Buying 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Rookie Using Eye Appeal Over PSA Grade

Would you Rather Own an Off Centered PSA 4 or a Centered PSA 2? Let's Discuss!
  • March 17, 2024

Side by side 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie cards. One card is graded PSA 4 and the other card is graded PSA 2. Which card would YOU choose? Today we talk about "eye appeal" with vintage cards.

While at The Philly Show, I found two 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie cards. The first card was graded a PSA 4, and the second card was graded a PSA 2. The cost for the PSA 4 was $105,000 and the cost of the PSA 2 was $75,000. I've mentioned before that condition is VERY important when determining the value of your sports cards. As you can see, the difference in value with just two grades (comparing a 4 to a 2), is $30,000. While looking at these two cards, I actually preferred the LOWER-graded card! Here are the two cards:

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle

The card on the right, a PSA 4, is off center. The left border of the card is thicker than the right; Mickey Mantle is shifted to the side, and the card is not centered. The card on the left, while carrying a lower grade, is very well centered; the boarder thickness is about even all around. The card on the right is not an "error" card; the sheets of cards were just cut a little off the mark. 

Ignoring the grade, and not looking at the price tag, which card would you rather own?

I personally enjoy the card on the left - the centered card. This is a great example of what I mean when talking about "eye appeal" of a card. The corners might not be as sharp, but the overall look of the Mickey Mantle card on the left, to me, looks nicer. Should we be ignoring the grades on vintage cards and value each based the eye appeal? I'd love to hear your thoughts! You can tell me right here on the blog or on my Instagram post.

If you have a Mickey Mantle rookie card that you're interested in selling, I am always buying! Recently I traveled to Tampa to purchase a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card along with other stars including Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams that you can see here. I have also purchased entire 1952 Topps baseball cards sets including The Black Box Collection.

I also purchase other vintage cards and collections including 1909-1911 T206 cards like this collection of 400 cards with Ty Cobb and Cy Young. This collection of FIVE 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan rookie cards is amazing - I was able to have Nolan Ryan sign a few of these rookies! My name is Leighton, owner of Just Collect, and if you're interested in selling your collection, reach out directly to 


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 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 may ways to evaluate your cards other than or 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 convention

We keep a LIST of 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.

  • 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 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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