Aged 25, The Mick has progressed steadily since his debut in Major League five years earlier. His feats do not cease to feed the chronicle. Already in 1953 he had hit a ball so hard that it flew out of the stadium. He may become the best baseball player of all time.
His 1956 Topps card is highly popular with the young collectors. Prepared during the season, it does not yet refer to the awards of the year. The front side is the juxtaposition of two photos : a portrait with big smile of the outfielder of the Yankees and a gesture of victory in front of the tribune.
The verso is very interesting because it expresses the enthusiasm of the editor for the capacities of the player. Topps got emboldened. The backs of the 1952 cards listed facts and figures with austerity. Afterward they added quiz with their answers and tiny humorous drawings.
Three drawings cover the central part of the back of The Mick's 1956 Topps. On the left, a spectator uses a telescope to follow the ball. On the right, the player runs so fast that his shadow fails to follow him. In the center a mob hurries.
The card was edited on two types of cardboard, gray back and white back. White is more rare. Five copies were graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA including only one white. None of them had recently been offered at auction according to PSA data.
A Mickey Mantle 1956 gray back Topps Gem Mint 10 will be sold by Heritage in Dallas on May 11 with extended bidding, lot 80520 announced with a $ 350K guide value. By comparison, the highest price recorded on the same item in lower grades is $ 48K including premium on two different copies in November 2016 and February 2017, both by Heritage.
SOLD for $ 360K including premium