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    The nineteen-year-old Commerce Comet approves his rookie card!

    1951 Mickey Mantle Signed Bowman Trading Card Contracts Lot of 2. Argue all you'd like that the 1952 Topps card is Mickey's true rookie--our calendar tells us that the '51 Bowman was actually the first. We'll also take issue with anybody who claims the Topps rookie is a prettier card, as we're of the opinion that Bowman's designs of the early 1950's represent one of the high water marks in cardboard aesthetics. It surely shows on the brightly colored image of the nineteen-year old legend in the making, who stands at batting attention before a cloud-dappled sky in that iconic graphic.

    Now firmly imprinted on our collective collecting consciousness, that first cardboard appearance of the post-war era's most celebrated superstar was sent into production by the documents contained within this extraordinary Platinum Night lot. Heritage recently auctioned a high-grade example of the card for three-quarters of a million dollars, but the earlier of the two documents, dated "4/13/51," designates a cash payment of just ten dollars for Mantle's acceptance of the terms, and ninety more to follow for an annual payment of a paltry $100.

    A second document, dating to four days later and thus the same April 17, 1951 as Mantle's Opening Day debut, delves deeper into the terms, with text on front and pack of the single sheet. All three printed sides of the two documents bear Mantle's ultra-rare rookie format signature, the earlier one including his handwritten "Commerce, Okla" notation. That's three Mantle rookie signatures, each rating 9/10 or better.

    Heritage famously auctioned the Mick's first baseball contract, for the 1949 Baxter Spring (KS) Whiz Kids, two years ago for $102,000, and we suspect that there are many collectors out there, particularly in the trading card camp, who would consider these documents to be of greater significance due to the enduring legacy of the rookie card they spawned. We note that we also present Mantle's 1955 Bowman contract in our Final Session of this event. Full LOA from PSA/DNA for each.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2020
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 56
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,223

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