Mickey Mantle was one of the most accomplished players in the history of the game, and his baseball cards continue to reflect that status.
As a recent example, investors in a Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps card would have tripled the returns of the stock market over the past eighteen years!
So, it's not unusual to consider some of "The Mick's" baseball cards as an investment right alongside our other savings or stock investments.
We've analyzed all Mickey Mantle baseball cards and decided on ten cards that should be solid long-term investments.
Remember, this is not investment advice, please do your own research!
** Quick note, due to the wide range in values, I am not focusing in on a budget, so there are some cards (like the 52 Topps Mantle) that are out of budget for most collectors. Good thing is that (for most cards) opportunities are avaible to buy the card in lower grades for less.
1. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311
The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle is one of the most iconic baseball cards of all time and it's also one of the most valuable. The card, which pictures a young and fresh-faced Mantle in his Yankees uniform, was recently sold for a record $12.6 million—making it the most expensive baseball card ever sold!
Not all collectors can invest in the 52 Topps Mantle; even the poorest graded copies sell for low to mid five figures. However for deep pocketed investors, the 52 Topps Mantle remains one of the top investments in the hobby.
Keep in mind, the 1952 Topps Mantle remains one of the most counterfeited in the hobby. Be sure to see our guide on identifying a fake 52 Mantle before making any significant purchase.
2. 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253
The 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle is another iconic and highly valuable card featuring The Mick.
It is also Mickey Mantle's true rookie card, issued one year before the 1952 Topps issue.
This beautiful card pictures a young Mantle in a batting stance, with a gorgeous, cloud-filled background.
It is also one of the hobby's most counterfeited cards, so be sure to see our guide on identifying a fake 51 Bowman Mantle.
A PSA 9 copy of the card sold for close to $600K, breaking recent records, yet still a far cry from auction sales of the 1952 Topps Mantle card.
Did you know that the 1951 Bowman Mantle is nearly as scarce as the 1952 Topps Mantle?
PSA has graded about 2500 1951 Bowman Mantle cards and 1900 copies of the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. While, in higher grades, the 51 Bowman has been soaring in value, its price is still dwarfed by the 52 Topps Mantle.
3. 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle #82
The 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle card is one of the most iconic color baseball card portraits of all time. It features a young Mantle set with Yankee Stadium in the background.
I will note, the 1953 Topps set is one of my favorites. It has it all, great design and loads of stars (including Mantle, Paige, and Jackie Robinson).
The 1953 Topps set was also produced in higher quantities than the 1952 issue, making it much more affordable.
Higher grade copies of the second year Topps Mantle card still demand well over six figures at auction.
The good news is that low-grade copies sell for a few thousand and under.
I like any condition copies as a good, solid, long term investment.
4. 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle #101
The 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle card feels a bit underappreciated.
It is the second Mantle card issued by Bowman, and was issued around the same time as the iconic 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card.
Yet, Mantle's '52 Bowman card is valued at a fraction of the Topps card.
Part of it certainly has to do with overall production runs.
There are about 3600 PSA graded copies of Mick's 52 Bowman card about double that of the legendary 1952 Topps card.
5. 1952 Berk Ross Mickey Mantle
The 1951 and 1952 Berk Ross baseball card issues are a bit of a mysterious issue and unfamiliar to many collectors. The Mickey Mantle card from the 1952 Berk Ross set uses the same image as the 1951 Bowman card, however the image is much blurrier.
While Berk Ross cards don't get the same attention as any Bowman or Topps Mickey Mantle issues, I like the investment potential on this one.
First, it is quite scarce relative to any other mainstream issues of the time; PSA has graded only 350 1952 Berk Ross Mantle cards.
Second, it is relatively affordable, given the scarcity, as compared to the other 1951 and 1952 Mantle baseball cards.
6. 1953 Bowman Mickey Mantle #59
The 1953 Bowman set was a first in the hobby, featuring full size color photos instead of black and white ones, which had been the standard up until then.
The card features a striking color photo of 'The Mick' in pinstripes, following through on his legendary swing. The 1953 Bowman Color set is well recognized as one of the most beautiful sets of the 1950s.
PSA has graded about 3000 copies of the 53 Bowman Color Mantle, less than the 52 Bowman Mantle...and get this, the 53 Bowman Mantle runs about half the price of the 1952 Bowman Mantle.
Ultimately, I see the 1952 Bowman and 1953 Bowman Color Mickey Mantle cards as two of his best longer term investments.
7. 1954 Bowman Mickey Mantle #65
The 1954 Bowman Mickey Mantle card marks The Mick's fourth Bowman issue. PSA Population reports show ~4800 graded copies, with the last PSA 9 selling for $245K at auction in 2021.
Thankfully, due to higher supplies, collectors can scoop up lower to mid grade copies of the 54 Bowman Mantle for under $2000.
I don't think lower graded 54 Bowman Mantle cards are a great investment.
For the same price, I would recommend investing in a poor to fair 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle card.
8. 1954 Dan-Dee Potato Chips Mickey Mantle #17
Something cool about owning a Mantle card from the peak of his playing days that came out of a bag of potato chips.
This 1954 Dan-Dee Mickey Mantle card is also one of the scarcer Mantle cards with less than 500 PSA graded copies.
As a comparison, the legendary 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card has over 1800 PSA graded copies.
Collectors in recent years have caught onto this discovery, pushing up values of the card across all grades. The last higher grade sale of a PSA 8 copy reached nearly $50K at auction.
9. 1954 Red Heart Dog Food Mickey Mantle #17
Another more obscure Mantle card, the 1954 Red Heart Mickey Mantle card was issued as a part of a mail in card program from Red Heart dog food.
Over 1500 PSA graded copies exist making this an easier to find specialized card in comparison to the more valuable Dan Dee Potato Chips issue.
It's a good investment, based on the scarce supply compared to the Topps and Bowman cards, however I like the mainstream issues a bit better.
10. 1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle #202
Collectors either love or hate the 1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle card, as the design is different than anything else that preceded it.
Put me in the camp that loves the 1955 Bowman cards; the TV design flanked over the color images makes for one of the more unique sets of the 1950s.
The one detractor from the 1955 Bowman Mantle is the plentiful supply; PSA has graded over 4200 copies. Higher grade versions are tough to come by, due to the brown borders which are very prone to chipping.
A PSA 9 copy broke auction records last year, selling for over $375K. Thus, I'm confident any higher grade copies will continue to do well.
Good news for budget conscious collectors; low grade copies are plentiful and while they aren't likely to capture the same investment return, the outlay is much more manageable today.