Mickey Mantle Cards, Rookie Cards and Memorabilia Buying Guide

Mickey Mantle

Date of Birth: October 20, 1931
Rookie Card Year: 1951
Investment Rating: 9.0


In terms of collectibility in the world of baseball cards and memorabilia, few can rival, Mickey Mantle. Despite being long since retired, as well as deceased, Mickey Mantle cards continue to break new records. The release of his 1952 Topps baseball card coincided with, what has long been considered, the birth of the modern baseball card.

Mantle's all-around talent defined what scouts came to call a five-tool player. This perfectly describes Mantle's athleticism. Mantle appeared in a remarkable 12 World Series, winning seven of them. He still holds the records for most World Series home runs (18), RBI (40), runs (42), walks (43), extra-base hits (26), and total bases (123). Additionally, he won three American League MVP titles, played in 16 All-Star games, and was a Triple Crown winner in 1956. Enshrined in Cooperstown in 1974, he his regarded as one of the greats and was named to Major League Baseball's All-Century Team.

As a result of his remarkable achievements on the field and larger than life personality, Mickey Mantle cards and memorabilia are still one of the top investments in the hobby today. His game-used memorabilia can reach the stratosphere, in terms of dollars, on the rare occasions when they become available at auction. Additionally, his iconic status as an American sports legends has made him the subject of numerous figures, pieces of artwork and photographs.

Mickey Mantle Rookie Cards

Mickey Mantle's rookie card is generally considered to be from 1951 Bowman Baseball. In that same year, Wheaties cereal issued a set of eight black and white premium photographs, one of which was Mantle. Despite not being his first card, the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle deserves mention as well. Additionally in 1952, the Tip-Top Bread Company issued a label bearing his likeness, which is quite collectible, as are his 1952 Star-Cal Decal and 1952 Berk Ross cards.

1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle RC #253

Mickey Mantle Cards, Rookie Cards and Memorabilia Buying Guide 1

As the Mickey Mantle rookie card,  this card commands huge dollars on the secondary market. The fact that there are very few in top condition also contributes to the high prices. PSA has graded over a 1,000 of these cards and, to date, only one  has been designated as a Gem Mint 10. It sold at auction for over $600,000, making it one of the highest amounts ever paid for a baseball card. The posed and painted card features subdued colors. Mantle's youth is unmistakable.

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311

Mickey Mantle Cards, Rookie Cards and Memorabilia Buying Guide 2

This is the grand-daddy of them all and, perhaps, the hobby's most iconic card. The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle started the rookie card craze of the mid-1980s when collectors realized that vintage copies of the card were starting to command huge dollars. Many were seeing greater returns than traditional investment portfolios. Oddly enough, it's not a rookie card as Bowman released one a year earlier. But it is the landmark card of one of the hobby's most important sets. The legend has overtaken any labels that might be attached to it.

For years, baseball cards were produced in multiple series with the first being printed at the start of the season and later series closer to the end. Latter series were printed in smaller quantities as the focus of children turned to the start of football season and a return to school. Mantle's card #311 was printed in a later series and, legend has it, that then Topps CEO, Sy Berger, dumped hundreds of unsold Topps cases into the Hudson River, forever sealing countless 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards in a watery tomb.

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Mickey Mantle Cards, Rookie Cards and Memorabilia Buying Guide 20

Autographed Memorabilia

Mickey Mantle Signed Memorabilia Guide

As a result of his investment value, collectibility and overall popularity, Mickey Mantle's autograph is one of the most forged in the entire sports memorabilia market. Contributing to this is the fact that Mantle's signature changed considerably from those he penned during his playing days to those signed post-retirement. When evaluating signature items, the age of the piece must be taken into account when matching items to autograph style.

Below you will find examples of what authentic Mickey Mantle autographs look like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market for authenticated Mickey Mantle autographs include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Upper Deck and Steiner. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Cut Signature Exemplars

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Above is an early signature example of Mickey Mantle.

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Above is Mantle's later playing days and post-retirement signature.

Mickey Mantle Key Signature Attributes: Looking at the two authenticated Mickey Mantle signatures above, it's hard to believe they were penned by the same hand. Mantle was an extremely popular member of the autograph circuit in his retirement. Appealing at countless shows, legitimate sample of his penmanship are not in short supply. Unfortunately, they still do not meet demand. As such, it is important to know when an item was signed as his signature changed once a member of the circuit. Because the majority of his autographs came during this time frame, here are the signature characteristics of the later example.

  1. The flamboyant and matching styles of the letter's "M" are very consistent.
  2. The dotted letter "i" is almost always present.
  3. The half "y" in Mickey is common.
  4. The letter "t" in Mantle sometimes consists of a crossed loop resembling an "l", but not always.
  5. The letters "e" in both first and last name are typical cursive.
  6. The letter "l" in Mantle is always a loop.

Signed Baseball Pricing

Active Listings for Mickey Mantle Signed Baseballs

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Signed Bat Pricing

Active Listings for Mickey Mantle Signed Baseball Bats

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Signed 8x10 Photo Pricing

Active Listings for Mickey Mantle Signed Photographs

Mickey Mantle Cards, Rookie Cards and Memorabilia Buying Guide 30  Mickey Mantle Cards, Rookie Cards and Memorabilia Buying Guide 31   Mickey Mantle Cards, Rookie Cards and Memorabilia Buying Guide 32   Mickey Mantle Cards, Rookie Cards and Memorabilia Buying Guide 33

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Fan Shop

Despite being absent from the diamond for over 40 years, Mickey Mantle's popularity remains intact. A testament to his larger than life personality and baseball prowess that endeared him to Yankee fans of his generation and those of future ones. As a result, Mantle has no shortage of fan items available on the market. From jerseys and store model bats, figures and photographs, there are plenty of choices for fans and collectors. Provided here is an overview of some of Mantle's non-autographed collectibles and souvenirs, perfect for the Mickey Mantle fan on your shopping list.


Manufacturers: Mitchell & Ness, Mirage, Majestic

Purchasing a vintage or retro jersey of a long since retired player like Mickey Mantle, is different than purchasing one of a current player. While you can certainly customize a new Yankee's jersey with Mantle's name and number, it just isn't the same as purchasing an actual vintage or retro styled jersey. Three primary companies currently manufacture retro style jersey's; Mitchell & Ness, Mirage and Majestic. Majestic jerseys are retro styled but use current fabrics similar to modern professional jerseys.

For a jersey with the true look and feel of an authentic old-time jersey, Mitchell & Ness's Cooperstown Collection is going to be your best option. Flawlessly tailored to replicate the exact jersey Mantle wore in terms of look and feel. The Mitchell & Ness jerseys are crafted from a wool flannel blend with careful attention to period detail in terms of pinstripes, logos numbering, lettering and patches. These jerseys are currently available in home and road versions from three of Mantle's most legendary seasons 1951, 1952, 1961.

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Store Model & Commemorative Bats

Manufacturers: Louisville Slugger, Hillerich Bradsby, Worth, Wilson

When you swing the lumber as sweetly as "The Mick" did, no Mickey Mantle collection should be without a store model and  commemorative bat. Store model bats from the 1950's-'60s were very common for Major League Baseball's greatest players and they still are today. Sold at numerous five and dime and local sporting goods stores, the player model bats were very popular with children of the era hoping to replicate Mantle's on field talents in their own pick-up or Little League games. While several store models exist, and are authentic for the period, a couple stand out as true collectibles; those made by Lousiville Slugger or Hillerich Bradsby.

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Manufacturers: Salvino, McFarlane, Hartland, Danbury Mint, Starting Line-ups, Hamilton, Sports Illustrated, Sports Impressions

Whether they are statues, bobbleheads, busts or toys, Mickey Mantle has been immortalized in three dimensions by many companies through the years. Some of the figures originally produced during his playing days, particularly the Hartland figures can be quite valuable. When it comes to figures, aesthetic value and likeness are the two most important characteristics to look for when figure shopping. The listed manufacturers are some of the higher profile companies that have produced Mickey Mantle figures through the years.

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More Info

Other Mickey Mantle Collecting Guides

Find out more about Mickey Mantle cards and memorabilia by browsing our featured guides and resources below:

To learn more about Mickey Mantle's playing career, statistics and post-retirement life, be sure to visit these sites:

Author  |  E-Mail Author | 
Rob is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff and co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio.He is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby.

User Comments

  1. Author

    DON SCHWARTZ (ID 26642) Hi Don,

    Nice card! Depending on the condition of the card, I’d say you’re probably looking at anywhere from $250-450 for the card if you were to list it online. If it’s the card I’m thinking of, the signature is on the back of the card, which makes it a little less desirable to card collectors, but not much. It is a nice card!

  2. Author

    I have a topps 2008 Mickey mantle mmr52 gold refractor I cant find anything on this card any idea on a price or if its rare

  3. Author

    Recent completed eBay listings have seen completed sales averaging around $25-30.

  4. Author

    I am asking about the sale value of a 1956 bowman triple crown baseball card. Good conition. Would you please advise.

    I am confused with this one. Thanks,

  5. Author

    I have a 1983 Donruss Hall of Fame Diamond King 63 pc puzzle of Mickey Mantle. Can’t find this anywhere on line Great condition Please let me know value.

  6. Author

    I have a #311 Mickey Mantle 1996 Commemorative card ,with reflector and hard plastic protector.What value is it being its year make is 96′?

  7. Author

    I have a #311 gold mickey mantle card in mint condition w/hard case and authentication paper that is signed by jerry Gordon. I have researched and having trouble narrowing down the value of it. please help if you want pictures I can send them.

  8. Author

    I have a 1974 B/W topps signed photo, with Mantle batting lefty, and swing is complete. His number is “6”. I am wondering what the value is? Thanks, Eric Moye

  9. Author

    I have 9 porcelain cards 4×6 they have newspaper articles printed on them about baseball..one says Yankees win series then another says Yankees are champs on dailey news header..others have headline of different news papers..cant find anything simuliar please any help

  10. Author

    So I was looking through all the cards that I collected as a boy ( I was born in 1948) They have been put in the attic for over 40 years now and I found two Mickey Mantle cards in my collection. His 1951 rookie card and his 1968 card. How should I go about selling them?

  11. Author

    The best way would be first to have them graded through either PSA or SGC. Then listing them on eBay.

  12. Author

    I have a Mickey Mantle 2001 SP Legendary Game Uniform Card
    Number J-MM overall grade by Beckett at 8.5 with a stripe right down the middle. Can you tell me what is it worth. Thank you!

  13. Author

    Does anyone know how many of these Mickey Mantle 2001 SP Legendary Game Uniform Cards Number J-MM were produced?
    Thanks again!

  14. Author

    I have a question that really cant be answered yet and i hope it does now? Anyways, I have this beautiful Mickey Mantle 311 porcelain card but there is no date on this card at all. It also come with an Certificate of Authenticity that fits in the case with the card sign by Jerry Gordon. Oh its limited to 10 firing days also if that means something. Also I figured it would say reprint made ???but nothing I have a limited edition number on it says #36058 but cant find nothing on it. so will u please help me? thanks

  15. Author

    I have a 1966 Mantle Topps # 50, very good cond, well centered all corners in good shape, maybe you can give me idea of value, thanks for any help on this piece, sincerly, Clifton Vaughn j

  16. Author

    I have a vintage 1952 Topps mickey mantle rookie card (not a reprint). I’m interested in selling it. Does anyone know a good website to sell items without using a third party company?

  17. Author

    As much as I would like to say sell it to me…get the card Graded. PSA is the most recognizable but they will charge you a fee based on the value of the card. Beckett has a good grading service that charges by the card …regardless of value. I would start there. If it is graded 5 or higher then you might invest in PSA because the card would be worth $5-$10,000.

  18. Author

    I have two picture negatives that were the actual negatives of the pictures used for Mickey Mantles minor card. Any idea of worth? They are priceless to us because he was family but we would like to have them insured.

  19. Author

    I have a baseball signed by Mantle with the #7 under the autograph. I see a lot of balls signed with no7 written under autograph but not #7. Is it more valuable?

  20. Author

    I have some Micky Mantle b&w negatives from a 1963 party that Micky Mantle hosted for his baseball teammates, wives & associates. There is a group photo of the men in front of Micky Mantle’s large baseball portrait with Micky Mantle in the photo, plus a second photo of one of the guest poised to add pen marks or mustache(?) to the large portrait while the rest of the guys
    laugh about it. Are these negatives valuable as collector items?

  21. Author

    I have the 1953 topps archive set that was made in 1991 could you tell me the value!
    (Mint Condition)

  22. Author

    I have a 1953 red heart dog food baseball card set all 33 cards how do I go about getting the whole set graded

  23. Author

    mMy son has a glass Mickey Mantle card for most valueable player for the year of 1956-1957 and Im trying to see how much it is worth

  24. Author

    i have a metal Mickey mantle card it’s the 1952 tops card but it’s made of metal can you give me any info on this it looks just like the 1952 card but only metal

  25. Author

    i have a few cards of him and originals and i get more cards from 50′ 60′ 70′ 80′ anybody who wants to buy them? you can call me at (408)5950756

  26. Author

    if somebody is interested in any of my co llection please contact me at 3254560202 i have mickey mantle harlom globtridders signatured and garrbage pail kids football baseball and basketball thers 19 big box to look threwsome new some are pretty old feel free to cantact me anytime

  27. Author

    I have a signed Mickey Mantle rookie year plaque standing at bat with all the stats stating 96 games played, 267 average, 13 homers, 65 RBI, 91 hits stadium stands in the background I would like to know if you have seen one and possible worth thank you. By the the way great condition.

  28. Author

    I have a 1962 Menu from the L>>A> Hilton Hotel autographed by Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, White Ford and Jesse Gonder==Wonder if this is worth anything?

  29. Author

    I have a 1962 Mickey Mantle Post Cereal Baseball Star Card #5. This card is off the back of a Post Cereal Box are there any of these out there and how much would a card like this be worth

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