He played his last game nearly 42 years ago but Mickey Mantle baseball cards are still as popular as ever.
Over time, they’ve appreciated more than many other more traditional investments as the law of supply and demand forced prices higher.
Mantle first showed up in the 1951 Bowman issue as a baby-faced rookie. Topps debuted the following year but waited until the final series to put him in their set. Both late-season issues aren’t easy to find.
The waiting list is far longer than the list of dealers who have them for sale. Most collectors aren’t selling.
“Over time, Mantle has proven himself to be a blue chip investment, appreciating in value in every grade and condition,” he said. “He remains one of the most popular players and cards ever. “
The company has a high-grade ’51 Bowman (SGC 88) and an EX (SGC 60) ’52 Topps up for grabs after obtaining a consignment recently. Each carries a price tag of $24,999, with a ‘best offer’ option attached.
Mantle rookie cards are often sold in catalog auctions. Just Collect, which sells strictly via eBay, tries to find a price point that works for both consignor and collector.
“Pricing them is similar to pricing any card, where you evaluate the card, its grade, presentation, and provenance,” Greenwald explained. “For any card, there is a premium for examples that are ‘high-end’ for the grade. In this case, we noted that the 1952 rookie is well centered, exhibits sharp corners that appear EX-MT, and has great color and registration. The 1951 example exhibits great color and corners sharper than one would expect in a NM/MT card.”
Some are still set collectors, buying the Mantle to fill the biggest gap in the pricey sets. But they’re in the minority when it comes to the Mantle card buyers in the market.
“Most people buying Mantle rookies are buying them for Mantle,” said Greenwald. “He was an iconic player and the ’52 rookie is considered the post-war holy grail.”
You can see the Mantle cards here.
Just Collect sold eight 1961 Post Cereal box back panels in last week’s auctions and they proved very popular. Carefully cut as sheets rather than into individual cards, collectors and those with an eye on cutting them up for grading, chased after them. Bids totalled $2055.67, an average of nearly $257 per panel.
The consignor’s estate was impressed enough to turn over the rest of an amazing hoard. 69 more panels have been added this week, sold in four different lots. Take a look here.