For years, the 1953 Topps card number 82, Mickey Mantle’s second year Topps issue, has undeservingly played ugly step-sister to the much heralded, highly-desired 1952 Topps Mantle rookie card.
The ’53 Mantle’s unique subject portrayal, featuring an extreme close-up illustration, use of light to create highlights, and uncommon over-the-shoulder pose, gives the card visual interest and impact rarely found in issues of the time. The 1953 Mantle card’s graphic design, utilizing a reversed color panel on the card’s lower left border, shows every chip, nick and sign of handling possible, making examples such as this NM 7 incredibly desirable.
Only 2.6% of the ’53 Topps Mantles graded by PSA exceed the grade of NM 7 without qualifiers. The grade of NM is the clear defining point within PSA’s population count. A mere 3.9% of the total graded ’53 Topps Mantles are listed at PSA 7, compared to a substantial 13% at PSA 6 EX-MT.
For advanced collections, the ’53 Topps Mantle second year card is considered a necessity. For intermediate collectors, the ’53 Mantle at high grade can easily serve as a cornerstone piece.
For those considering this card for an investment portfolio, given the population counts, this card provides substantial opportunity for growth without the capital required for cards graded at NM-MT 8 and above.