Sports Collectors Daily

Minty Mickey Mantle Rookie Headlines New Mile High Auction

Some of the hobby’s most recognizable sports cards, including what could well be the best PSA 8 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie in existence, go on the auction block Monday as Mile High Card Company opens its 2017 Spring Auction.

The 700-lot event offers a parade of valuable and rare cards and memorabilia, some of which haven’t been on the market in a long time.

In addition to the Mantle rookie–and another mid-grade example of the same card– the auction will also include a BVG 8 1952 Topps Mantle, a second’52 Mantle rated SGC 60 (EX) and two other key rookie cards from the ’51 Bowman set:  PSA 8 rookie cards of Willie Mays and Whitey Ford.

Collectors will also find a near mint copy of the ultra-scarce 1948-49 Leaf Satchel Paige, a 1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal 350/30 Ty Cobb Bat Off Shoulder PSA 8, a 1909 T204 Ramly Walter Johnson SGC 82 EX/MT+ 6.5, 1933 Goudey #144 Babe Ruth PSA 8, a 1925-31 Walter Johnson Louisville Slugger game bat (GU 8) and a Babe Ruth single-signed baseball.

“There are about 15 items that could have been the auction headliner at any other time, including a few pieces that are unquestionably museum quality” said MHCC President Brian Drent.

The 1951 Bowman Mantle was recently graded and Drent strongly disagrees with the assigned NM/MT rating, stating it “compares aesthetically with any mint example in existence.”  The company’s catalog description expresses a belief that the card “should have been assessed at minimum a half grade or more in advance of its offered state.”  The lot title labels it “the finest 8 in the hobby.”  Bidding will open Monday at $35,000.

The auction also includes a 1935 Zeenut Joe DiMaggio (throwing version) complete with coupon graded PSA 2 MK, a 1939 Play Ball #92 Ted Williams PSA 8, a 1956 Topps Mantle (gray back) PSA 9, a 1960 Topps #350 Mantle PSA 9, 1968 Topps Johnny Bench Rookie PSA 10, 1986 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan PSA 10 and a 1979 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky PSA 9.

Other notable cards include

The Walter Johnson bat heads up a section that also includes a Rogers Hornsby game bat rated PSA/DNA GU 8, a Babe Ruth single signed baseball, a rare 1900 Paris Summer Olympic Games gold medal for automobile racing made of 22K solid gold, and a rare 1901 Hans Wagner cigar box.

Hockey card collectors will also see quite a run of uncut sheets from the 1960s-1980s, including a 1964 Topps proof sheet with numerous Hall of Famers and a 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee complete set on uncut sheets with a clean copy of Wayne Gretzky’s rookie card.

The auction includes 50 sets and near sets, many of which are among the hobby’s best including  a 1923-24 V145-1 William Paterson set, the number two current finest on PSA’s Set Registry.  The top-ranked 1921 Schapira Brothers Babe Ruth set will also be up for grabs as well as a 1953 Topps near set (272/274) with a 6.35 rating.   

Mile High’s next auction will take place in May and consignments are being accepted.  Call (303) 840-2784, visit or bring your items to the company’s booth at the Philly Show March 3rd-March 5th or the Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular in Chicago March 17th-March 19th.