When Mickey Mantle made his debut with the Yankees, writer Leonard Schecter said of him, “He has a face as open as the part of America that he came from.” So there he was, a kid of nineteen, already heralded as the second coming of Babe Ruth, or at the very least the legitimate successor to Joe DiMaggio. “When he hits the ball, it even sounds different,” they said about him. “He’s got it in his body to be great,” added grizzled manager Casey Stengel, who had been around long enough to qualify as an expert. Such expectations are hard to measure up to, but Mantle did, and then some. At the time of this card’s release in 1952, however, Mantle’s future was uncertain. But by the mid-1950’s, when the tape-measure homers boomed off his bat and the RBI and runs scored accumulated, Mantle’s destiny took shape. Today, Mantle’s 1952 Topps issue is royalty in the field of card collecting. It is the most recognized and coveted post-war issued baseball card, and next to the T206 Honus Wagner, stands as the icon of the hobby.
This offered example has been graded EX-MT+ 6.5 by PSA, its strongest attributes being its bright colors and sharp corners. The skyward portrait of the young slugger is centered on the front 45/55 top to bottom and 40/60 left to right. The back (landscape) appears almost perfectly centered left to right, but a bit more off-center than the front top to bottom. The borders remain quite clean and there is no surface wear to speak of from the naked eye. Highly coveted mid-high grade example of a classic piece of Americana.