Investing in the ’57 Topps Mickey Mantle

I have once again found myself on Rally Rd, this time going after a card that is actually a little special to me – the 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle. Years ago, when I was about 9 years old, I was gifted a 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle from the nice old man up the street that I did yard work for. When he asked me what I spent the money on that I made from him, I told him that I spent a lot of it on baseball cards, and the rest I put in my savings – finding out that I collected baseball cards, he surprised me the next time I came over to mow his lawn with an old shoebox full of cards, mostly from the 40’s – 60’s with a handful of really old cards from the teens through the 30’s – one of those cards was the 1957 Mickey Mantle.

Almost thirty years later I can still remember the excitement I experienced when I got home that afternoon and went through that old shoebox – finding players like Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and so many more made my head spin. I was the envy of all my card collecting friends literally overnight. Somewhere over the years I lost that collection, and while the cards weren’t in the best of condition, I can almost guarantee that they would be worth quite a lot of money today – even more important than that however, would be the memories of those cards and the ability to pass them on to my son one day. But life happens – so when I was pursuing around Rally Rd the other night and saw that 1957 Mickey Mantle I had to jump in, even if only for the sake of nostalgia.

The card in question on Rally Rd is graded by PSA in near mint/mint 8 condition, and the centering on the card is quite good compared to some of the cards from the era. The offering on Rally Rd is for a total of $8,000 and the offering as of this writing is at 60% funded with 88 days remaining in the initial public offering.

Now, as usual I look at historical sales data on everything I invest in, and this one gave me a couple of head scratcher moments when I saw prices all over the place, from low hundreds to multi-thousands – until I realized that the low selling listings were the ones indicated by PSA as being off-center, they even put a designation on the card label (OC). These off-center designated cards were trading at a significantly lower value than the ones without – once I determined this difference in the historical card sales the decision to invest in this particular card was even easier.

Looking at historical sales data for a PSA 8 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle, we can see that there has been a steady and continuous uptick in value over the last ten years. The first recorded sale in 2010 was 10 February, and a PSA 8 ’57 Topps Mantle sold for $2,684 – fast forward ten years and on 13 January 2020 the card sold for $7,533 a whopping 280% increase in ten years. There have been several sales of this card in 2020, ranging from $5,200 at a low to $8,220 at a high, with an average sales price in 2020 of $6,995 which is still about 260% above the first sale of 2010.

Granted, the last sale price of the card and the average sale price of the card for the current year is less than the offering amount on Rally Rd, however with a solid history of continuous growth in value, this is an investment in which I am willing to pay a premium as the outlook for continued growth is strong. Looking at the population report from PSA we can see that for the 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle there have only been 275 cards which have received a grade of NM/MT 8 and only 23 cards receiving a higher grade, 22 as PSA 9 and only one as PSA 10 (that would be a card to have!).

Having found this card as an offering on Rally Rd has really brought back some great memories from my childhood collecting cards, and I can’t wait to see the return on investment this ’57 Mantle provides. I guess my next move is to actually go look for a fairly good specimen of this card to buy outright and put back in my collection – maybe I’ll find a great raw card that I can send in for grading and end up having my own PSA 8 specimen of this card!

*Disclaimer: Investing in trading cards, comic books, memorabilia, and any other item involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone. Cardboard Prospector does not provide financial advice, and none of our articles or opinions should be construed as financial or investment advice. We do not guarantee results from your decision making based on our opinions and content. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence prior to making any investment.

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