1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253 PSA EX-MT 6. "That ...
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Description1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253 PSA EX-MT 6. "That kid can hit balls over tall buildings," said New York Yankee manager Casey Stengel about rookie Mickey Mantle in spring training in 1951. Offered here is the rookie card of the Hall of Famer. Someday, Terry Cashman would immortalize New York City's three great center fielders of the 1950s by singing "Willie, Mickey and the Duke", but in spring training in 1951 only Duke Snider was established, with Mantle and Mays yet to debut. Mantle, at age 19, wasn't figured to make the Yankee's roster, but Stengel got Mantle on his team for the regular season. Mantle played right field as DiMaggio was playing his final season, still in center. Mantle was sent to the minors in mid-season, then returned to the Yankees and played in the World Series, but severely injured his knee as his spikes caught on a drain as he avoided a collision with DiMaggio. Playing the rest of his career on his damaged knee, Mantle still blasted 536 homers, helped win seven Yankee World Series, won the Triple Crown and three AL MVPs. And there was that marvelous run at Ruth's record 60 homers in '61.
Although the 1952 Topps Mantle deservedly gets high acclaim, the actual Mantle rookie card belongs to Bowman in 1951. That year, Topps issued only a very small set that did not include Mantle. Bowman didn't have a Mantle card to start the '51 season, but the company added this card to its last series. Because late season issued cards never sold well (because of summer ending, and kids back in school and turning interest to football), Bowman would short print the later series. The consequence is that this Bowman #253 Mantle is scarce at high grades, yet just as prized at lower grades. Graded PSA EX-MT 6.
Guide Value or Estimate: $75,000 - up.
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