1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle Rookie Cards Highlight Ankle Brace Collection

Two Mickey Mantle Rookie Cards Arrive in Lifeweartech Ankle Support Box!
  • October 20, 2022

TWO 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie cards and a stack of vintage cards of baseball Hall of Fame players arrived at our Just Collect store in a unique way - an Ankle Brace box.

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Is that a Lifeweartech Ankle Support box? Yes it is. Rather than ankle supports, this box supported cardboard treasures! 


When Erik's father was younger, he spent his days in Detroit, MI collecting sports cards. As he got older, the cards were placed in a shoebox and stored in the attic for decades. Erik's parents divorced and the card collection from the attic went to his mother, and the valuable cards were placed in a safety deposit box for a while. Erik's father passed away in 2020, and now that his mother is getting older she wanted to clear out some of her possessions and the cards from the safety deposit box came to mind. The family agreed it was a good time to sell the vintage card collection and provide Erik and his two siblings a little extra spending money.


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In the collection are TWO 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie cards. Bowman included a young Mantle in their release with a beautiful painted rendition of the would-be New York Yankees legend. Just 19 years old, Mantle hit 6 home runs and knocked in 20 over the final 27 games of the season that year. Mantle was on the postseason roster and helped the Yankees to the World Series championship, his first of seven, in his rookie season. Bowman put The Mick on card #253 a year before Topps included Mantle on a baseball card. 

The two rookies you see above were Erik's fathers. We had the cards graded by SGC. The top card graded a 1 on a scale from 1 to 10. The bottom card is graded as Authentic to deem the card just that rather than a numerical grade. As the card is missing a corner on the bottom right, the grading company could not assign a numerical grade given that corners of cards are included on the grading scale.

Erik's dad may have picked up both of these Mantles at the local five and dime he rode his bike to, came home to catch Howdy Doody, checked out the latest Dennis The Menace comic in the paper, and maybe out to the street for a game of stickball. Here are those exact cards 71 years later!




Also in the Ankle Brace box were four 1950 Bowman Pee Wee Reese cards, additional cards from the 1951 Bowman baseball set including trio of Ted Williams, and cards of Bob Feller, Yogi Berra, and another Pee Wee Reese.




Another Mickey Mantle card was in the collection. You can see the 1957 Topps Yankees Power Hitters on the top left with his teammate and Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra. Also from the same set are cards from Gil Hodges, Bill Mazeroski, Ernie Banks, Luis Aparicio, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, and Frank Robinson. Below the 1957 Topps cards you can see legends from the 1956 Topps set with Willie Mays leading off next to another Hank Aaron and Luis Aparicio makes another appearance. 


Here is a group of iconic players from the 1956 Topps set includes three cards from Eddie Matthews, three from Warren Spahn, two from Nellie Fox, and another Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks card.

Did you notice something missing from the collection? We did not notice any Tigers cards! Growing up in Detroit, MI, perhaps Erik's father wasn't a Tigers fan at all. He did have the foresight to collect future Hall of Fame baseball players, though.


The collection was truly stored in an Ankle Brace box! Don't worry; that box was packaged and stored securely inside a FedEx box. We gave Erik our TIPS on how to package the sports cards for shipping. Using an Ankle Brace box as the inner protection isn't the oddest thing we've seen; we once purchased a collection of 1986-87 Fleer basketball cards with a Michael Jordan rookie card that was stored in Tupperware; great read here


When evaluating cards you know that condition is important; there is a big difference in the value of a card graded a 1 vs. a card graded a 10 on a ten-point scale. When appraising high-end cards like Mickey Mantle rookie cards, moving up or down just a single point on the grading scale could alter the price by thousands of dollars. It was important that appraise the collection with the correct condition of the cards so that the Erick could receive the most money for his collection. While the Mickey Mantle rookie cards were "low-grade" cards they are still highly-desirable cards in the hobby.

We offered Erik our FREE evaluation and many safe options for us to receive the cards. Erik chose to ship his card collection to our Just Collect office and we provided him our FedEx account with 2-day shipping, fully insured, all covered by us.

Erik knew he needed a vintage card specialist to evaluate his collection. Your local card shop is generally not well equipped to appraise or purchase vintage collections like this unless they have vintage expertise on staff like we do. The retail stores are focused on selling modern products and simply don't have the time or the knowledge to carefully evaluate vintage collections. This is where we are happy to help you!

We made Erik a fair offer that he accepted, and we paid Erik how he wanted to be paid! When we purchase your collection, we can pay you in cash, check, money order, or we can buy you a new pair of ankle braces (since we have the box, where are you storing your braces, Erik?).


We have purchased many Mickey Mantle rookie cards here at Just Collect. Here are a few other collections with not just a 1951 Bowman rookie card but also the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card along with other incredible cards that you'll enjoy reading:

  • The Black Box Collection with six complete baseball sets from the 1950's including a 1952 Topps Set.
  • Grandpa's Shoebox Collection from Canada with a Mantle rookie stored under jars of pickles!
  • The Sooner State Collection with a 1951 bowman Mantle and 15,000 graded cards.


Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss or get our industry-leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want to be appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace. Check out the Just Collect Buy List.

We always offer a FREE APPRAISAL for your collection here at the Just Collect site. Just click here:



We offer many ways to evaluate your cards other than using our website, too.

  • Travel to us

If you can make the trip here like the son from my hometown did for this collection- we can make a deal at the office. We once met a father-son duo that drove eight hours from Virginia to meet us to sell a Michael Jordan rookie card stored in Tupperware since 1986 - great read here

  • Come to a convention

We keep a LIST of the card shows we'll be attending.  Come stop by the Just Collect table and chat.

  • Meet in-person

If you have a valuable collection and want us to come to you, we'll hop on the next plane out. We recently took a trip to California to purchase a collection that included three Jackie Robinson 1948 Leaf rookie cards that you can read about here.

  • Meet in New York City

We have another location in New York you can meet us at; read all the information here.

  • SHIP your collection 

If you choose to mail your cards for an appraisal, we will evaluate your cards for FREE still. If you choose not to sell the cards, we'll ship them back with shipping fees paid by us!  We can offer our FedEx account with 2-day shipping, fully insured, all covered by us. Simply contact the office to set up this option.


We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the last 25 years. Although Just Collect is known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage baseball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, too!  

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and souls into building their collections. So when you're ready to sell, we understand the feelings that you're going through and will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.


Whether you have vintage cards or modern wax you want to sell, you can reach out to us any time! 


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