Description

    1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 SGC 84 NM 7. "Switch-hitting Mickey is heralded as Joe DiMaggio's successor,"begins the text on the back of the most coveted post-war trading card in the hobby, prophetic words from a young copywriter at the young Topps company, best known at the time for Bazooka bubble gum and the Hopalong Cassidy cowboy trading cards first issued in 1950. It was Sy Berger, a twenty-eight year old veteran of the Second World War, who envisioned a Topps set dedicated to Major League Baseball, designing the format with his friend Woody Gelman on the kitchen table of his Brooklyn apartment. Berger would later famously hire a garbage boat to dump leftover boxes from the 1952 set into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey to free up warehouse space, a bounty that would today be worth several million dollars. A watery grave would be the fate for most of the high-number series from which the fabled Mantle rookie derives, a victim of slow production and distribution that left this last edition of the set unable to reach most points of sale prior to the end of the baseball season. This calculated destruction, paired with the standard Eisenhower-era themes of bicycle spokes and spring-cleaning mothers, has left the balance between supply and demand for the Mick's rookie heavily tipped toward the latter.

    Once an all-important '52 Topps Mantle card has found a new home it is usually a permanent move, a trend which is fortuitously bucked here. The portrait of Mantle is close to being unimprovable. It is the post-war hobby's most recognizable image that has ingrained itself in our American iconography, with the Mick posed in a right-handed batting stance, his eyes drifting up to the grandstands beyond. Thankfully spared from death by drowning, this stunning SGC 84 NM 7 specimen is outshone by just eighteen representations among the over 370 examples validated by SGC at the time of this writing. We feel that this is true only in the strict technical sense. Searching for the faults responsible for "points lost," one sees only the subtlest of corner wear, and centering that finds Mantle's portrait close to perfection set off against a slightly diamond cut. Mild toning along the bottom is the lone condition note. This brings the border quality from a bright white to a pleasing frosty presence. From any viewing distance, one is immediately captivated by the intense color, gloss and registration that combines to unimpeachable results. A glowing example where we can't imagine anyone being anything short of elated to add this card to their collection.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    5th-7th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,901

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