1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253 PSA NM 7. There has...
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Description1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253 PSA NM 7. There has always been a friendly sibling rivalry between the Bowman and Topps issues of the early 1950's, and nowhere is that dynamic more apparent than in the persona of the man whose entry serves as the key card for each. Those who favor the 1952 Topps #311 card typically argue that the concurrence of debuts for both the man and the brand that would assert dominance for many years to come over their respective fields of endeavor supplies that model with the upper hand. The Bowman defenders are likely to insist that the 1952 Topps lacks the true rookie bona fides that the 1951 vintage provides, no small distinction.
In the end, the argument is rendered moot by the impossibility of a decisive truth, in much the same way that preference for blondes or brunettes will put some in the Marilyn Monroe camp, and others in Sofia Loren's. We can only be certain in agreement of their elite beauty.
Both the Topps and Bowman issue offer that quality in strong supply, each image of the young phenom finding him gripping the tool of his immortality, in a left-handed stance for Topps, and switched to the right for the offered breed. The pair's long service as the poster children for post-war trading card collecting has made each as familiar as an old friend, their imagery indelibly stamped upon the public consciousness. This Bowman format sets the emerging legend against an idyllic, cloud-dappled background, evoking memories of the T3 Turkey Red issue that likewise holds favor as one of the hobby's true masterpieces of the pre-war era.
This representation should satisfy even the most discerning of collectors, firmly planted in the top eight percent of all submissions to the hobby's leading grading service. It earns each and every one of its seven points for bold color, crisp registration, clean surfaces and a virtual absence of handling wear. A marvelous example of one of the most important post-war entries in The Standard Catalog.
Guide Value or Estimate: $100,000 - up.
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