Many collectors think that collecting Mickey Mantle cards is an expensive venture. It certainly can be. But it can also be surprisingly affordable. eBay is loaded with Mickey Mantle cards that cost less than $20. They're not only new cards either. For those concerned more about price than condition, there are lots of options from the 1960s. Look hard enough, and Mickey Mantle cards from the 1950s can also be found for less than a bucket of greasy chicken and some coleslaw from KFC.
Here are ten awesome Mickey Mantle cards that sold on eBay for $20 or less. None are going to bring riches. However, they do show that even those on a tight budget can build a collection of impressive Mickey Mantle cards.
This card looks as though it has gotten more hugs than Grannie on her 93rd birthday. It probably has more wrinkles than Grannie too. But it's got Mantle and Hank Aaron. And it's from the 1950s. What's not to love? Of course, anything without creases and chipping is going to cost more. But with some patience and the ability to overlook condition, this gem can be found for less than $20 as demonstrated by the one below.
This is certainly one of the quirkier Mickey Mantle cards. But that's part of the charm. Honoring his monster 1953 blast, the card shows the ball's path out of Washington's Griffith Stadium. One of the dots at home plate may or may not be Mantle. Because this card doesn't have a clear picture of the legend, it can be found relatively cheap.
Mint copies of the 1962 Post Cereal Mickey Mantle card can cost hundreds. Here's one that was obviously enjoyed (and possibly run over by the family car). But it's still in one piece and can be easily read. This card is actually fairly easy to find for under $20 in similar condition.
1962 Topps Baseball Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Harmon Killebrew, Jim Gentille - Home Run Leaders #53
Statistically recapping Roger Maris' record-setting 1961 season, the 1962 Topps "Home Run Leaders" card also has a fantastic Mickey Mantle glare. Check out the look he's giving Jim Gentille. This particular card sold for $17. The edges and corners are a little rough, but nothing horrendous.
Again, the edges are rough, but this Mickey Mantle card still looks solid. It's interesting because it breaks down his swing, kind of like a primitive precursor to the multiple exposure cards Upper Deck did in their early sets. Top-condition versions of the 1962 Topps Mickey Mantle #318 can run into the hundreds but there are also lots of off-condition cards that can dip down to $20.
Don't let the oddball nature and size of the 1964 Topps Giants Mickey Mantle card deter you. It's got a strong photo, a simple design and great colors. It offers one of the best Mantle portraits captured on a baseball card. And did I mention it's cheap? Fairly easy to find for under $20, this is one of the most overlooked Mantle cards from his playing career.
1968 Topps Game cards came inserted in 1968 Topps Baseball Series 3 packs. Apparently they don't get much love by the hobby. It seems like a common theme for game cards and baseball in general. That doesn't stop the 1968 Topps Game Mickey Mantle from having a fun and distinct look. This card is readily available for less than $20, even in top condition.
Maybe this is cheating a little, but for a list highlighting cheap Mickey Mantle cards, the 1994 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes inserts have to be included. Inserted in Series 2 packs, the 10-card set is a continuation of the Baseball Heroes set started back in 1990 with Reggie Jackson. Filled with memorable Mantle moments and great photography, the set can be found today for less than $15.
When memorabilia cards first came out, collectors would likely have to spend hundreds of dollars for something worn by Mantle. But as relics became more and more common, prices plunged. Special 2007 Topps Baseball factory sets sold at Target came with this exclusive card. It may not be the rarest card on the planet, but it's attractive. And a Mantle relic for $20? Not a bad deal, at all.
Combining cards and pin collecting, the 2012 Topps World Series Pin cards are sharp. They're not the toughest cards to find, but they do add some great value to the flagship Topps set. Prices have softened a little, bringing this Mickey Mantle card under $20.