70 years after the final series in Topps’ inaugural baseball card set flopped miserably, six cards of the icon that came out of it are coming to the auction block at one time through Heritage Auctions.
The company’s first Trading Card Auction of 2023 will include six 1952 Mickey Mantle cards in varying conditions, headlined by an SGC 8 and an autographed copy, authenticated and slabbed by PSA.
The NM/MT unsigned copy carries a pre-sale estimate of $800,000 and up. Earlier this year, Heritage sold an SGC 9.5 copy that set a sports memorabilia record at $12.6 million. In November, they sold a PSA 8 copy for over $1.4 million. Like that card, the SGC 8 also originated in the famous 1980s find of 1952 Topps by dealer Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen, according to Heritage. The card has sharp corners but has a diamond cut.
“To see a ’52 Mantle in this condition remains an absolute thrill,” says Director of Sports Auctions Chris Ivy. “And the story behind this card only adds to its luster. This isn’t just a beautiful card – it’s a legend of its own, a rare, stunning survivor that passed through the hands of the man who spread the gospel of card-collecting long before the hobby became an industry.
The autographed card carries a 2 grade from PSA but a 10 for Mantle’s blue ink signature. It’s one of perhaps fewer than a dozen known to exist.
The auction also includes four other ungraded cards: a PSA 6 that’s expected to bring $200,000 or more, an SGC 4, SGC 2 and PSA 2.5.
There are also six copies of Mantle’s 1951 Bowman rookie card including two graded PSA 6 that are expected to bring at least $50,000 and an autographed copy of his 1953 Topps card.
In all, there are more than 70 Mantles in the catalog that’s scheduled to open for bidding on Jan. 5.
The auction also includes five copies of the 1951 Bowman Willie Mays, led by a PSA 8 copy that carries a pre-sale estimate of $200,000 and up and an autographed 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson.
The auction will include over 1,800 items and will be among the first major sports card auctions of the new year.