While the 1960s was a decade of unrest for much of North America, baseball offered an escape. It was a decade in which baseball cards continued to come into their own. With Topps leading the way, 1960s Mickey Mantle cards represent some of the most iconic in the hobby's post-war history.
With the card maker tinkering with formats and expanding their checklists, it led to more and more Mickey Mantle cards. Rather than just a regular player card, he was appearing in a growing number of subsets. League Leaders, All-Stars, World Series are just a few of the more affordable 1960s Mickey Mantle cards. These began in the latter part of the 1950s, but really took hold during the following decade.
It wasn't just Topps who was making Mickey Mantle cards. A handful of food-issue sets catered to the growing market. O-Pee-Chee, a sub-licensed Topps set for the Canadian market, also debuted in the 1960s. The result is more than 50 different 1960s Mickey Mantle cards before you even take inserts into account.
Use the following tabs to see all of the major 1960s Mickey Mantle cards from the Topps and O-Pee-Chee base sets as well as major food issues.
1960s Mickey Mantle Cards
1960 Bazooka Baseball shifted to a panel format that had three players on the back of a gum box. While individual cards of Mantle are popular, full panels with Glen Hobbie and Roy McMillan can be even more desirable.
1960 Topps Baseball has three different Mickey Mantle cards. For the early part of the decade, this is actually a small number. All are done with a horizontal design. The base card has two images of the Yankees legend. The main shot is a posed portrait. Next to it is a black-and-white full-body shot with Mantle in his batting stance.
Mantle has no shortage of cards where he's paired with other players. Boyer had a stretch during the late 1950s to the mid-1960s where he was one of the game's most dangerous hitters. But after an MVP season in 1964, his numbers started to drop. Basically, Boyer is no Mantle who carries this card. It also means that this is more affordable than a lot of other 1960s Mickey Mantle cards.
The 1960 Topps All-Star design is one of the most memorable for the venerable subset. The set is already colorful, but the big blue and orange numbers in the background only add to the effect. Mantle and his shadow add contrast and intensity.
Flanked on the panel by Art Mahaffey and Ron Santo, the basic design for 1961 Bazooka is virtually identical from the previous year. The larger portrait and dark background help make the Yankee slugger's card distinct from the 1960 card.
1961 Post Baseball kicked off one of the most popular runs for a food-issue series ever. Popular still today, most of the cards found today are cut from boxes. This makes for many that have rough or crooked edges. Collectors could also send away for sheets of ten cards. These come with thicker card stock.
With Topps continuing to expand its checklists, 1961 Topps Baseball has lots of Mickey Mantle cards for collectors to choose from. As far as base cards go, it's a fairly plain one for Mantle, albeit one with a nice-sized portrait of a dominant player.
Mantle's 40 home runs in 1960 were enough to give him the American League lead. It was one more than teammate Roger Maris. The two are pictured alongside Rocky Colavito of the Tigers and Minnesota's Jim Lemon on this very boxy card.
Although the New York Yankees ended up losing the 1960 World Series to the Pirates, Mantle did his part in a Game 2 blowout, hitting a pair of home runs. The accomplishment is done on a painted card where Mantle is tough to make out other than the '7' on the back of his jersey.
Mickey Mantle hit a lot of blasts in his career. This card looks back on a shot from 1953 when he hit the ball out of Griffith Park in Washington. The ball allegedly went another two blocks before finally stopping. Although a unique card, it doesn't picture Mantle himself. As a result, it's one of the more affordable vintage Mickey Mantle cards from Topps.
Roger Maris took the 1960 AL MVP over Mantle. So what's with this card? It actually looks back on Mantle's MVP seasons in 1956 and 1957.
Typically, subset cards such as this are a lot less valuable than their regular player cards from the same year. However, the 1961 Topps Mickey Mantle All-Star is a high-number card. Because it's a short print, it's tough to find and carries strong values.
For the third straight year, Bazooka used the colored bottom and white inset nameplate to anchor the design. The biggest difference is the fact that these aren't numbered. Mickey Mantle's three-card panel also includes Art Mahaffey and Dick Stuart.
At first glance, the 1962 Jell-O Mickey Mantle looks an awful lot like it's a Post card. And it is very similar to its cereal box counterpart. The layout is largely the same save for a couple of differences in color. The photo is identical, just cropped a little looser here. The surefire way to tell between the two is the lack of Post logo on the Jell-O card for obvious reasons. These cards are cut from boxes so crooked edges and other condition issues are common.
After a successful campaign in 1961, Post returned in 1962 with another set of baseball cards. Affixed to cereal boxes, collectors had to cut them out. This led to natural issues with keeping them in top condition. Mantle and teammate Roger Maris can be found with two versions. There's the regular cereal box version. They were also paired in a panel that was inserted in an issue of Life Magazine. These promo cards have thinner card stock.
Design-wise, the 1962 Post Canadian Mickey Mantle is closer in design to the Jell-O card. The big difference here is the bilingual text that's in English and French.
1962 Topps Baseball has a distinct wood-grain design. Mantle's main card, one of five that he appears on in the set, has him with a portrait not looking overly comfortable.
Pairing Mantle and Willie Mays isn't just a manager's dream. It's up there in collecting circles as well. While its value is not nearly as high as Mantle's main card, it's considerably higher than his other subset cards.
While Mantle's the biggest name on the 1962 Topps American League Home Run Leaders card, it's really about Maris. The two teammates chased the single-season home run record together in 1961 much like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa did in 1998. Maris ended up hitting 61, setting a mark that stood for nearly 30 years. Floating heads of Harmon Killebrew and Jim Gentile are also on the card.
Long before Upper Deck made their multiple-exposure cards, Topps took a three-frame approach to capture Mantle's powerful swing.
The 1960s saw some bold designs for All-Star cards. This isn't one of them. Other than the Sporting News logo, there's not much to this card outside of Mantle's portrait.
1963 Bazooka Baseball put players on the back of a box in three-card panels. Mantle is featured with Bob Rodgers and Ernie Banks. Not surprisingly, it's the most valuable panel in the set. Individual cards measure 1 9/16 x 2 1/2 inches. The set does have a history of counterfeiting so be extra careful if you're looking to add one to your collection.
Printed on the back of Jell-O boxes, this is another Mickey Mantle card that required careful cutting. Most weren't so lucky.
1963 Post Baseball marked the final set in the cereal maker's original run. Virtually identical to the Jell-O set, the Post cards are a little bit bigger. Easier to spot is the red line between the 1962 stats and career stats. On the Post card, it extends well past the blue stars above it. It stops more in line with the stars on the Jell-O version.
Outside of Pete Rose's rookie card, Mantle is the most popular card in 1963 Topps Baseball. It has a simple portrait taking up most of the card front but the posed batting stance shot adds some nice contrast.
Mickey Mantle finished second to Pete Runnels in the chase for the American League batting title. While he didn't win that chase, Mantle did earn AL MVP honors. He also got his floating head on this card along with Runnels and three others. Thanks to a lack of star power outside of the Hall of Famer, this is one of the cheapest 1960s Mickey Mantle cards and might be a good starting point for someone starting out a collection on a limited budget.
This subset card is fun and Yankees-centric. As a result, it's much more desirable than the Batting Leaders card. But that still doesn't make it overly expensive. Of all the teammates Mantle had, Tom Tresh and Bobby Richardson aren't two of the biggest in the hobby world.
Bazooka didn't do much to change the design of their 1964 set. Mantle has a different photo over 1963. His three-card panel pairs him with Dick Groat and Steve Barber. As with other Bazooka sets from the era, individual cards are smaller than traditional cards.
Mantle isn't messing around on this shot that comes from batting practice. The set is held in high regard today thanks to its design that mixes big, bold colors and letters with a somewhat simple design. Balance that with the majesty of Mantle's stance and the plain but iconic look of the Yankees uniform and you've got one beautiful card.
Those are some potent hitters. And being the only one making eye contact with the camera, Mantle is on full display amidst his power-hitting peers.
Another year with the same design for 1965 Bazooka. While more common as a single card, Mantle's full panel also includes Larry Jackson and Chunk Hinton.
Mickey Mantle has three cards in 1965 O-Pee-Chee Baseball, the Canadian cousin of Topps. However, all of them are subset cards looking at specific achievements rather than a basic player card. The first of them notes Mantle finishing third in the 1964 AL Home Run race.
Three Hall-of-Famers on one card isn't bad, especially when it's on a relatively tough O-Pee-Chee card and one of those players is Mickey Mantle.
Of the three 1965 O-Pee-Chee Mickey Mantle cards, this is the only one to focus on him exclusively. As far as career highlights, Mantle himself referred to this particular hit as his biggest thrill.
1965 Topps Baseball is held in high regard with collectors. It's elegant design connects directly with the game thanks to the pennant. This is one of Mantle's nicest vintage cards from a purely visual standpoint.
As always, League Leader cards are some of the more affordable options for collectors getting started with a superstar player such as The Mick. Pictured alongside Harmon Killebrew and Boog Powell, the company could certainly be a lot worse.
Mantle is almost lost in the crowd on this card, which highlights some of the top offensive American Leaguers from 1964. Similar to the Home Run Leaders card two spots away on the checklist, Mantle is featured with some strong players but this is still one of his cheaper cards from the 1960s.
The Yankees may have fallen a game short in the 1964 World Series, but Mantle was still there to make a game-winning home run to wrap up Game 3. This card has an interesting action shot but it looks more like a strikeout than a homer.
Bazooka kept with the same basic design for the third consecutive year. Distributed once again as part of a three-card panel, the individual card measures 1 9/16" by 2 1/2". Mantle's panel has him connected to Leon Wagner and Ed Kranepool. Like all cards attached to boxes, these can be much harder to find in top condition.
This is just one of two regular O-Pee-Chee player cards Mickey Mantle would have during his playing days. Believed to be printed in much smaller quantities than its American cousin, the main difference between the two is that this one reads "Ptd. in Canada" on the back.
1966 Topps Baseball is one of the quieter sets of the 1960s. Despite coming out toward the end of his career, Mantle is still one of the top players in the set, which is highlighted by Jim Palmer's rookie.
This is Mantle's second and final O-Pee-Chee player card. Unlike later O-Pee-Chee sets, all of the text on the back is in English. The "Ptd. in Canada" noted at the bottom is the easiest way to tell it apart from his Topps card.
Unmarked vintage checklist cards are hard to find. Unmarked vintage O-Pee-Chee checklists are even tougher.
Mantle has seen much better days when it comes to his baseball card pictures. Poorly lit and taken against a horrible backdrop, this might very well be the saddest card in Mantle's Topps canon.
Checklists can be overlooked by collectors, especially when they come from an age where marking them up was normal. Mantle's floating head highlights this Second Series checklist.
The 1968 Bazooka Mickey Mantle isn't your typical baseball card. In the past, Bazooka cards were printed on the backs of boxes. This time, the side panel was used for the card. The result is a skinny card measuring 1 by 2 7/8 inches. Mantle was paired with Curt Flood on the box.
This photo looks awfully familiar. Switch the background out for a batting cage and you've got Mantle's 1966 card. The Hall of Famer is on the middle of the checklist for the set that is known for its Nolan Ryan rookie card.
As far as talent goes, you're not going to find much better than the front of this 1968 Topps Super Stars card. Mantle is shown with Willie Mays and Harmon Killebrew. The result is three Hall of Famers, three of the game's greatest hitters and three hobby stars all in one place.
The 1969 Topps Mickey Mantle marks his last from his playing career. It has two versions. The first, and more common, has Mantle's last name in yellow letters on the front. The variation uses white letters and is much tougher to find. As a result, it also carries strong values and interest from the secondary market.
Besides his regular player card, Mantle's pictured on the 5th Series checklist. Because checklists are largely ignored, this is one of the cheapest vintage Mickey Mantle cards. Finding one without any marks isn't easy.
The 1969 Tansogram Mickey Mantle came printed on the back of a box for a baseball statue. Understandably, there's a premium for boxes that are intact (even more so if it still has the statue), but carefully cut cards still hold some desirability and considerable value.