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 the fact that 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 summer clouds in the distance. Despite being underrated, the card has begun an explosive period of popularity growth, reaching into the five figures even in the lower grades, with two PSA EX-MT 6 examples touching six figures at auction in 2021. This example is quite clean and sharp, with rich, vivid color and outstanding print registration, centered to the top left of the canvas, reducing the technical grade but not the tremendous visual appeal of the card. A clean, sharp example of a card that is often found with registration issues.