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Mickey Mantle Baseball Cards

Mickey Charles Mantle

"The Mick", "The Commerce Comet" -- (Oct 20, 1931 – August 13, 1995)

Mickey Charles MantleMickey Mantle was born on October 20, 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma and was named after Hall of Fame catcher Mickey Cochrane. Years later, Mickey joked that he was happy that his father only knew Cochrane's nickname as he might've ended up being named Gordon has his father known Cochrane's true first name.

The Mantle family moved to Commerce, Oklahoma when Mickey was four. Mickey grew up a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and was an all-around star athlete at Commerce High School. He excelled in basketball and football (he was offered a scholarship by the Oklahoma Sooners) as well as baseball.

Professional Career:

Mickey was spotted in 1948 by New York Yankees scout Tom Greenwade while playing for the semi-professional Baxter Springs Whiz Kids.  Greenwade was actually there to scout Mantle's Baxter Springs teammate Billy Johnson, but during the game, Mantle belted 3 homeruns.  Mantle, who had just finished his junior year in high school, was not eligible to be signed, but Greenwade returned the following year and in 1949, after completing his high school education, signed with the New York Yankees -- agreeing to a minor league contract that paid him $140 per month and included a $1,500.00 signing bonus.

After some early struggles in the minors, Mickey excelled in the 1950 season with Joplin Miners where he won the Western Association batting title with a .383 average.  He also swatted 26 homeruns and collected 136 RBI.  His offensive prowess could not conceal his struggles in the field as he also led the entire Western Association in errors while playing shortstop.

Casey Stengel and the Yankees invited Mickey to instructional camp before the 1951 season.  After a very impressive spring training, Stengel opted to promote Mantle to the majors and played him in right field.  In anticipation of being the next in a line of Yankees stars, Stengel assigned Mantle uniform #6 to follow Ruth (#3), Gehrig (#4) and DiMaggio (#5).  However, after a slow start, he was demoted to Kansas City.  He eventually regained his confidence stroke and returned to the majors, but this time, he was assigned a new uniform number.  It was the number that would become synonymous with the Mick.  He wore the #7.

In 1952, DiMaggio retired and Mantle was moved to center field where he was selected to the All-Star team for the first time.  In the World Series that year, Mantle was the hitting star, knocking in the winning runs of a 4-2 World Series clinching Game 7 victory.

Mantle would go on to star in the World Series, establishing a still unsurpassed record of 18 World Series homers while leading the Yankees to 7 World Series titles.

Mickey reported to spring training in 1969, but realized that he would be unable to play and announced his retirement on March 1, 1969.  His career was recognized by the Yankees on "Mickey Mantle Day" at Yankee Stadium on June 8, 1969.

Baseball Cards:

1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle1952 Topps #311 Mickey MantleOne of the great things about baseball is that it leads to a lot of discussion and debate. Who was the best hitter? Who was the best pitcher? Debate and comparison have remained a constant.

One debate that still comes about is which card is Mickey's rookie card? We can all agree that his 1951 #253 Bowman is his first card, but there is debate about whether his 1952 #311 Topps card should also be considered his rookie card. They are both great cards and whether someone wants to call the 1952 Topps card a rookie or not, does it really matter? It is his first Topps card, so one could say that it is actually his rookie Topps card?

In recent years, the 1951 #253 Bowman card has picked up steam with collectors, but it still trails the 1952 #311 Topps card in both value and prestige. To help demonstrate this fact, in the same April 2018 auction, a PSA 9 MINT 1951 #253 Bowman Mantle for $750,000.00 while a PSA 9 MINT 1952 Topps #311 sold for an astounding $2,880,000.00!

Not all Mantle cards sell for the price of a mansion, but many are not cheap, either. Some of Mickey's most popular cards can be had for less than an average car payment as long as you're not looking at top condition. Although Mantle's cards remain pretty pricey through 1957, they start to become a bit more affordable as his career progressed.

A few of Mickey's most popular and most attractive cards are:

  • 1956 Topps #135 (horizontal card from his Triple Crown season)
  • 1958 Topps #150 (portrait)
  • 1959 Topps #10 (with facsimile signature)
  • 1960 Topps #350 (horizontal with two images of Mickey)
  • 1963 Topps #200 (classic portrait with Stadium façade and second image)
  • 1969 Topps #500 (last regular issue and features Mantle's final career stats)

More Mantle Cards:

Mickey appeared on Topps cards during his playing career from 1952 through 1969 (Topps did not issue cards of Mantle in 1954 and 1955 due to contractual issues) and appeared on Bowman cards from 1951 through 1955, when Bowman ceased production and sold out to Topps). During his playing career, Mantle appeared on almost 100 different Topps cards. He had a base card for each season (except 1954 and 1955) and also appeared on numerous League Leader, Multiple Player, All-Star, Highlight and World Series cards.

While his base cards tend to sell for hundreds of dollars, many of his secondary cards can be had for a very reasonable price. Some of our favorites of these lesser value Mantle cards are:

  • 1957 Topps #407 Yankee's Power Hitters (with Yogi Berra) -- Worth about $150 in PSA 5
  • 1958 Topps #418 World Series Batting Foes (with Hank Aaron) -- Worth about $125 in PSA 5
  • 1959 Topps #461 Baseball Thrills: Mantle Hits 42nd Homer for Crown – Worth about $40 in PSA 5
  • 1960 Topps #160 Rival All-Stars: Mantle & Boyer – Worth about $40 in PSA 5
  • 1961 Topps #406 Mantle Blasts 565 Ft. Home Run – Worth about $30 in PSA 5
  • 1962 Topps #18 Manager's Dream (with Willie Mays) – Worth about $50 in PSA 5
  • 1962 Topps #53 A.L. Home Run Leaders (with Roger Maris "61" HRs) – Worth about $35 in PSA 5

Autographs:

Mantle autographs are one of the most commonly forged signatures in the hobby. Respected third-party authenticated examples of Mickey's signature on posters and baseballs can sell for hundreds of dollars and certified signed cards can sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

Mickey's signature changed drastically from his early days and many people that are familiar with his signatures from the 1960's until his passing may not recognize his autograph from before 1960.

Following are examples of Mickey's rookie era signature on the left, Triple Crown era signature in the center and post retirement era signature on the right (the one that most are familiar with):

Rookie Era Signature   Triple Crown Era   Post Retirement

Power Hitting Marvel:

On April 17, 1953, while facing lefty Chuck Stobbs at Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC, Mantle, batting right-handed, slugged a homer that was measured by Yankees traveling secretary Red Patterson to have traveled 565 feet. Even subtracting for bounces and rolling, there is little question that the ball initially landed over 500 feet from home plate.


Late in the 1960 season, on September 10th, Mickey was batting left-handed and hit a ball that cleared the right field roof at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. Baseball historian Mark Gallagher, based upon where the ball was found, estimated that the ball traveled a total distance of 643 feet.


In Yankee Stadium on May 22, 1963, batting left-handed against Kansas City's Bill Fischer, Mantle hit a ball that many claimed was still rising when it smashed into the 110-foot high façade in right field and then caromed back onto the playing field. Estimates suggested that the ball would have traveled over 500 feet had it not been blocked by the façade during the ascent.

1963 Mickey Mantle Yankee Stadium Homerun


Another prodigious homerun occurred on August 12, 1964, when Mickey hit a ball that was undisputable. The homerun was a deep drive to center field drive that cleared the wall, the 22-foot batter's eye and landed about 75 feet beyond the 461-foot marker at the Stadium – a shot that many estimate exceeded 525 feet in the air.


There were at least three other times that Mantle hit balls off the upper-most right field facade at Yankee Stadium. To date, no player has hit a fair baseball out of the Yankee Stadium during a game.

Accomplishments:

Mickey played 18 seasons in the Major Leagues. A few of his career highlights:

  • 536 career homeruns
  • 3 Most Valuable Player Awards (back-to-back in 1956 and 1957, and 1962)
  • Triple Crown Winner (1956)
  • 7 World Series Championships
  • Most World Series Homeruns (18)
  • All-Star 16 Seasons (played in 20 All-Star Games)
  • Inducted in Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974
  • Member of MLB All 20th Century Team

Regional Issues:

Most collectors are well aware of the standard issues of Mickey Mantle manufactured by Topps and Bowman, but there are many regional and promotional issues that are quite elusive and highly sought after that feature Mickey during his playing days. Whether it was the inclusion in a local magazine, a card promoting pet food, potato chips or even soft drinks, if an advertiser could get him, they wanted Mickey to be part of their campaign.

Some highly sought after Mickey Mantle regional issues:

  • 1950 Dairylea Decal
  • 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos
  • 1952 Tip Top Bread
  • 1953 Briggs Meats
  • 1954 Dan-Dee Potato Chips
  • 1954 Red Heart Dog Food
  • 1954 Stahl-Meyer Franks
  • 1954 N.Y. Journal-American
  • 1956 Mac Boy Decal
  • 1958 Mission Orange Soda
  • 1958 Yoo-Hoo Matchbook Cover
  • 1959 Home Run Derby
  • 1959 Oklahoma Today Major Leaguers
  • 1959 Yoo-Hoo
  • 1961 Topps Dice Game (Insanely rare! A PSA 1 recently sold for over $100,000!)
  • Bazooka Panels (1959-1967)
  • Post Cereal Panels (1961-1963)

Just Collect is ALWAYS Buying:

If you have questions about selling or valuing your Mickey Mantle cards, your Mickey Mantle collectibles or any other sports cards or memorabilia, please contact us weekdays 10AM to 6PM at (732) 828 2261 or email us at info@justcollect.com.

Also, check out our free appraisal service. We'll tell you what your cards are worth, and what we'll pay for them.

Career Statistics:

Year

G

PA

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BA

1951

96

386

341

61

91

11

5

13

65

8

.267

1952

142

626

549

94

171

37

7

23

87

4

.311

1953

127

540

461

105

136

24

3

21

92

8

.295

1954

146

649

543

129

163

17

12

27

102

5

.300

1955

147

638

517

121

158

25

11

37

99

8

.306

1956

150

652

533

132

188

22

5

52

130

10

.353

1957

144

623

474

121

173

28

6

34

94

16

.365

1958

150

654

519

127

158

21

1

42

97

18

.304

1959

144

640

541

104

154

23

4

31

75

21

.285

1960

153

643

527

119

145

17

6

40

94

14

.275

1961

153

646

514

131

163

16

6

54

128

12

.317

1962

123

502

377

96

121

15

1

30

89

9

.321

1963

65

213

172

40

54

8

0

15

35

2

.314

1964

143

567

465

92

141

25

2

35

111

6

.303

1965

122

435

361

44

92

12

1

19

46

4

.255

1966

108

393

333

40

96

12

1

23

56

1

.288

1967

144

553

440

63

108

17

0

22

55

1

.245

1968

144

547

435

57

103

14

1

18

54

6

.237

Career

2401

9907

8102

1676

2415

344

72

536

1509

153

.298

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