On This Day: New York Yankees Legend Mickey Mantle Makes MLB Debut in 1951

by Katie Maloney

Seventy years ago today, baseball legend Mickey Mantle made his debut with the New York Yankees.

It’s funny to think that a legend like Mickey Mantle was once a rookie. But, everyone starts somewhere. And in 1951, at just 19-years old, Mickey Mantle made his rookie appearance with the New York Yankees. During the game, he batted third and played right field. His future position, center field, was currently occupied by fellow baseball legend Joe DiMaggio. During his first at-bat as a professional baseball player, Mantle grounded out to second base. However, he finished the day 1 for 4 with an RBI single. Overall, it was a good day at the stadium as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-0. The Mick would go on to hit .267/.349/.443 with 13 homers and 65 RBI during his rookie season. A lot of people don’t know this, but during his first season, Mickey Mantle was sent back down to the minors for a few months before rejoining the Yankees in late August of the same year.

Mickey Mantle Baseball Card Sets All-Time Record Sales By Over $1 Million

Earlier this year, a Mickey Mantle baseball card sold for $5.2 million at auction. This is over $1 million more than the previously held record of $3.94 million set by a one-of-one Mike Trout rookie card last year. The 1952 #311 Topps Mickey Mantle card is considered one of the most desirable baseball trading cards in existence. Why? There are a few reasons why this card is so special. First, Mantle is a 20x All-Star and 7x World Series champ. Mickey Mantle was also in the running to break Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1961 – Roger Maris beat him for the record with 61 home runs. Additionally, 1952 was the first year Topps produced baseball cards. So, it’s pretty cool to find one of the first baseball cards ever made by the iconic company. Very few of these cards still exist today. One of the only other known cards of its type was sold at auction in 2018 for $2.88 million. This means the card has almost doubled its value in just two years.

So who’s the new proud owner of the record-breaking Mickey Mantle baseball card? Rob Gough, owner of the iconic CBD brand, DOPE CBD. He shared a photo of himself holding the card on Instagram to celebrate his purchase. Along with the photo, he wrote,  “the Mona Lisa of sports cards.”

That card definitely is a work of art.