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Old 07-18-2019, 11:17 PM
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Default So I started a Mickey Mantle "project"......

With all the doom and gloom threads and recent grading shenanigans, I figured some of you might want to enjoy a thread about good old fashioned "enjoyment" of the hobby.


I have posted the majority of this over on Blowout, but the postwar section here has been a bit dry lately, so I figured I would add this in. (Plus there are a few more fierce Mantle collectors here that may enjoy this as well)


Quick backstory - Like many, I began collecting when I was younger. My father and I were into it at a good time, back in the late 70's to mid 80s.
You could still find "great finds" at yard sales, flea markets, etc. etc.
In fact my father was a partner in a card shop, back in the early 80s, which was the first anywhere around. (around Richmond Virginia)
We built a pretty good collection back then, and ultimately in my late teens I lost interest, and when my parents divorced back then we sold everything.
Err, BIG MISTAKE.

Anyway, fast forward to a couple years ago, and I started dabbling in football again, and before long I was looking to replace some vintage cards we had years ago. The bug had bitten me once again~!


I read a couple books on Mickey Mantle not too long back, and I started picking up a few cards here and there of his.
I told myself I was going to make a framed display piece, of vintage baseball cards and other oddities, and I had chosen to target Aaron, Mays and Mantle....and after researching more on Mickey Mantle, I decided to make my display strictly on "The Mick".


I didn't want to use reprints, as anyone could do that. So I decided to pursue "lower end" cards of his, but fairly good eye appeal, real vintage cards, not reprints.

Anyone here that has dabbled in Mantle, knows finding any strong eye appeal examples, isn't easy as his market, and collectors are pretty competitive.
Any high eye-appeal Mantle cards are snapped up off Ebay (and the other places) in ALL GRADES fairly quickly so I knew it would be a slow but interesting undertaking.
Also, since these were ultimately going into a display , (and not to be tucked away and locked up somewhere) I wanted to keep the eye-appeal good, but the cost down.
This would be a good way for me to enjoy some of his cards, without the more valuable items just lying around.... those are indeed locked away somewhere.

So a few months ago, I started picking up a few items and slowly piecing together my "project".
I am not quite done yet, but I am closing in as I have nabbed a large majority of it.

I know not everyone will agree with the "choices" of cards I am using, but for various reasons, I like these particular cards. Plus, many of these are cards that can be had "relatively cheaply" in the very low grades.
I will also include the prices on certain items, to give you an idea of what I was trying to spend, keeping the cost down (and ultimately what I wanted to accomplish) when making this.

I will recap the progress I have made over the last few months in the upcoming posts.

Hopefully some of you will get a kick out of this or find it interesting.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:21 PM
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3-28

Picked up a nice raw Jay Pub, pictured below.

1962-1965 MICKEY MANTLE JAY PUB Photo -





Notice it is raw. The display I am tinkering with will utilize raw cards only, so I have been picking up some decent "good eye appeal", but lower grades Mantles, which is a bit of a challenge unto itself.
This JAY PUB photo is in great shape, but it has a few minor flaws. It is not mint, and instead it has a slightly aged look, and thats precisely what I was looking for in my display "piece", there won't be any PSA 9's in this one.
I thought grabbing this for a mere $35 was excellent~!
I always liked this particular image, and I knew from day one it would be a part of this project.

This project may take me a few months, but I have a good start on it already.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:24 PM
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3-30


Still slowly adding to my "Mickey Mantle display project".
Looking over a few more "solid eye-appeal" lower end ungraded Mickey Mantles, I came across this one on EBAY a week or so back.
While its not exactly my favorite Mick image, it does reflect back to his key '56 MVP season.




This is exactly the type raw card I am looking for, and its right in my wheelhouse for my "display items" project I am tinkering with.

A very tiny surface wrinkle that you can only see at a certain angle kept the price very low. I believe this was roughly $65 delivered.
Has decent centering, and all the eye appeal hallmarks I am pursuing for a display-bound lower end raw Mantle.

Another pickup I'm satisfied with. !

More coming soon.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:36 PM
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4-4



It looks as if it may have possibly been lightly trimmed, but looking at it compared to other cards, its awfully close, I mean really close.

To me, this card looked like it was a sort of a miscut, and someone went back and tried to "straighten it out".
Regardless, even if it was slightly trimmed, its right in my "Mantle project" wheelhouse, and I liked that its extremely presentable for the price.

I got this one VERY CHEAP, in the B/S/T section over on Blowout.

I don't mind it appears to have been lightly trimmed, as it will go nicely in the display I am working on......which is starting to take shape.
As I think back on this one, I am still debating on whether or not I should put this in my custom display.
The fact its trimmed, doesn't really "bother" me in that sense, but it is a bit of an irritant.
But, all that aside it has a good clean image and presents well, even though the borders may have been lightly trimmed.
Thats mostly what I have been looking for, and it fits like a glove into this project.
I believe I got it for right around $40 bucks delivered, and I certainly can't complain with that, as I was very happy with the card I picked up for that price.
Is it something that will appreciate into a ton of money? No, and the trim job will always detract from the value, but the eye appeal of the image is otherwise very good, so it fit all the right criteria for my project.






I have a '68 Topps game Mantle en route, and I will be posting that in the next day or two.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:46 PM
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4-6


Snagged yet another Mickey Mantle for my display.
This time its a '68 Topps Game..... while admittedly this issue was never among most people's favorites, I didn't mind it at all.
I distinctly remember many of these when i was younger, it certainly is a "stand out" issue, unlike most any other commonly produced cards back then.




Solid eye appeal, and again its right along the lines of what I was looking for.

I have already picked up my next card, and this next one is a sparkler. !
I'll post it late this week when it comes in.

Chugging right along with this display, and truth be known I won't have room for too many more cards. Just trying to decide which I want to include at this point.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:59 PM
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4-15




I had been looking for a great looking '59 for a bit, and this one was actually slabbed. I soon busted it out, as I'm not putting in anything in slabs into my display.

I'm slowly moving towards the end of my project, but there is still room for a few more cards.
Looking to likely get an excellent eye-appeal '58 AS, if I can find one reasonably. After all, that is easily one of his more iconic cards.

I saw this '59 on Ebay, and it had a fair BIN price, but "OBO".
I sent him a bit of a low-ball offer, but much to my surprise it was accepted very soon thereafter.

Another strong addition, and my earliest Mantle thus far, headed to my display project.
The glare in the lower right is from the light source directly behind me.



This will undoubtedly be my most expensive card in this project, working from memory , I believe it was around $130 delivered. (Why so cheap you ask??? It was in a PSA 4 MK slab)
Some kid took a very light pen and wrote a tiny "7" on the back of the card, his jersey number. Its so slight and hard to see, if it wasn't pointed out to you, you likely wouldn't notice it was even there.
So a small "7" on the back led me to getting an absolutely beautiful '59 for what I thought was a great price.
I wanted to get one really nice vintage Mick, that looked to be in great shape to slide in to this display.....BINGO! this was it.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:10 AM
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5-11



Another "low end visually appealing example" for my project thats in progress.

I had been looking (and previously mentioned) wanting a '58 AS for this display. Its just such an iconic card, I knew from day 1 I would include one of these....... *IF* I could find one I liked at a good price that is.

As with all my "low end" examples I have snagged for my display, it's not without its small issues, but this is going to be a perfect addition to my project.
The coloring really popped on this one, which was the main reason I snagged it.
The centering is OK, although not perfect by any stretch, as you can see.
The corners aren't perfect, and the top to bottom centering is off some as well.
There is also a vague hint of a print line across the bottom, when you look at it closely.

Overall, I thought it looked great, and is a perfect candidate for this display, and at roughly $55 delivered, I thought it was a great acquisition.






I am nearing the end of my "display project". It has taken a little longer than I had anticipated, due to a few other non-card life issues.

There are a couple of cards left I want to get, and I will be grabbing them in short order.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:29 AM
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6-22


Picked up yet another card for my Mantle display I'm working on.

I've been chipping away at this for a few months. Its taken longer than expected due to a couple "life issues", but I'm just about ready to bring everything to get it "pieced together".

I'd been looking for a couple "outside - the - box" items, and not your normal run of the mill basic Mantle run cards, combined with keeping the cost down on my project.
I always liked this particular image.
Mick looks happy here, (which he did NOT always look like that) , and I also wanted something that dated itself from back in that time frame, not just another Mantle card.
One of these Post issues was right in my wheelhouse.
I also had wanted to get a horizontal card, to go alongside another horizontal card I have had in mind in my display, so this Post issue was absolutely perfect for my tastes, for a variety of reasons.

Down to needing a couple more items, then I'll be finished.

1961 POST MICKEY MANTLE -




It has one very small surface paper tear on the back, that doesn't go through....that and these Post releases don't often get very high grades..... edges, perforations etc.
I was actually shocked at how low this one graded, (SGC 30/2) for the look and presentation.

Got this for a measly $40 + shipping, so for that price and eye appeal, I couldn't resist.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:34 AM
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7-10


Snagged another Mick for my project.

This has always been one of my favorite cards of his. The vintage look, the "Sporting News" title and the shield across the front in which his image is placed.
Everything about this one screams classic or "vintage" baseball.

I was also looking for something that isn't bright red, and the blue is perfect.
After going through his cards, its surprising how many have red or bright red.
So in making this framed display, I was wanting some different coloring.
This blue fits the bill and is perfect for what I was looking for.

Its not in the greatest shape, but I was looking for a "well aged" look. Decent eye appeal but not necessarily "mint" and this one lines up perfectly for this project.
This card was actually in a BVG 3 holder, and I soon freed it from that slab once I got the card in.
The fact I got it for a decent price was just icing on the cake.


-1959 Mickey Mantle All Star-



Almost done...... hopefully I can get this wrapped up in a few more weeks.

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Old 07-19-2019, 03:00 AM
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I have enjoyed the updates to your collection. Hopefully, you can show pictures of the display when complete. Good luck as you finish.
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Old 07-19-2019, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasDan View Post
I have enjoyed the updates to your collection. Hopefully, you can show pictures of the display when complete. Good luck as you finish.
Thanks.
I try to talk a little bit about why I get certain cards, when I pick them up.
(admittedly, these aren't my usual PC pickups, these are all basically geared towards this specific Mantle display)

But I like hearing why collectors gravitate towards certain cards.
I have written about it several times, mostly on Blowout, but I tend to go for PC cards that have an "overall good appeal", not strictly perfect centering, not only sharp corners, etc....
Give me a good overall "7", over a "4" with perfect centering any day~!

Anyhow, it interests me why collectors gravitate towards certain cards, so whenever I pick something up, I like to expand a little as to why, or what I was thinking when I picked up said card.

This "Mickey Mantle project" has taught me to appreciate lower grade cards more than before.
I wanted a way to enjoy some Mantle cards, but I didn't want my more expensive Mantle cards just laying around the house, so thats why I decided to do this project.

I'm actually ending up spending more than I thought I would, by about 20%-30%, but I am doing it like I want.
I won't say what my last "bigger $$$" purchase is going to be, but it will be the most expensive part of the project. I'm only going to design this once, so I'll do it right and get the pieces I really want, or in the shape I am looking for.
After laying out some dimensions, and comparing it to other posters and framed things I have, I am going to be able to put 2 more cards in there than I thought.
So thats leaving me with a couple more cards to get.
Finding strong eye-appeal Mantle cards isn't easy, and it certainly isn't cheap either.
Thats why its taken me a little longer to finish than I had anticipated.
Hopefully within the next couple weeks I can pick up another card or two, and I will be just about done.

Thanks again Dan, and I will definitely have a few pictures of the completed project when the time comes.

More updates coming soon to this thread.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:03 AM
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Default Mantle

Scott,

Look forward to seeing your last couple of cards for the display. Of course I like all of the pickups so far. For some reason Im partial to the larger Jays Mantle you picked up; really a great picture of Mantle in my view. Like what was mentioned Id like to view the end result as well. Also, you basically stated that you were measuring for a place to display; Id really like to see the finished project displayed with what else is in the wall. Always love to see how collectors display their collections rather then boxed up in a closet (like most of mine).
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
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Scott,

Look forward to seeing your last couple of cards for the display. Of course I like all of the pickups so far. For some reason I’m partial to the larger Jays Mantle you picked up; really a great picture of Mantle in my view. Like what was mentioned I’d like to view the end result as well. Also, you basically stated that you were measuring for a place to display; I’d really like to see the finished project displayed with what else is in the wall. Always love to see how collectors display their collections rather then boxed up in a closet (like most of mine).
Thanks for the interest.
It has been a fun undertaking, and on a "collector to collector" note, this is something I think a lot of people should try, or something similar.
It's tended to "re-invigorate" the hobby for me, not just the same old "ho hum look at it and lock'em away somewhere" pick ups in that sense.
We all tend to get in a rut if we do this long enough, and this has let me learn to appreciate some lesser graded cards far more than I had in the past.

You may have taken what I wrote about measuring slightly wrong.(but more likely I wasn't very clear lol)

I had a neighborhood frame shop do a number of posters for me years ago.
I thought I was going to make this one a specific size, but I am actually making it slightly bigger. (I actually have several differing size posters downstairs, and I will be making it the larger size, not the smaller size I originally thought I would have to make it)
This Mantle project will end up being 20x24.... and I can fit a bit more in there than I thought originally.

I did this basically so I could enjoy some Mantle items, but still have my more valuable stuff locked away.
Maybe you can take inspiration from this and do something similar so that you can enjoy your collection more often, rather than have it tucked away...? You mention having most of your stuff boxed up in a closet.
You are a big Brooks Robinson fan I think, Hell you could do something similar to this of Brooks a whole lot cheaper than you can for Mantle!
Just a thought anyway.
I would assume most here have most of their stuff locked away, especially the valuable stuff, and rightfully so.

I have several posters downstairs already and I tend to swap them in and out.
I'm a bit of a TWILIGHT ZONE fan, and I have a number of posters signed by the original actors downstairs. Most of these posters are essentially one of a kind, that a buddy of mine designed, and we had many of the actors sign them in person at various conventions over the last 20 or so odd years.
Plus I have a big poster of Rod Serling himself, and that is always on display.
(which in itself, thats a cool shot........ a buddy of mine had an original transparency negative that he acquired from a collector, its a classic shot of Serling himself on the set of episode "Still Valley" a 1961 episode) I had that image blown up into a massive poster, and I have it displayed in my living room.

Oddly enough, this will be the only baseball themed piece in my home.
But expect to see some Twilight Zone stuff adjacent to this Mantle piece when I get it finished.

And I agree with what you said. I too am a fan of that Jay Pub Mantle image.
It screams classic Mantle, and its catching him right as he's looking to crank another one, or so it seems.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:31 PM
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Down to 2 more items I need to pick up, after this recent grab off Ebay.

-1961 Mickey Mantle-






Full disclosure, this 1961 isn't my favorite card of his. But when I saw it, I knew I could get it for a good price, and I was looking for yet another Mick that wasn't a "field of red".
So many of his cards had a ton of the color red in his images, I've been trying to pick up some that aren't so "red heavy" so it would look better in my display.
The centering is right in the sweet spot for me (for this anyway). Not perfect, with the obvious top-to-bottom difference.
When I took this picture, I angled the card a little to keep the glare down off the card saver.
Its a much more presentable card than this cellphone picture leads you to believe.

I have one incoming in the next day or two, and it comes straight from the board member "Dboneesq". Thanks again for the deal.

Its a '69 that is essentially perfect for what I am doing.
Can't wait to get this finished and framed, and the finish line is very close.



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Old 07-30-2019, 08:44 PM
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What a great project.
Love following your progress. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-31-2019, 07:00 PM
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Thanks guys, this has been an interesting undertaking.


Today I received the last card for my display.
Got this '69 Mick from fellow board member "Dboneesq", and thanks again for the easy deal.

I have one last "item" left to acquire for the finishing touch.
It will NOT be a card, and I may be a bit choosy on the item I pick up.... which hopefully I can find something I'm happy with in short order.

This well centered '69 Mick, was pretty much exactly what I was looking for.
The centering is far better than most '69s, which so so many are just downright terrible when it comes to that aspect.
Obviously, this card has a few issues, but looks about perfect for what I needed.
It was housed in an "SGC 3" holder, and I quickly freed it.
There won't be room for slabs in the display, nor did I want any.
Again, there won't be any "PSA 9's" in the display, and that wasn't really what I was looking to do anyway.
This was all about enjoying some "lower end, but fairly visually appealing" items, and it should look great once I'm done.


-1969 Mickey Mantle-





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Old 07-31-2019, 07:34 PM
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That '69 looks pretty good, especially considering it was in a SGC 3 holder. Any creasing? I couldn't see any. Nice job.

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Old 08-01-2019, 02:56 AM
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Quote:
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That '69 looks pretty good, especially considering it was in a SGC 3 holder. Any creasing? I couldn't see any. Nice job.

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Thanks... I'm extremely happy with it.
I looked at a TON of '69s, '60s , '55 Bowmans and a few other issues I didn't have examples of, for inclusion into my project. My object was to keep the cost very low, but over time it crept up a bit, with a select few cards being more expensive than the others.
I wanted a nice '55 Bowman pretty bad, but ultimately I needed to go with another vertical card, so I chose the '69. (Layout/space concerns)
It may have a very faint, slight wrinkle near the top, but truthfully to me it doesn't matter. As long as it has fair eye appeal, that was what I was really looking for.
As luck would have it, I got this '69 from fellow board member Dboneesq. Thanks again sir.
I actually almost wanted to just keep it in the slab and tuck it away, but I figured I wouldn't be finding many '69s that looked as decent as that one... in that price range anyway. Centering is flat brutal on the '69s generally. Besides, just tucking away another card for my PC, that defeats the purpose of this.
That said, I went ahead and cracked it out, and into the display it will go.

I knew from the beginning, I wasn't exactly going to have any super high grade cards for my framed display...for 2 reasons.
A - This is going to be something I can enjoy on a daily basis. I didn't exactly want, nor expect to have a bunch of PSA 9s. This will be something that can "scratch my card itch" if you will regularly. I don't know how many here keep their more expensive items just "lying around", but I certainly don't.

B - My more valuable items are safely tucked away, far from my residence. My collection is very small and modest compared to most here, as I just started picking up a few items here and there a year or two back. But I wanted something I could enjoy, without worry.


There is but one piece to this puzzle left, and it will be a little bit more expensive. Plus, I may take a bit longer deciding which particular item I actually get. There's a few around, I'm just wanting to make sure I get something that fits "the look" so to speak.
Then off to a trusted local frame shop, and see what they have to say.
I may have mentioned it, but the local shop near me is very well known, and has worked on some very important projects occasionally.
They aren't cheap, but it will definitely look good.

Hopefully I can wrap this up in a couple weeks.
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