A remarkable childhood stash of baseball cards from the late 1940s and early 50s including a jaw-dropping hoard of five 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards will enter the hobby this summer. Heritage Auctions teased the collection via social media last week. Now, the fresh find is heading to auction, including one card that already ranks among the best single best known examples of Mantle’s iconic ’52 Topps issue.
In all, the collection held more than 3,000 cards highlighted by more than 100 higher grade 1952 Topps high numbers including four Jackie Robinsons. There was a Mantle rookie and three Willie Mays rookie from the 1951 Bowman set, two 1948-49 Leaf Robinson rookies and hundreds of other cards, all dating from the early days of post-War bubble gum sets. In all, the collection will turn the cards the retired gentleman’s mother didn’t throw out into a seven-figure windfall.
The consignor called Heritage after reading about the company’s $2.88 million auction of a PSA 9 Mantle last month. Hearing from people who think they have valuable cards is old hat for any auction house but much of the time consignors tend to be overly optimistic or simply don’t understand that not every Mantle card is vintage or that every vintage card isn’t worth a fortune.