Nearly 58 years after he first put on a major league uniform, Mickey Mantle remains the hottest baseball card property. Which of #7's cards are undervalued?
In my view the clear number one Mickey Mantle baseball card investment opportunity lies in his 1951 Bowman rookie card. I have never really understood why a true rookie card of such an icon seems to get so little respect. Despite the fact that it is Mantle’s true rookie card, it continues to sell for much less than his 1952 Topps issue, which is mistaken thought of by many to be Mantle’s rookie card. Yes the 1952 Topps is a short print high number, but it is also a double-printed card and not really that much more difficult to obtain. The 1951 Bowman Mantle sells for less than half the price of the more glamorous 1952 Topps card. Much of this price disparity can be attributed to the power of the Topps name and marketing of baseball cards as the hobby became famous. Over time this attitude has begun to change. The true importance and value of Mantle’s true rookie is slowly emerging but the card still represents a great investment for the future.
The 1956 Topps is my second choice as an investment in a Mickey Mantle baseball card portfolio. There are several reasons for its inclusion. First, the landscape format of the 1956 Topps set with a portrait of each player and an action shot makes it one of Mantle’s most visually pleasing cards. This card also is from his Triple Crown year, a season that also saw the Yankees win the World Series. These factors give this card special meaning that add to its value and make it an undervalued card.
The 1960 Topps is a card that is often difficult to obtain in top condition. It was the last of the Mantle cards that was done in a landscape format. It has his name in large bold letters along with an excellent pose of the Commerce Comet in mid-career. Because of printing issues and the luck of the draw, this card can be difficult to obtain in high grade.
Often the value of a particular card can piggyback itself from the popularity of an entire set. The 1965 Topps set is, without a doubt, the most undervalued baseball card set Topps made. As more collectors enter the hobby and increase demand for this clean-looking set full of brilliant photographs, the value of each of the individual cards will increase. The Mantle card, as always, is one of the key cards in this set. Its value therefore can be expected to rise in relation to the rest of the market.