1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle (PSA 5)The manner Mickey n which the Mantle 1952 Topps subject achieved its current mystique may never achieve full resolution, but it is surely “here to stay”, with only the T206 Honus Wagner “Holy Grail” arguably surpassing “The Mick’s” inaugural ’52 Topps iconic stature. This cardboard marvel’s sudden rise to stardom in the late 80’s and early 90’s ably assisted the overall market stature, with its incredible pricing points redefining one’s perspective for utilizing cardboard heirlooms as viable investment options. For quite some time and before 2013, price tags for the 1952 Topps Mantle subject had remained relatively “flat”, and while not diminishing in value, its pricing points had moved somewhat “sideways”. Typical with any market commodity, the investment values of valuable baseball cards likewise run in cycles, and the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card, dubbed the post-WWII “Holy Grail”, is now experiencing an amazing pricing surge for all grade levels that have re-written its overall value. Synonymous with an uncontrollable brush fire, since mid-year 2013, the Topps Mantle rookie value has risen to an unprecedented level, with mid-grade specimens now fetching 300% - 400% pricing upticks. “Seeing is believing”, and the most definitive case of this seemingly infinite escalation is evident with a June 2016 sale of a PSA 5 for the staggering sum of $125,000! While these seemingly miraculous pricing spikes are “jaw-dropping” to say the least, it was only a matter of time before this iconic baseball card achieved an “infinite-like” pricing surge. The superb eye appeal of this offered PSA 5 specimen is synonymous with Mantle’s magnificent legacy, starting with the classic bat over shoulder pose portraying a nearly un-improvable aqua-marine blue background that atypically reveals no “snow” whatsoever. One of the finest mid-grade ’52 Mantles you will ever come across, you can virtually feel Mickey’s curious nature as he gazes into the future with a youthful innocence that would eventually lead to his immortal Yankee standing. Simply stated, the crystal clear clarity, sparkling facial hues, gleaming front surface, clean white borders, and a super clean verso all contribute to the ultra-desirable PSA 5 assessment. No obtrusive surface flaws/creases are evident and only some even corner wear prevents the card from achieving a higher grade. The final stamp of approval is the extremely well-centered image that exhibits nearly dead-on 50/50 “top to bottom” centering and 45/55 – 40/60 “side to side” positioning. No doubt, the recent tsunami-like pricing up-ticks coupled with this offering’s sensational attributes more than justify its world class standing. The “Commerce Comet” redefined the confines of every ballpark, with his mammoth blasts besting even the furthest fences, and it is no surprise that his most heralded baseball card issue is currently experiencing a seemingly unbounded pricing surge with no apparent end in sight. Had it not been for “truckloads” of 1952 Topps high-number vending cases being dumped into New York’s murky waters, the incredible mystique of the ‘52 Topps Mantle might have never been born. Yet, the reality of this card standing tall as our hobby’s post-war “Holy Grail” shines forth today similar to an unparalleled beacon, with its uncontested popularity the driver of its redefined value. With the highly anticipated sale a PSA 8.5 example projected to possibly approach $1 million in the fall of 2016, we can only imagine the positive impact it will have on all other grades, with this brilliant PSA 5 marvel an archetypal candidate for the card’s unlimited growth potential!