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    1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 SGC 86 NM+ 7.5 - From "The Find." It has been twenty-eight years since a Saturday afternoon telephone call to hobby icon Al "Mr. Mint" Rosen forever altered the course of post-war baseball card collecting. Rosen's famous advertisements had come to the attention of a Boston-area lumber company forklift operator who was interested in selling a collection of 1952 Topps baseball cards. The cards, the man reported, were in like-new condition, a tale that Rosen had heard many times before and accepted with no small degree of skepticism. A later conversation revealed that the cards derived from the high series, a late-season production that managed only very limited distribution before the 1952 World Series came and went, knocking baseball cards from drugstore shelves for the long winter. The 1952 Topps set had been the largest of its day but this excess turned against Topps who realized late in 1952 that the "high number" series would never reach their channels of distribution in time for the close of the baseball season. Limited quantities were trucked to stores in the northeastern United States and in Canada, but the final solution for a warehouse filled with unsellable cards is said to have been a boat trip several miles out into the Atlantic Ocean, and ignominious burial at sea. Thirty-four years later, we are sure Rosen felt his pulse quicken at the thought that some might have been spared. "How many Mantles?" he asked the man on the other end of the telephone line. "About thirty."

    Most of the all-important Mantle rookies have found homes in permanent collections, a trend which is fortuitously bucked here, a nearly unimprovable example of the post-war hobby's most recognizable and important entry. The image 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 86 NM+ 7.5 specimen is outshone by just seven representations among the 350 examples validated by SGC at the time of this writing but we feel that 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 settled just below and to the right of the purest equilibrium. From any reasonable viewing distance, one is unlikely to spot any deviation from perfection, as color, gloss and registration are rendered with unimpeachable results. A glowing example where we can't imagine anyone being anything short of elated to add this card to their collection.

    More information about Mickey Mantle.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2014
    6th-8th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,485

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