Easily the most popular and significant postwar baseball card, the 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle has moved into uncharted territory during the current hobby boom, seemingly reaching record prices with each auction, demand consistently outpacing supply. Atop the want list of thousands of collectors, experienced and novice alike, it is often stated that the 1952 Topps Mantle and the T206 Honus Wagner are the best-recognized cards in the hobby, transcending collecting itself to the point where even non-hobbyists can identify both cards on sight. Certainly owning any '52 Mantle is a badge of collecting honor, and in recent months has, in the higher grades, moved into investment-grade territory. It was only in our most recent auction that an example graded EX+ 5.5 eclipsed $160,000, as mid grade specimens continue to skyrocket.
Presented here is one such artifact - an outstanding midgrade specimen, assessed at the level of EX 5 by PSA. Exceptional corners and coloring are the strengths of this example, some very light age-related discoloration visible in some border areas (particularly near the bottom), and also slightly visible in the blue background above Mantle's hands. Centered slightly to the northwest on the canvas, the corners are strong for the grade, the print registration and color equally strong.
The past year has obviously been one of incredible growth and explosive prices in the hobby, as new collectors and investors discover the magic that is card collecting. Of course, the most important cards receive the greatest benefit to this expansion in terms of collector interest and price appreciation. The 1952 Topps Mantle, over the years, has proven that no price is too high; as soon as one example sells for a record price, another tops it. A strong, investment-caliber example of the most important postwar baseball card in the hobby.