CSG Certifies Pair of Mickey Mantle Rookie Cards

Posted on 4/29/2022

Seventy-one years ago, Mantle would hit the very first of his 536 career home runs.

The 1951 season was off to a decent start for the New York Yankees when they went up against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park on May 1. The White Sox jumped out to an early lead after the games first inning, but the Yankees stormed back tying the game in the second inning.

When Mickey Mantle, a 19-year-old leadoff hitter and right fielder from Commerce, Oklahoma, stepped up to the plate in the sixth inning, he connected on a changeup from Randy Gumpert, who thought that he could fool the rookie. The very first of Mickey Mantle’s 536 career home runs happened before a crowd of only 14,776 spectators.

Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) recently graded two examples of the 1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle rookie card. One was graded a CSG 5 and the other received a CSG 2.5. The card features Mantle in a horizontal orientation preparing to swing the bat in front of cloud-filled blue sky. The back of the card features a short stats section on Mantle followed by a blurb about his spring training and minor league career.

Click images to enlarge.

Mantle started the 1951 season in New York but was sent back down to the Kansas City Blues after experiencing a hitting slump. He returned to the Yankees later in the season and netted 13 home runs and 65 RBIs for the Yankees in 96 games. While 1952 marked Mantle’s first complete season in the pros, the 1951 Bowman card is Mantle’s true rookie card.

Widely considered one of the greatest to ever play the game of baseball, Mickey Mantle played 18 seasons with the New York Yankees. While there, he won a Gold Glove award, was three-time MVP and won seven World Series Championships. In 1956, Mantle won the Triple Crown after leading the league in batting average, home runs and RBIs. CSG is honored to grade his cards each time they pass through the grading room.

Learn more about the most expensive sports cards ever sold, including a Mickey Mantle that sold for more than $5 millon!

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