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    Description

    1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 PSA NM-MT+ 8.5. To adoring Yankees fans, he is legend. Just as Babe Ruth had personified the decadence of the Roaring Twenties, Mickey Mantle was a man of his age, emblematic of the American optimism that gave the world Elvis Presley and brightly colored automobiles with tail fins fit for a blue whale. We had won the war, rescued western civilization from genocidal totalitarianism, and we felt as if there was no stopping us. America was going big.

    Topps Chewing Gum dived into the trading card waters just a few years prior, Sy Berger--widely considered "the father of the modern baseball card"--set about constructing something both unprecedented and unequivocal. His 1952 creation was larger than any single-year issue to date, an audaciously bold debut. Rarely is any venture so intrepid immune to a stumble or two, and this brings us to the offered lot. Mantle's #311 representation launched the "high-number series" of the 1952 Topps issue, a portion of the set that fell victim to unrealistic deadlines and thus failed to meet its expected distribution quotas. Only small quantities made it to counter displays at the local five and dime, the balance ultimately towed several miles off the New Jersey shore and dumped to clear space on the warehouse floor for newer models. Today, the distance between supply and demand is nearly as vast as the Ocean that serves as the final resting place for most of the original population of this iconic trading card.

    Graded PSA NM-MT+ 8.5. The extra half-point earned by this spectacular specimen reduces the field of equivalent or superior examples by nearly three quarters. Forty-nine examples of this card have been graded PSA NM-MT 8 or better. This NM-MT+ 8.5 is one of only fourteen to soar as high--five at this grade, six Mint 9's, and three Gem Mint 10's. In a full PSA population of approaching 1,600 submissions, the rating places this card within the top one percent.

    Remarkably, this nearly pristine relic was delivered raw to the Heritage booth at the National Sports Collectors Convention in early August of 2016 and graded by PSA on-site. The card derives from the famous "Rosen Find" of pristine 1952 Topps cards that turned the hobby upside down in the mid-1980's. Since then, it has lived a lonely, uneventful life, aging as little in its post-Rosen days as it did in its pre-find existence. Beyond the stunning lack of wear, the card boasts the boldest hues we've encountered from the entirety of the 1952 Topps breed, an attribute that must be seen in person to be truly appreciated. Centering is well within desirable parameters, and surfaces are as clean as an operating table. The margin of difference between this example and the multi-million dollar trio at the top of the population pyramid is nearly too small to perceive.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2019
    5th-7th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 23
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,521

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    The hammer price for my Mantle card significantly exceeded my admittedly conservative estimations, and I couldn't be more pleased.
    George T.,
    Pinetop, AZ
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