Top 10 Mickey Mantle Baseball Cards

Top 10 Mickey Mantle Baseball Cards

A legend on the diamond and in the collecting world, there's been nobody like Mickey Mantle. With literally thousands of cards to choose from, here are the top ten Mickey Mantle baseball cards of all-time.

1. 1952 Topps Baseball Mickey Mantle

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The most iconic post-War card in existence, people often regard Mantle's 1952 Topps Baseball card his rookie. It's not. But from a hobby standpoint, it's easily his most important piece of cardboard. Added to the much rarer "high series," legend has it that cases of leftover product were sent to a watery grave at the bottom of the ocean by Topps founder, Sy Berger.

2. 1951 Bowman Baseball Mickey Mantle Rookie Card

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Issued a year before his Topps debut, Mantle's true rookie card comes from 1951 Bowman Baseball. The painted image features a young Mantle standing against a cloudy backdrop. It's a beautiful card that embodies classic baseball card collecting. Like the 1952 Topps issue, this iconic Mickey Mantle baseball card was part of the scarcer high series, adding to its scarcity ,and subsequently, its value.

3. 1952 Bowman Baseball Mickey Mantle

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Another beautifully painted card, Mantle's 1952 Bowman Baseball card is the first mainstream card to picture him in the classic Yankee pinstripes. Like Mantle's 1952 Topps card, Bowman also included facsimile autographs.

4. 1953 Topps Baseball Mickey Mantle

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Mantle's second Topps issue offers a close-up look at the young slugger. This is also the last Topps card Mantle had for a couple of years, as he would not return to the company until 1956. Although it might get a lot of attention for being on of the earliest baseball card sets from the company, 1953 Topps Baseball stands out on its own for having one of the best designs of all-time.

5. 1994 Upper Deck Baseball Dual Autograph Mickey Mantle (with Ken Griffey Jr.)

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If Mantle embodies the vintage appeal of the hobby, Ken Griffey Jr. is the king of modern baseball cards. Autographed cards were still a rare novelty in 1994. Dual signatures were even tougher to come by. Upper Deck seeded 1,000 of these painted cards featuring autographs from both hobby icons in retail packs of 1994 Upper Deck Series 1 Baseball. Single-signed versions were also included.

6. 1999 Upper Deck Ovation Baseball Piece of History 500 Club Mickey Mantle (Game-Used Bat)

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Upper Deck's Piece of History - 500 Club is one of the few memorabilia sets to reach iconic status in the hobby. Even though bat slivers are generally regarded as being less desirable than a nice jersey or patch swatch, these cards that honor the game's biggest sluggers have held up on the secondary market extremely well. Released over various sets and years, Mantle's Piece of History card was inserted in 1999 Upper Deck Ovation Baseball. It also holds the distinction of being the slugger's first game-used memorabilia card. Limited to 350 copies, there's also a one-of-one version that also has a cut signature.

7. 1969 Topps Baseball Mickey Mantle

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1969 Topps Baseball marked the last release to feature the Yankees legend during his playing days. The look in his eyes tell the story of a weary veteran who lived as hard as he played. It's a contrasting view of his earlier cards that often featured a beaming smile.

8. 1992 Score Baseball The Franchise Players Autographs Mantle (with Stan Musial and Carl Yastrzemski)

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Who would've guessed a card from 1992 Score Baseball would land in Mantle's top ten? But who wouldn't want a card that has Mantle's signature sandwiched between those of Stan Musial and Carl Yastrzemski? The gold ink is also a nice addition. A total of 500 of these triple autographs were produced. Considering the massive print run that 1992 Score had, good luck finding one.

9. 1954 Bowman Baseball Mickey Mantle

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Think athlete exclusives on trading cards are a new thing? Think again. Back in 1954, Mickey Mantle (along with Roy Campanella and Pee Wee Reese) signed to appear exclusively in Bowman products. The 1954 Bowman Baseball design is simple but beautiful. A painted portrait of Mantle is anchored by a solid green box with a facsimile autograph.

10. 1954 Dan-Dee Potato Chips Baseball Mickey Mantle

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Mickey Mantle knew he was one of the best in the game. Perhaps no other card shows his confidence than this early oddball release from Dan-Dee Potato Chips. It's also notable because, up to this point, Mantle's mainstream releases from Topps and Bowman all featured painted portraits and not photographs like the ones used here. Due to their distribution with the greasy snacks, it's extremely difficult to find cards without stains.

Please note that although very valuable, individual cut signature and one-of-one cards were left off due to their scarcity.

Did your favorite Mickey Mantle baseball card make our list? Let us know which ones stand out to you in the comments below.

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Ryan Cracknell

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Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

User Comments

  1. The 1962 is better looking than any on the list, I think it should be as high as #4.

  2. Good list but for my taste nothing compares to the 1953 Bowman Color Mantle #59. It is a phenomenal card with a youthful Mantle posing after a swing with Yankee Stadium in the backdrop. A timeless classic!

  3. I have never owned the 52 topps but have had all of the rest of his big cards. I love the 51 Bowman and the 53 Topps but after that I feel like the 56 Topps is my favorite! That thing is so beautiful and I was a little surprised it didn’t make the list. Where does the 56 land on your list?

  4. Every time I hold the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle in my hand, I still get goose bumps! I think the ’53 Topps is gorgeous as well (especially if those edges in red aren’t dinged)!

  5. One classic that is very underrated, yet beautiful is the 1954 Red Heart Dog Food Mantle. I also really like the 1969 Topps White Letter Mickey Mantle. Many folks don’t realize that this is a very rare variation and Mickey has very few variations.

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