1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle PSA NM 7

If a single item could encapsulate the entirety of sports card collecting, that card would be the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle.

This simple piece of 2-⅝” x 3-¾” cardboard’s combination of an iconoclastic subject, a legendary franchise, a debut set, a dash of mythology, and a demand that seems to always be just out of the reach of the supply – all covered in a thick layer of nostalgia – has created a siren song that extends beyond the reaches of the hobby and permeates popular culture.

Key Deal Points

Deemed by notable hobbyist Joe Orlando as possibly ‘The most recognizable baseball card ever made.’

Ranked #2 on The Athletic’s list of the ’25 Most Iconic Sports Cards of All Time’

Graded a Near Mint-Mint 8, on a scale of 1-10, by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) – the sports collectible’s leading grading company.

Nearly 1,900 examples of the card have been graded by PSA, with 35 graded NM-MT 8, this asset is placed firmly within the top 3% of all PSA-graded exemplars.
The record sale for a PSA NM-MT 8 is $2.1M in July of 2021, while the most recent sale is a February 2022 auction for $1.56M.

A version of the card, graded a Mint+ 9.5 by Sportscard Guarantee (SGC), sold for $12.6M in August 2022 and currently holds the sales record for any piece of sports memorabilia.

CardLadder, a company who uses analytics and sales data to provide estimated valuations on trading cards, projects a PSA NM-MT 8 at $1.56M (as of 11/11/2022).

Valuation Analysis

“This card is a towering symbol of American exceptionalism, from its celebration of our national pastime to the fearless ambition of creator Sy Berger’s vision to the exaltation of a culture that could elevate a poor kid from the Oklahoma coal mines to the pinnacle of fame and acclaim. It is ten square inches of the American dream…It is a commodity recognized and coveted by millions”

– Heritage Auctions

Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle, nicknamed “The Mick”, was the linchpin of the New York Yankees epic dynasty during the 1950s and early 1960s. He won 7 World Series Championships, 3 Most Valuable Player awards and was selected to 20 All-Star games. His journey from humble origins to centerfielder for the New York Yankees is the stuff of the American Dream.

Mantle was a classic five-tool player who possessed almost supernatural power that led to a bevy of tape measure home runs, including a 560-foot home run that remains the longest in baseball history. Mantle finished his career with 536 home runs, 1,676 runs scored, 1,509 RBI, 1,733 walks and a .298 batting average, and was selected as a first ballot Hall of Famer and member of Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team.