Even more intriguing is the "back-story" of this card that has been safely secured by a Wisconsin couple since it was originally purchased from Alan Rosen after his miraculous "high-number" find. Consigned by the owner's widow, directly before her late husband purchased it from Mr. Mint over three decades ago, a mini-debate developed between the married couple, with the wife preferring to utilize their extra money to buy a new dining room set. After an excruciating dispute, her husband fortunately won the battle (indeed, a rare occurrence for most couples), for the value of any '52 Topps Mantle has appreciated at a seemingly infinite pace, and we highly doubt that dining room set would now be worth six-figures+! Tucked away for decades in the "Badger State", it now resurfaces in a Memory Lane Auction with an abundance of bidders ready to wage battle for purposes of capturing it for their world-class collections!
Who would have possibly thought that Joe DiMaggio's exodus after the 1951 campaign would mark the beginning of yet another great centerfielder's career; as the Yankee Clipper passed the baton to a 19-year-old power hitter from Commerce, Oklahoma named Mickey Charles Mantle. After being sent down to the minor leagues in July 1951 due to a horrific slump, Mantle would return to the big leagues in August to embark on one of the most celebrated careers in MLB history. His immediate star stature would make the innovative Topps Chewing Gum owner Sy Berger include "The Mick" as the #311 subject in Berger's landmark 1952 Topps set, the first card appearing in the esteemed '52 Topps high-number series. The stage had now been set for this Mantle issue to ultimately leave an indelible mark on the card collecting hobby, with this future Hall of Famer soon to be perceived as the true embodiment of a National hero.
Historically speaking, it is no secret that this iconic cardboard's sudden rise to stardom in the late-'80s and early-'90s ably assisted the overall market stature, with its incredible pricing points redefining one's perspective for utilizing cardboard heirlooms as viable investment options. For quite some time and before 2013, price tags for the 1952 Topps Mantle subject had remained relatively "flat", with its value moving in a somewhat "sideways" direction. Typical with any market commodity, the investment values of valuable baseball cards likewise run in cycles, and the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card, dubbed the post-WWII "Holy Grail", continues to realize excessive pricing points. Propelling the recent value of this immortal issue was the $5.2 million record-setting sale of a PSA Mint 9 example, with our PSA 8 Dr. Newman example recently fetching a likewise "record for the grade" $2.1 million! Pricing points for the 1952 Topps Mantle in ALL grades have soared to unprecedented heights, with no end in sight for this tsunami-like uptick. It is clearly obvious that the 1952 Topps Mantle knows no bounds with regard to its ultimate value, and with its irrefutable "1952 Topps Find" pedigree, this superb PSA 6 offering merits serious attention from any sophisticated hobbyist.
Fresh to the hobby, the classic "bat over shoulder" pose portrays a robust and nearly flawless aquamarine blue background that atypically reveals virtually no "snow" whatsoever, other than the typical microscopic factory-issued white printing dot situated near the upper left frame. It should be noted that the flawless surface is a common quality portrayed by virtually all of the cards from Mr. Mint's "1952 Topps Find", with these awe-inspiring examples emanating sparkling hues synonymous to a pack-fresh card. 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 stature. Immaculate resolution, brilliant facial hues, a glistening obverse side surface, white borders, a super clean verso and right-angled corners consistent with a "7+" assessment all contribute to the imposing aesthetics. Preventing a higher grade is the typical off-centered image that favors the upper right borders, with a majority of 1952 Topps Mantle's revealing skewed illustrations.
However, in this case, there is no noticeable image "tilt", with a myriad of '52 Topps Mantles plagued by this common flaw. Had it not been for the Sy Berger's decision to dump "truckloads" of excess 1952 Topps high-number vending cases into the Atlantic's murky waters off the coast of New Jersey, 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 like a beacon of light, with its uncontested popularity the main driver of its remarkable pricing surge over the past decade. The $2.1 million sale for a PSA 8 example earlier this summer stands as a resounding exclamation point to the unlimited potential of the quintessential high-numbered Mantle, a nearly 2,900% increase over the highest price ($71K) realized only a decade earlier in 2011. Yet, this incomprehensible pricing increase truly extends across all grades, with this PSA 6 "Holy Grail" 1952 Topps Mantle originating from the legendary "Mr. Mint Find" worthy of a final resting place in any world-class gathering!
MIN BID $30,000