How Many Mickey Mantle Rookie Cards Are There?

Many people still mistakenly call the 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle card his rookie card. And while the 52 Topps is definitely his most famous and valuable card, the true Mickey Mantle rookie card is the 1951 Bowman #253 pictured below.

Mickey Mantle Rookie Card

How Many Mickey Mantle Rookie Cards Exist?

Because vintage baseball cards weren’t serial numbered like certain modern cards are now, there’s not a way to know for certain exactly how many of the 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie cards exist, BUT, because the major sports card grading companies keep records we can get a better idea.

According to the CardLadder Population Report there are currently (as of 8/9/23) 2,628 total 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie cards that have been graded by PSA, SGC, Beckett and CGC combined.

It’s also important to note that the 2,628 number is very likely inflated a bit due to cards that were counted multiple times with multiple grading companies. For example, a card is submitted to SGC and grades a 1. The owner decides to crack the slab and submit the same card to PSA. Now that card is counted twice on the population report. Let’s be conservative and say 10% of the population is duplicate. That would mean less than 2,500 graded Mickey Mantle rookie cards exist.

There are of course many more that exist that have not been graded. Let’s take a guess and say for every graded Mantle rookie there are 2 out there that are not graded (there are likely less than this out there ungraded due to how valuable and iconic this card is). That would mean there are approximately 7,500 total. Not NEARLY enough to satisfy the tremendous demand for a rookie card of THE MICK!

What do YOU think? Feel free to comment below.


  1. NYFan7 on August 10, 2023 at 12:33 am

    Great article and I think there are even less than 7,500.

  2. Ted Harry on January 14, 2024 at 4:47 pm

    I have one. It is part of my grandfather’s, father’s, and my combined collection. I am 70 now, and still have them in grandpa’s old cigar box in the closet. I have girls and they have no interest in my card collection , or even baseball. What is wrong with them, right? The cards are in great condition. Dad was big on rookie cards. Also the first black baseball players. Who is a reputable company for appraising a collection of cards from the 30’s through the 80’s ? Excellent condition, no exaggeration. You wouldn’t believe the list of names of rookies alone. Older players, too, including the Babe on two different teams. I’m retired law enforcement, and always loved my baseball. I know it’s a valuable collection, but need it appraised. Help.

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