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  #1  
Old 09-11-2013, 09:48 PM
Zach Wheat Zach Wheat is offline
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Default 1951 Wheaties Premiums

The 1951 Wheaties Test Issue "Premiums" is a set of black & white portraits issued sometime around 1951 and used later in '52 on Wheaties boxes. The set is comprised of various subjects lettered A - K. It is thought the set was issued as a test to determine popularity of the photos for later use as a redemption premium. According to info in a recent auction, contracts were never completed with 2 of the subjects - Mantle & Rosen - and printing of these 2 photo's ceased. The Test Issue Premiums have been associated with General Mills, issuer of Wheaties.

The set is lettered A - K implying there were 11 subjects. In addition to the 8 baseball players, the set also included a card of ice skater Betty Schalow ("H"). Subsequent auctions also turned up cards for Rizzuto ("B"), resulting in a total of 9 baseball players, 10 subjects in total. This essentially left 1 missing subject in the letter "I" slot. I suspect this subject was not a baseball player.

I have included a photo of my 1951 Wheaties Mantle (thanks, Phil) by way of reference.

I have corresponded a number of time with the archives center at General Mills - presumed issuer of the premiums - and they determined the only premiums they made were in 1950. They stated these premiums were actually "colored pictures" with a metal frame. They could not add any information on the history of the 1951 Wheaties Test Issue Premiums set. This is not too surprising, since the archives center was started in 1980.

Who is the last 11th subject (letter "I") in the set? Does anyone have any other information on this set?

Z Wheat
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File Type: jpg 1951 Mantle Wheaties Premium.JPG (28.8 KB, 500 views)

Last edited by Zach Wheat; 09-11-2013 at 11:21 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2013, 11:23 PM
Bestdj777 Bestdj777 is offline
Chris
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Are you positive on the lettering or going off of PSA's site? Their lettering is off as they list Mantle as G.

I do believe these to be a Wheaties premium given the similarity between these and the 52 Wheaties.

This set is strange. Looking at the population reports for PSA, it looks like there was a stack of these stored away somewhere. There is an abundance of mid-grade cards, which is right where I would expect a card to fall that was stuck in box untouched for 60+ years. My two are posted below. One clearly shows its age/wear. I tend to believe the test issue theory, particularly given the distribution. It would not surprise me if they released a handful of these and then decided to nix the idea.



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Last edited by Bestdj777; 09-11-2013 at 11:31 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2013, 11:29 PM
Zach Wheat Zach Wheat is offline
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Default 1951 Wheaties Premiums

Mantle is "G".

I am not sure of the "lettering" for Rizzuto and Schalow. I compiled my information from a number of sources. I have never seen an image of Rizzuto.

Z Wheat
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:34 PM
Bestdj777 Bestdj777 is offline
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Oh, okay. I was looking at the first letter, not the last. PSA has Rizzuto as B. Here is the only pic I could find of his card, courtesy of Robert Edwards. Unfortunately, it is too small to discern the letter, at least for my eyes.

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Last edited by Bestdj777; 09-11-2013 at 11:35 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2013, 06:51 AM
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toppcat toppcat is offline
Dave.Horn.ish
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I think it's possible there is no "I". Due to confusion with "1" it's often not used in schemes such as this A-K one. Topps did not use "I" in the 1948-49 Magic Photos scheme and I have seen other sets without such a designation as well.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:25 AM
sflayank sflayank is offline
larry s
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Default 51 wheaties

i think rizzuto is b
and i think dave is right about no I
carling beer magic photos etc all eliminated I
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2013, 09:27 PM
Zach Wheat Zach Wheat is offline
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Default '51 Wheaties Premiums

Good information, guys. Thanks.

Z Wheat
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:48 PM
whiteymet whiteymet is offline
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Default 51 Wheaties

I always wondered about this set. Why would Wheaties, or whoever issued the set include a Mantle in a 1951 set? His rookie year? Makes no sense!

Why include a guy who only played in 96 games, hit .267 with 13 HR's? Remember he wasn't MICKEY MANTLE yet!

I am not even convinced this is a Wheaties issue. Just because the same photos were used in a later issue, does not make it so. Some of the photos like the Ashburn were normal team stock issue photos.

I always wondered if any of the photos could be found by photo collectors who could date the photo. I bet some of them were after 1951!

Am I off base here??

Fred

Last edited by whiteymet; 09-14-2013 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:51 PM
whiteymet whiteymet is offline
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Default 1951 Wheaties

Just had another thought. Did not all the 1951 uniforms have a special patch on the left sleeve with crossed bats? If I am correct, how could this Mantle photo have been taken in 1951 which it would have to have been if this is a 191 issue?

Some Mantle collector out there has a Type1 photo of this shot who can date it.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:16 PM
whiteymet whiteymet is offline
Fred
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Default More on 51 Wheaties

Found the photo in the Hulton archives of the Getty Images who has rights to the photo

See:

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/ne...-photo/3244119

They date it circa 1955! Thus no way the set could be from 1951. Info says date created as 1/1/55 so best guess is photo was taken in 1954.

Thoughts anyone???

Last edited by whiteymet; 09-14-2013 at 09:21 PM.
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