mantle-topps-cards

A Collector’s Guide: Mickey Mantle’s Topps Cards, 1952-1969

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Mickey Mantle is one of the most iconic baseball players of all time. Many of his sports cards, produced during the baby boom era, were affixed to bike spokes by kids, making mint condition cards rare today. High-grade copies of The Mick’s more valuable cards consistently break records at auction.I’ve analyzed every Topps card of Mantle from his playing days, dating from 1952 through 1969. The analysis of each card follows, examining value, scarcity, and investment potential. 

Also see our guide to the ten best Mickey Mantle cards to invest in, which covers many of Mantle’s non-Topps baseball cards. 

1. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311

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The Finest Known Example Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps Card

Topps introduced Mickey Mantle’s first card in 1952, now one of the most coveted cards in the hobby, a ‘holy grail’ cards for collectors.  

This card was his first Topps card, but his official rookie card is from the 1951 Bowman set, which I will break down at the end of this article.

Adding to its allure, many 1952 Topps cards, sealed with others from the same year, ended up in the Hudson River.

This loss makes the surviving cards even rarer and more valuable.

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A Gem Mint copy of the card broke several records recently, most notably when “The Finest Known Example,” first coined by Mr. Mint and 30 years later graded at SGC 9.5, fetched $12.6 million at Heritage Auctions in 2022.

Watch out for fake 52 Topps Mantle cards, as it is one of the most counterfeited cards in the hobby. 

2. 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle  #82

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A 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle card

The 1953 Topps set stands out as one of my all-time favorites, boasting exquisite artistry complemented by vivid red or black borders.

Mickey Mantle’s second-year card, capturing a close-up of a youthful Mantle, is the highlight of the 1953 Topps set.

This set also shines a spotlight on iconic stars of the era, such as Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and Satchel Paige.

To me, Mantle’s 1953 Topps card, especially in mid-grade condition, remains strikingly undervalued.

Recent eBay auctions have seen PSA 5 graded copies fetch prices ranging from $6,600 to $7,500.

A Mint, PSA 9 copy of this card brought in $396,000 at a Heritage Auction in 2019.

Given the current market, I wouldn’t be surprised if that same card’s value soared past a million today.

3. 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle  #135

The Mickey Mantle card from the ’56 Topps set is the most valuable card in the set.

In 1954 and 1955, Mantle was exclusively tied to Bowman, which was in a fierce rivalry with Topps before their eventual merger.

Mantle’s subsequent Topps card didn’t surface until 1956.

This iconic card flaunts a side profile portrait of a smiling Mantle, marking his monumental 1956 season when he clinched the AL Triple Crown Award.

The 1956 Mantle Topps card exists in two variants: the Gray back and the rarer White back.

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A gray back copy of a 1956 Topps Mantle

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A white back copy of a 1956 Topps Mantle

Though the White back is harder to come by, its value only marginally exceeds the Gray version.

A Gray back PSA 9 copy fetched $148,000 in January 2022 at the Memory Lane Auction House.

However, collectors looking to own a 1956 Topps Mantle can do so relatively inexpensively.  PSA 3 (VG) copies sell for under $700 on eBay, while ungraded copies can be found for even less.

4. 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle #95

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The 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle card is the most valuable in the set.

The 1957 Topps card immortalizes Mantle during his iconic left-handed swing.

In 1957, Mantle helped the Yankees clinch the American League pennant, marking their return to the World Series after missing out the previous year.

While the Mantle card commands the highest value in the 1957 Topps set, the set also boasts key rookie cards of Hall of Famers Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson.

A Mint, PSA 9 graded copy of the 1957 Topps Mantle card recently fetched a staggering $180,000 at auction.

For many collectors, however, lower to mid-grade PSA versions of the card remain within reach.

According to PSA auction sales, a PSA 4 graded copy averages about $800, and a PSA 5 graded copy averages $1100.

In my view, well-centered mid-grade examples of Mantle’s 1957 Topps card hold untapped value.

5. 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle #150

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The Mickey Mantle 1958 Topps card showcases a close-up portrait of Mantle, highlighted by vibrant orange and white tones.

In 1958, the Yankees defeated the Milwaukee Braves in the World Series, avenging their loss to the same team in ’57.

Mantle had a tremendous year, batting .304, with 42 home runs, and 97 RBIs.

A PSA 9 version of this card reached its pinnacle in value when it sold for $92,000 in May 2022 at Memory Lane Auctions. 

Much like its 1957 counterpart, many mid-grade samples of the 1958 card remain reasonably priced.

As per PSA sales data, a PSA 4 (VG-EX) copy typically ranges between $600 and $700.

6. 1959 Topps Mickey Mantle #10

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Mantle’s 1959 Topps card stands out with its red and white hues, paired with another detailed close-up portrait.

While Mantle has two other cards in the 1959 Topps set (#461, #564), card number 10 reigns supreme in popularity.

1959 was a rough year for the Yankees as they finished in third place. Despite injuries, Mantle managed to hit .285 with 31 home runs and 75 RBIs. 

A PSA 9 version of the 1959 Topps Mantle fetched over $98K in February 2022 at Memory Lane Auctions. 

Mid-grade PSA examples, rated between 4 and 6, remain reasonably priced.

Depending on their centering, they range from $400 to $2,000 at auction.

Mantle’s 1959 Topps card is underrated in my opinion. I’d advise potential buyers to prioritize centered copies of the Mantle card. 

7. 1960 Topps Mickey Mantle #350

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The 1960 Topps card of Mantle boasts a horizontal image complemented by a color palette of red, yellow, and white.

In my opinion, one of the sharper Mantle cards of the 1960s.

While Mantle has two other cards in the 1960 Topps set (#160, #563), card number 350 remains the most coveted for that year.

A Mint, PSA 9 graded copy of card #350 recently sold for $54,000, at Goldin Auctions.

For those seeking more budget-friendly options, mid-grade PSA cards graded between 4 and 6 typically sell between $400 and $1,100.

It’s worth noting that well-centered examples command a higher price. 

8. 1961 Topps Mickey Mantle #300

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Mantle’s 1961 Topps card, commemorating his home run record chase alongside Roger Maris, depicts him in his iconic right-handed batting stance. 

That season, both Mantle and Maris were in pursuit of Babe Ruth’s legendary single-season record of 60 home runs, making them the focal point of baseball conversations. 

A standout sale of this card, a PSA 9 version, recently sold for $28,800 at Goldin Auctions. The sale was about 30% off the peak value witnessed at the height of the card bubble in 2021. 

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1961 Topps Mantle PSA 9 Sales from PSA

Additionally, five other Mantle cards were issued in the 1961 Topps set, including the American League MVP card and another tribute card for his staggering 565 ft home run that year.

9. 1962 Topps Mickey Mantle #200

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The 1962 Topps Mickey Mantle card stands out with its vintage brown wood like background, featuring a close-up, zoomed-in portrait of “The Mick”.

The card’s classic design and color palette evoke a sense of nostalgia, capturing the essence of the early 1960s.

Despite battling injuries, Mantle helped the Yankees win another World Series in 1962, when the Yanks beat the San Francisco Giants. 

While Mickey Mantle was featured on four other cards in the 1962 Topps set, his base card #200 remains the most popular and sought-after among collectors.

A PSA 9, Mint example of this card, of which there are only 16 known to exist, fetched an astounding $314,000 at Memory Lane Auctions in October of 2021.

However, collectors can score an Excellent (PSA 5) copy for under $500 today.

10. 1963 Topps Mickey Mantle #200

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This card showcases a close-up portrait of Mickey Mantle, distinguished by its green and white coloring, which makes it stand out among his card collection.

While Mantle is featured on two other cards (#2, #173) in the 1963 set, his base card #200 is the most sought after by collectors.

The 1963 Topps set is most well known for the key Pete Rose Rookie card, the most valuable card in the set. 

Mantle’s performance on the field in 1963 remained solid, even as the Yankees were defeated in the World Series by the LA Dodgers.

A record sale for $90K of a Mint, PSA 9 copy took place at Robert Edward Auctions in April 2022, however more recent sales have fallen to $50K, a near 45% decline!

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Recent sales history of Mint, PSA 9 copies of 1963 Topps Mickey Mantle

Meanwhile, collectors can score a PSA 4 copy (VG-EX) for around $400 to $450, underscoring the varying value dependent on card condition.

11. 1964 Topps Mickey Mantle #50

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The 1964 Topps Mickey Mantle card captures the iconic slugger in his signature right-handed batting stance.

With a color palette dominated by crisp white and striking red, the card portrays Mantle poised and ready, bat cocked behind him and eyes focused on an incoming pitch.

In October of 2021, a PSA 9 graded example of this card sold for a notable $68,000. However, just over a year later, the same grade card changed hands for $42,000, indicating the volatile nature of the sports card market and reflecting the pandemc driven surge of 2021.

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Recent sales history of PSA 9 Mint 1964 Topps Mickey Mantle cards

A collector can easily buy an ungraded or lower grade copy of the ’64 Topps Mantle for under a few hundred dollars on eBay

12. 1965 Topps Mickey Mantle #350

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A great shot of the iconic slugger on one of the better Topps designs from the 1960s.

Accented by a dark pink background with a bright yellow Yankees flag, the card is favorite among all Mantle card collectors.

Mantle is featured on three other cards (#3, #5, #134) from the 1965 Topps set, but this one resonates the most with collectors from that year.

In May 2022, a Mint PSA 9 grade copy fetched one of the highest recorded sales at Heritage Auctions, selling for $36,000. Yet, auction prices from early 2023 indicate a shift from the 2020-21 bubble, with a notable 33% decrease in value.

Thankfully, for collectors, cheaper copies are widely available

13. 1966 Topps Mickey Mantle #50

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Mickey Mantle’s 1966 Topps card, highlighted by its red and white scheme and bold yellow font.

This card offers a refreshing change, featuring Mantle in his left-handed batting stance, capturing a different aspect of his switch-hitting prowess at the plate. 

In 1966, the Yankees ranked last in the AL for the only time during Mantle’s career.

The card’s value fluctuates widely based on its condition. 

A PSA 9 sold for $23,000 in October 2022 at Lelands auctions, while a PSA 5 averages only $350 on eBay.

14. 1967 Topps Mickey Mantle #150

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Mickey Mantle’s 1967 Topps card is elegantly simple, spotlighting a close-up of “The Mick” against a white background with bold red accents for the Yankees’ name.

Mantle is featured on one other card from the 1967 Topps set, which is a checklist featuring his face on the top left of the card, however the #150 remains the most desirable among collectors.  

Only two of Mantle’s #150 cards have ever achieved the lofty Gem-Mint, PSA 10 grade.

The highest recorded sale of such a card was at $68,000 back in 2013. Today, I’d expect that number to reach into the low to mid six-figures.

Ungraded or lower grade copies are widely available on eBay for under a few hundred dollars.

15. 1968 Topps Mickey Mantle #280

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The 1968 Topps Mickey Mantle card, #280 in the set, presents an iconic image of “The Mick” in his left-handed batting stance.

The 1968 Topps set is one of the most coveted Topps sets of the 1960s due to the key rookie cards of Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench.

Unfortunately, at the time of issue, Mantle was nearing the end of his illustrious career, batting only .237 with 18 homeruns in 1968.

A PSA 10 example of this 1968 card, indicating gem mint condition, fetched a $44,000 at auction in 2019.  

I’d guesstimate an easy six figures at auction today.

While Mantle’s base card #280 from the 1968 Topps set is a cornerstone for many collectors, he also makes a cameo in another card (#490) from the same set. 

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This card showcases a trio of baseball legends: Mickey Mantle, Harmon Killebrew, and Willie Mays, aptly titled “Super Stars.”

The combined star power on this card makes it a unique and highly sought-after piece in its own right.

16. 1969 Topps Mickey Mantle #500

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The 1969 Topps Mickey Mantle card, his final Topps entry during active play, is iconic.

Its design showcases “The Mick” with a crisp white border and contrasting yellow lettering.

The true gem is the rarer white lettering variant of the card, which has Mantle’s last name in white instead of the typical yellow. 

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1969 Topps Mickey Mantle White Letter Variation

This version’s rarity has driven its value sky-high: a PSA 9 example sold for over $900,000, with only four cards ever achieving this grade.

Meanwhile, the standard yellow-lettered PSA 9 variant sold for $24,000 in October 2022.

Both are treasured collectibles, and given its significance as Mantle’s concluding card, it’s cherished by enthusiasts.

Additionally, Mantle graced the 1969 set once more on a checklist card, giving fans another collectible memento of the legend.

1A. 1951 Bowman #253 Rookie

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A 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle card.

The 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card stands as a hallmark in baseball card lore. It presents a youthful Mantle, contrasting the veteran image seen in his subsequent cards. 

For years, this card remained overshadowed by Mantle’s later Topps editions. 

Yet, around 2018, its value began a significant ascent.

For context, a PSA 3-4 card in early 2018 cost $3K-$4K. By 2022, even PSA 1 versions surpassed $7,000.

Its prominence peaked in January 2022 when a mint-condition PSA 9 card fetched a staggering $3.1 million, solidifying its elite status among baseball card collectibles.

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1951 Bowman Mantle PSA 9 Sales History

Watch out for fake copies of the 1951 Bowman Mantle!

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