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Description1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 Rookie Card, Signed! If a mathematician were to undertake the task of calculating the probability of this card's existence in the collecting hobby today, beginning with Mickey Mantle's unsteady debut in pinstripes, we would see this relic for the lightning-strike-on-a-lottery-winner that it is. Though the Mick now stands near the pinnacle of the baseball pantheon, he might just as easily have fallen into anonymity had he not heeded his father's advice to soldier on after early failures in Joe DiMaggio's shadow.
Mantle's early departure from the Majors alone might have deleted his number 311 card from the Topps company's late season printing run of the rare and coveted high number series, and surely would have left little interest in having one autographed by a Yankee drop-out if its production continued. But, as it stands, this most famous baseball card of the post-war era remains painfully scarce despite the elite status of its subject. Planning miscues for the fledgling Topps company delayed the release of the final 1952 baseball series until far too late in the season, the packs made available to only a small fragment of American geography, and for a very limited time. Hundreds of cases were left to languish in a warehouse until the need for storage space was solved by a burial at sea of the obsolete stock.
This brings us to the final twist of fate. Today there's not a living legend who hasn't autographed hundreds if not thousands of rookie cards. As a collecting subgenre, signed trading cards has never been more popular. But this hobby advancement was in its infancy when the Mick succumbed to liver failure in 1995. Most experts believe that the population of authentically signed Topps rookies from Mantle number in the single digits.
This is unquestionably the finest we've encountered from that tiny supply. The card itself is assessed at a VG 3 level by the experts at PSA, with the image area remaining that of a far superior grade. Accompanying the slabbed relic is a full grading letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA for the blue sharpie autograph, rating Mint 9 on their exacting scale. Encapsulated by PSA, VG 3 (card). Full grading LOA from PSA/DNA, Mint 9 (autograph).
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas