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    Description

    The Mick leaves his mark...

    1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Signed #311 PSA Poor 1, Auto 8. If a mathematician were to undertake the task of calculating the probability of this card's existence in the collecting hobby today, beginning with Mickey Mantle's unsteady debut in pinstripes, we would see this relic for the lightning-strike-on-a-lottery-winner that it is. Though the Mick now stands near the pinnacle of the baseball pantheon, he might just as easily have fallen into anonymity had he not heeded his father's advice to soldier on after early failures in Joe DiMaggio's shadow.

    Mantle's early departure from the Majors alone might have deleted his number 311 card from the Topps company's late season printing run of the rare and coveted high number series, and surely would have left little interest in having one autographed by a Yankee drop-out if its production continued. But, as it stands, this most famous baseball card of the post-war era remains painfully scarce despite the elite status of its subject. Planning miscues for the fledgling Topps company delayed the release of the final 1952 baseball series until far too late in the season, the packs made available to only a small fragment of American geography, and for a very limited time. Hundreds of cases were left to languish in a warehouse until the need for storage space was solved by a burial at sea of the obsolete stock.

    This brings us to the final twist of fate. Today, there's not a living legend who hasn't autographed hundreds if not thousands of rookie cards. As a collecting subgenre, signed trading cards has never been more popular. But this hobby advancement was in its infancy when the Mick succumbed to liver failure in 1995. Only fourteen signed examples of this card appear in the PSA population.

    Oddly, that population lists only the grade of the card itself, and not that of the autograph, and this is one of three listed at a Poor 1 assessment. Six are simply "Authentic." While the significant edge and corner wear validate the grade, the image area is a beauty, far better than the technical rating. The autograph itself is applied in 8/10 blue ballpoint vertically, which proves to be the ideal position, making use of the largest area of blank space the obverse of this important relic affords. A wonderful autographed example of the hobby's post-war trading card king. Encapsulated by PSA, Poor 1 Auto 8.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2021
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 23
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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