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  • 1952 Berk Ross Mickey Mantle Rookie RC PSA 8 (OC) Near Mint
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1952 Berk Ross Mickey Mantle Rookie RC PSA 8 (OC) Near Mint

$5,808.00
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1952 Berk Ross Mickey Mantle Rookie RC PSA 8 (OC) Near Mint

The Berk Ross cards are very condition sensitive and came in unnumbered 2-card planks that you had to separate by hand if you wanted to display the cards individually. If the logic for acknowledging the 1952 Topps Mantle as a rookie card followed suit for the 1952 Berk Ross Mantle, the Berk Ross Mantle would also be considered by many collectors as one of Mickey Mantle's rookie cards. The circumstances for the Berk Ross card are eerily similar to the Topps card in that both cards are produced in the same year and both are Mantle's inaugural card for each card's manufacturer. Sure, Berk Ross produced a set in 1951 but Mantle was not featured in this set. This is the same exact situation that occurred with the Topps card.

Although the 1952 Topps is considered by most novice collectors as the first Topps release, it is actually the first year for a new format which featured bigger cards with more colorful photos. In fact, like Berk Ross, Topps also had a 1951 release of cards that boasted a less than nostalgic visual appeal which are known as "Blue Backs" and "Red Backs." Obviously, Mantle had neither a "Red Back" or a "Blue Back" Topps card in 1951.

To make things even more interesting, it is debatable if Berk Ross even had the right to feature Mickey and other player's pictures on these cards. In fact, many Giants players during this era filed suit against Berk Ross for using their picture without their permission. Furthermore, Joe DiMaggio who is deliberately absent from both 1951 and 1952 Topps AND Bowman releases is miraculously featured in both the '51 and '52 Berk Ross cards. It doesn't make sense that a relatively unknown brand such as Berk Ross could get permission to feature DiMaggio's photo on their cards but Bowman and Topps were not able to. It is unknown if Mickey gave a damn if his picture was on these cards or not.

Despite all of the history behind this set, the Berk Ross Mantle remains overlooked. In fact, it sells for a fraction of what the 1952 Topps Mantle sells for and many collectors don't even know that it exist. As of May of 2018, there are only 2,370 Berk Ross Mantles graded by PSA and the highest grade awarded is a 8 by PSA. This card has a qualifier due to it being off-centered left to right. 

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