One of the nine known PSA 9-rated copies of Mickey Mantle’s 1951 Bowman rookie card has hit the auction block, where it’s expected to fetch a record-setting price that could touch $1 million.
Plagued by centering, print marks and the usual corner wear associated with older vintage cards, the Mantle rookie has been a challenge for even advanced collectors. Only 52 have even reached unqualified 8 (NM/MT) status after PSA reviews. Only one Mantle rookie has ever been given a 10.
High-end Mantle rookie cards rarely come to auction. A PSA 9 example has sold at public auction only a few times in the last dozen years according to Vintage Card Prices. The same card being offered by Heritage changed hands in October 2013 when it sold for a record-setting $220,150—more than double the previous high. It then sold again just five months ago for a record price of $588,000–again more than doubling the previous high.
The card carries a $250,000 opening bid. The auction will continue through April 19.
Heritage is also offering a PSA 9 1952 Topps Mantle that carries a pre-sale estimate of $3.5 million.