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    Description

    1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 SGC 40 VG 3. In the simplest terms, Mickey Mantle was a man of his age. Just as Babe Ruth had personified the decadence of the Roaring Twenties, Mantle was 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.

    The ownership at Topps Chewing Gum felt it--the name itself was an expression of that infectious confidence. Though the company had dipped its toe into the trading card waters with its Hopalong Cassidy issue of 1950, Sy Berger--widely considered "the father of the modern baseball card"--set about constructing something both unprecedented and unequivocal the next fall. In both the number of entries and the dimensions of each individual card, his 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. The upper-pantheon significance of the man himself is only half the story, the other half inhabiting a much lower altitude, the briny deep. 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.

    Here's a rare survivor, a card widely considered the most significant of the post-war era. We find it in condition quite typical of septuagenarian cardboard commemoratives, a bit rough around the edges but lacking any significant visual distractions. Now that Mint 9 specimens have soared high into seven-figure status, and the scant few Gem Mint 10 cards virtually assured an eight-figure price tag should one trade hands, these more modestly graded examples are having their own moment on the hobby's big stage.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2021
    15th Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 31
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,512

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