Heartland March 2020 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/9/2020

"Mickey Mantle. It just sounds like a baseball players name, doesn’t it? MICKEY MANTLE! Man, baseball names just don’t get much better than that.” -Joe Garagiola

The legend that is Mickey Mantle begins with this card, his inaugural offering courtesy of Bowman in 1951. Mantle’s reputation preceded his arrival in The Bronx, placing an unfair burden upon the youngster from Oklahoma. Surrounded by the world’s greatest media circus, a country boy walked into baseball’s greatest shrine with the weight of sports most celebrated franchise on his shoulders and the shadow of Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio casting down upon him. Mantle did not disappoint, despite a stumble or two at the beginning. Instead, he inspired a post-war generation and stood as the idol of millions atop a championship juggernaut that saw October baseball as a birthright rather than a rare and special privilege. Bowman Versus Topps.

The Great Mantle Rookie Debate

In reality, there’s no real debate. Bowman’s Mantle rookie appeared on store shelves before Topps inaugural offering. The problem for collectors is two-fold. Despite Bowman’s presence in the hobby, for many collectors, the modern era of sports cards begins in 1952, with Topps first full-scale entry into the market. Collectors now had a choice and competition would define the market. Granted, the 1952 Topps Mantle rookie outshines the 1951 Bowman Mantle – the 1952 Topps Mantle is consistently ranked as one of the most handsome and desirable cards ever produced. But make no mistake, the 1951 Bowman Mantle is far from an ugly step-sister. It presents the young Yankee slugger in a heroic horizontal design that captures the moment of Mantle’s debut in a fashion that’s both fashionable and timeless. While Bowman cards have a tendency to be a bit more dull than their Topps counterparts, this particular Mantle rookie eclipses the normal drab Bowman finish, exhibiting glowing colors, arctic whites and pinpoint registration. There’s a genuine luster and glow to this Mantle that’s simply not common in the Bowman world. We’ve seen this caliber of finish once or twice on Mantle rookies over the years, but it’s truly the exception and not the rule. A Cornerstone Card For Any Collection For the upper tier intermediate and advanced collector, or the memorabilia investor, Mantle rookies are essential holdings. At the level of a NM 7, this Mantle will certainly accrue in value and desirability as time continues its steady march forward. Mantle was baseball’s most iconic figure of the Baby Boom Generation. His bigger than life presence and uncanny ability to deliver big hits and towering home runs in clutch moments will forever place his cards near the top of the hobby and cement his legend in baseball folklore.

1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle Rookie #253 PSA 7 NM
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Minimum Bid: $15,000.00
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Auction closed on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
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