Summer, 2019 Premier Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/25/2019

Simply stunning example of the true rookie card of Yankees Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle.  In very few areas of the hobby can one call a five-figure card "underrated," but in the case of the 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle, the description is appropriate.  Despite its status as the "true" rookie card of postwar baseball's most revered and popular player, the 1951 Bowman Mantle has long been overshadowed by the legend of the 1952 Topps card, which many even refer to as his rookie card.

Still, nothing can change facts: the 1951 Bowman #253 Mantle is his rookie card, and it is a beautiful, desirable card, depicting the Yankee outfielder from the waist up, in his batting stance, blue sky and puffy clouds in the distance.  Despite being historically underrated, as prices realized for the 1952 Mantle have escalated into the stratosphere, the 1951 Bowman issue has picked up considerable steam, and is likely the second-most valuable postwar baseball card in the hobby.  Indeed, recent sales of EX examples have now eclipsed the $20,000 mark, and examples graded 6.5 have sold for as high as $42,000 within the last year, eclipsing $30,000 on a routine basis.

Presented here is the most stunning example we have handled, a razor-sharp specimen that has attained the grade of NM-MT 8 (OC) from PSA.  While we seldom use hobby colloquialisms like "blazer," this card is indeed that, with incredibly sharp corners, gleaming white borders and rich, deep color, boasting none of the printing flaws so frequently encountered with this issue.  Indeed, the card's sole perceptible flaw is the left-to-right centering responsible for the qualifier, though the left-to-right centering is rendered far less distracting due to its outstanding top-to-bottom orientation.

At public auctions, NM-MT examples of this card eclipsed the $100,000 mark in early 2016 and have not turned back; 13 consecutive sales at that grade level attained no less than $132,000.  The card has not been offered in that grade for nearly two years.  In terms of overall population, just 28 examples have graded a qualified NM-MT 8, with 53 unqualified and just ten higher (only one has reached the lofty goal of GEM MINT 10).  

Please note that this card is being offered with a modest reserve, well below typical sales for this card in EX-MT or better condition.  We will publish the exact dollar figure of the reserve within approximately 7 days of the auction close, provided that the reserve has not been met prior to that date.  Consistent with our "active reserve" policy, the bid price will then be brought within one bid increment of the reserve.

While the card was graded some time ago and has been in the collection of our consignor for many years, recent hobby events motivated us to send the card to PSA for a thorough review.  After the grade was verified, per our request, the card was re-encapsulated in PSA's newest holder.  The card is absolutely spectacular, with many attributes far exceeding those of unqualified NM-MT examples.

NOTE: Please note that the reserve on this card has been set at a modest $13,000.  Per our Active Reserve policy, the bidding is now being brought to within one increment of the reserve, and the next bid will meet the reserve.

Spectacular 1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle (HOF RC) - PSA NM-MT 8 (OC)Spectacular 1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle (HOF RC) - PSA NM-MT 8 (OC)
Spectacular 1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle (HOF RC) - PSA NM-MT 8 (OC)
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Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $4,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $17,220
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Sunday, August 25, 2019.
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