CSG-certified Mickey Mantle Card Surpasses $1 Million at Auction

Posted on 12/12/2022

The high-grade card from the 1952 Topps set became the first card graded by CSG to realize over $1 million, a milestone achieved within two years of CSG’s launch.

Two examples of the iconic 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle card that were recently authenticated and graded by Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) have sold for lofty prices, including one that is the first CSG-graded card to realize over $1 million. The cards were at center stage in SCP Auctions' 2022 Fall Premier Auction, which was presented on December 10, 2022, by the California-based leader in sports collectibles.

1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Type 1 card graded CSG 8. Realized: $1,253,185
Click images to enlarge.

The top lot in the auction was the #311 Mantle card graded CSG 8, which realized $1,253,185. Fewer than 20 are graded higher out of about 2,000 in the world (including one that sold for $12.6 million in August 2022, setting a record for most expensive sports card sold at auction). It is a Type 1 example, which has minor variations in its design, such as the direction of the seams on the baseball on the back of the card.

The auction also included a Type 2 example of the #311 Mantle card, which is graded CSG 4.5 and realized $100,266. As the sports card hobby embraces CSG's certification services, CSG is increasingly seeing submissions of high-value cards like these.

1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Type 2 card graded CSG 4.5. Realized: $100,266
Click images to enlarge.

"It was an honor to authenticate and grade two of the most valuable cards in the hobby," said CSG Vice President Andy Broome. "CSG recently passed the milestone of 1 million cards graded. We are thrilled that, less than two years after launching CSG, we have also passed the $1 million milestone."

"We were thrilled to handle this stunning CSG NM-MT 8 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle example and be a part of the first seven-figure sale of a CSG-graded card," said Austin Widger, Marketing and Public Relations Manager with SCP Auctions. "The result shows that the market remains strong for any premium high-grade, vintage card with excellent eye appeal like this one."

The Mantle card stands at the pinnacle of the sports collecting world. In 1952, Mantle's All-Star career had just begun, and the world of sports cards was being revolutionized by a newcomer known as Topps Chewing Gum, Inc. Topps' ambitious 1952 set paved the way for modern sports cards. Unfortunately, it did not sell well, resulting in an inglorious fate for high-numbered cards like the #311 Mickey Mantle. Legend has it that New York City-based Topps loaded unsold cases of these cards onto a barge and sent them to a watery grave.

CSG is part of the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®), whose affiliates have certified nearly 75 million collectibles, dozens of which have sold for more than $1 million. These include one of the world's most valuable coins, a Brasher Doubloon certified by Numismatic Guaranty Company™ (NGC®) that realized $9.36 million in January 2021; and a Superman #1 comic book graded by Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®) that realized $5.3 million in January 2022.

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