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Thread: Thoughts on the market value of the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle

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    Thoughts on the market value of the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle

    I just wanted to get peoples thoughts on the long term value of a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. I didn't realize that average to poor PSA 1's were now getting over $5,000 with nice 1's going for around $7,000.For higher grades the value just goes up from there. I understand that this IS the iconic card for a generation of "baby boomers" but it really makes me wonder who is going to buy these cards once the current group of owners decides to sell. I mean I really enjoy baseball cards and have the ability to spend 4 figures on a piece of cardboard so it seems like I would be a perfect candidate for buying one from the current holders, but I just don't ever seeing myself owning this card, I just don't connect to it like I do to a 1989 upper deck Griffey or Jordan RC. I mean maybe if I could get a PSA 3 or 4 for the current price of a crummy PSA 1 I might consider it just because of it's significance in card collecting, but we are coming up on a whole generation of people that have never seen Mantle play. For that type of money I'd rather have a nice Jordan RC, a Pujols Bowman Chrome auto and a Trout BC auto. I just can't see the Mantle holding it's value over the next 20 years. I mean honestly with the resurgence of Bowman amongst the younger collectors, wouldn't they just want the 1951 Bowman, that's his true RC anyways. When the 1952 topps really started taking off topps wasn't even making Bowman cards. I really don't think the 1952 is that rare it's just the fact that demand for it is currently quite high, I guess I just don't think that demand will be quite as strong in 20 or 30 years. Anyways wanted to get some peoples thoughts on it so let me know what you think.

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    Senior Member RiceLynnEvans75's Avatar
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    In 20-30 years I believe the cost to purchase one will be higher. How high I have no idea. In regards to the point of a whole generation of people that have never seen Mantle play, it doesn't matter....much. I don't know of anybody that saw Honus Wagner play, or anybody from that era for that matter, yet cards continue to go up in cost, though there are the typical peaks and valleys.

    The one factor I'd be curious to see is that with the supposed shrinking size of the modern collecting community, how that will impact the vintage market (what we now know as vintage) down the road. From many fellow vintage collectors, it seems I've heard numerous times now that they started out in their respective modern cards but eventually weaned off of that and went into vintage. I guess modern cards are the gateway to vintage. If the modern community is shrinking, I would imagine that would eventually lead to a smaller community for vintage as well. SO, how that would impact the rise/fall of prices would be interesting. With that said, I also believe that the modern community will hit a rise again sometime in the future.

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    Senior Member ThoseBackPages's Avatar
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    nowhere but up
    What you collect is awesome, what i collect sucks.

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    Senior Member JoshHamilton's Avatar
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    Babe Ruth's prices didn't seem affected when his fan base croaked

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    Senior Member jbhofmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshHamilton View Post
    Babe Ruth's prices didn't seem affected when his fan base croaked
    To further your point, his early vintage (Red Sox) is hotter now than ever.


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    Senior Member D-Lite's Avatar
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    I was thinking about the changing generations as well when thinking about price trends recently and I'm of the opinion now that as those young collectors that keep on collecting mature they will continue to buy the vintage iconic cards. The value is in the card, not just the player on it. The 1952 Topps Mantle is all about the CARD, hence the price premium over the '51 Bowman. People collect it because it's collectable and inspires more than just fans of that particular player. I just recently started building a '53 Bowman set for the beauty of the cards and photography, not because I'm a Vic Raschi fan. I never saw a single player from that set play, but as a collector I really enjoy that set.

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    Junior Member buck724's Avatar
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    I think the card will always hold value for the sake that it's so iconic in the hobby. I would love to own one myself lol

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Freedom Card Board mobile app
    Collector since 1998, mainly baseball and football. Huge collector of Ken Griffey Jr, Tim Lincecum, and Sandy Koufax.

    Looking For:
    -Chicago White Sox #17 Griffey Autographed Jersey
    -Seattle Mariners #24 Griffey Autographed Jersey (90's, or 09-10)

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    If I was going to spend that much on a Mantle, I would rather buy the 1951 Bowman RC.

    I would take this; https://www.ebay.com/itm/1951-Bowman-...p2047675.l2557

    Over this garbage; https://www.ebay.com/itm/1952-TOPPS-M...p2047675.l2557
    Last edited by sportscardtheory; 04-24-2014 at 01:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshHamilton View Post
    Babe Ruth's prices didn't seem affected when his fan base croaked
    Nice avatar!

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    The 52 Mantle isn't rare in that it's particularly hard to find. There are always multiples on offer on ebay, auction houses feature them regularly, and because it is such a liquid commodity, they are always changing hands. But it's rare enough, especially factoring in condition. But as an icon of the hobby, it's really second to none. It's surpassed explanation, really. There are T-206s rarer than the Wagner, and rarer Wagners, and no Babe Ruth card really stands out as iconic (though I think there is a fairly clear-cut case of "most expensive"), and there's no real reason why Bowman Chrome cards of today's rookies are worth more than comparable cards from other brands. The subjectivity of the hobby is hard to codify or quantify. But I'd bet as long as people collect cards, your Trouts, Pujolses, Ripkens, Ryans, etc., will ebb and flow, but the 1952 Topps Mantle will be as blue-chip as they get.
    Looking for 2011 Topps Marquee Museum autographs, rare Frank Thomases, and any Grady Sizemores I don't have

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    Senior Member ThoseBackPages's Avatar
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    Most new collectors start with what they see, current players. Then they learn more about the game, and the card business in general. Then eventually they start going backwards and get into vintage. Thats how it usually works
    What you collect is awesome, what i collect sucks.

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    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    Mantle is more well known than the average baseball player of his era. The same could be said for the likes of Ruth, Mays, Jeter, etc. All sports have those handful of incredibly famous and revered athletes, who even non-fans recognize. Those players will see a premium because of this sheer recognition. Mantle will always hold a value much greater than his performance warrants. Look at the same set. Eddie Mathews is the last card in the set, a high number AND condition sensitive card. He is a HOF to boot, but nothing close to Mantle. How about #1 . Andy Pafko's card only has the value it has due to being card #1 and very little to do with the player (other than a small premium for being a Dodger). That card will always be sought after though, not for the player on the card, but for the significance and relative scarcity of the card in top condition.

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    Thanks for all the great feedback and I think the 52 Mantle will always be an Iconic card, I was just questioning if it would continue to climb in value, I mean are people really going to drop 10 grand on a nice PSA 1? To me that just seems crazy for a couple of reasons. I just don't see them being super super rare when compared to the other big name cards and the demographic that has the money to drop 7k on a PSA 1 of a 60 year old piece of cardboard will be constantly shrinking. I think that a lot of the reason people spend that much is that they feel that they can always sell it for what they paid or more and for now that is true but at some point I think that stops being true, I guess I just feel that it is really reaching it's peak right now and that the group that wants that card the most is the "baby boomers" who are kind of peaking in there disposable income right now. I agree with sportscardtheorys point that a nice PSA 3 1951 Mantle is way better then a miscut bent up PSA 1 1952 topps Mantle and that over time the 1952 will come slightly down especially in the lower grades (the high end one's are a different animal) and the 1951 would slowly float up or go down less.
    Last edited by mmier118; 04-24-2014 at 10:05 PM.

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    Senior Member Juan Gris's Avatar
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    Normally, I would take the 52 over the 51 but that PSA 1 1952 Mantle looks absolutely terrible. Of those two examples I would be all over the 1951 Bowman.
    Always Looking For Adam Dunn Autograph Cards, 1/1's And Game Used Bats!

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    Member bigunitcards's Avatar
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    PSA lists 1,200 graded Mantles and Beckett has 130. So would we say there are likely < 2000 real '52 Mantles in existence? Does that seem like a likely graded/ungraded estimate to you guys?

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