Legendary 1952 Mickey Mantle Card Graded by CSG Expected to Realize Six Figures in Heritage Sale

Posted on 4/5/2023

For many sports card collectors, the 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle card is the holy grail of the hobby.

An example of one of the most iconic sports cards of all time, which is authenticated and graded by Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®), is available in an upcoming Heritage Auctions sale. The 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle is a highlight of Heritage's Sports Showcase Auction #70002, which will be held April 22, 2023.

The 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Type 2 graded CSG 4.5 is a clean example of arguably the most sought-after baseball card in the hobby. It is also one of the most expensive cards to acquire, as all authentic examples are treasured by collectors. The auction house estimates that this one is worth at least $100,000.

1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Type 2 graded CSG 4.5
Click images to enlarge.

Today, the 1952 Topps Baseball set is one of the most popular sports card sets ever produced. The 407-card series raised the bar for size, quality and quantity, which paved the way for modern sports cards. However, the 1952 set, released in six separate series, was underappreciated in the marketplace at the time. Therefore, high-numbered cards such as the #311 Mickey Mantle became an afterthought when they were released. Further, New York City-based Topps reportedly dumped tons of unsold cases in a nearby waterway, leading to the card's scarcity.

Today, only around 2,000 of the #311 cards are known to exist, with fewer than 20 graded 8 or above. A #311 Mantle card graded CSG 8 realized over $1.2 million at auction in December 2022.

The set is also known for its pleasing aesthetic, due to the cards' unique images and bright colors, with none more famous than the image of Mantle on a teal background, Yankees cap on and a bat over his shoulder. Along with colorized photos of the players, the set featured full team logos and a facsimile signature pulled from each player's contract with the card company.

For a small-town kid out of Oklahoma, Mantle didn't take long to adjust to “The Big Apple” after joining the New York Yankees in 1951. In only his second MLB season in 1952, the athletic center fielder earned his first All-Star selection and helped the Yankees win another World Series. In 1969, Mantle retired as the greatest switch-hitter to ever play the game. He won the Triple Crown in 1956, won American League MVP three times and won the World Series seven times during his legendary MLB career.

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