● This Original News Service Photo of Mickey Mantle, taken circa 1951, was used to create the iconic 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card - considered by many to be the most iconic and treasured sports card in history.
●There are only 3 Type I Authentic Original News Service Photos known in circulation - just as rare than even the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 10, which has a population of 3, and potential estimated value of ~$20m.
● Type 1 is a first-generation photo that’s developed from the original negative.
● While Topps cropped the photo to create a close-up of Mantle’s matinee idol good looks, the unaltered image shows him in full force. His ham-hock forearms and big biceps herald tape-measure home runs. Mantle’s rock-ribbed chest and narrow torso combine to create a flawless athletic specimen of awesome power who could also run like the wind.
● The photo was shot March 19, 1951 in Phoenix, AZ during Yankees Spring Training at the dawn of the “Commerce Comet’s” career. In addition, the Newark Evening News dated its publication as July 8, 1951 in the middle of his his stellar rookie season.
● The PSA Card Guide states, “The card is more pop culture art than mere baseball card at this point…the power of its image is greater than the sum of the card’s parts or attributes. If there were a Mount Rushmore of cards and it was limited to one spot, this card would get it every time.”
● A 1952 Topps Mantle in a PSA 9 recently sold for $5.2 Million in January of 2021, up from $2.88 Million in April of 2018. The $5.2 Million sale represents the highest price ever paid to date for a sports card.
● Historically, this photo has traded at a ~20% discount to the value of a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 8. For instance, the last public sale of the photo was in 2019 for $375,000 via Hunt Auctions. At the time, the last recorded public sale of the 1952 Topps PSA 8 was $489,000. A PSA 8 Mickey Mantle sold in January 2020 via Goldin Auctions for $1.6million. Since then,
●To learn more about investing in original sports photography, read CollectableU: Investing in Original, Rare Sports Photography: https://collectable.com/collectableu-investing-in-original-rare-sports-photography/