December 2013 Premium Holiday Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/5/2014

A predominantly clean but off-centered 1951 Bowman Mickey Charles Mantle rookie card, conservatively graded PSA 3 VG MC. The appropriately labeled MC qualifier is a result of the card's off-centered front image. However, the entire image, including its brilliant black borders, is completely represented on the card, and so perhaps a qualifier of OC would have been more accurate. Either way, the card also shows a mild registration shift of the pink layer in the printing process, which is quite common to the issue, and the back shows some typical staining. The back also shows a very small crease in the lower right corner, and there is an even smaller such defect about three quarters of the way down the right front edge in addition to a gently bumped top left corner, which are no doubt the reasons for the card's numerical assessment of VG 3. Excepting these imperfections, however, the card presents much closer to an EX-MT 6 or even NM 7, thanks to its nearly immaculate front surface. One of the greatest stories of Mickey Mantle's career comes from his rookie season of 1951, after he was first called up but then sent back down to the minors in Kansas City due to his poor performance. Dejected, he called his father, Mutt Mantle, and told him, "I don't think I can play baseball anymore." Mutt immediately drove up to Kansas City and started gathering Mickey's things and jamming his clothes into his bag, stopping at one point to say, "I thought I raised a man. I see I raised a coward instead. You can come back to Oklahoma and work the mines with me." Mickey broke out of his slump the next day and was called back up to the Yankees after batting .361 with 11 home runs and 50 RBIs in 40 games with the KC Blues. The rest is not just history, but legend.

PS: Convinced that I could remember Mickey telling the story of his father's unannounced motivational visit to Kansas City in an interview, I just spent the last two hours searching YouTube with no success, so if anyone has a link, please email it to me at For now, here's a link to his touching interview about his alcoholism with Bob Costas instead. Enjoy!

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,642
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Sunday, January 5, 2014.
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