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Old 08-07-2020, 02:02 PM
JUrsaner JUrsaner is offline
Jason Ursaner
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Default REA Auction - 1952 Berk Ross Mickey Mantle - Story

I posted this the other day on Instagram, but would like to share it here as well. The 1952 Berk Ross card of Mickey Mantle (lot #962) is one of two items that I consigned to REA for their 2020 Summer auction. It's a beautiful card, graded an SGC 7 and recently re-cased into a shiny, new holder. Had originally decided to sell it for a variety of reasons and rarely tend to look back on those decisions when it comes to collecting -- although I can certainly envision scenarios for this being one of the few exceptions, where I may ultimately regret that decision later on, both financially and as a collector. After all, it is a rare, rookie-era Mickey Mantle that is the key card for a highly underappreciated regional (?) issue from the Golden Era of vintage baseball in the early 1950s -- it just doesn't get a whole lot better than that!

If you read the description for the card on REA's website though, you may end up noticing one thing in particular that stands out, which is that it mentions 5% of the gross proceeds from the card will be donated to ALS research. The reason for this is because after some of the issues in the hobby started to surface, I went back to try to explore the "provenance" of the card. Even a little known set like Berk Ross didn't seem exempt from the reach of the PWCC / PSA / Gary Moser scandal/investigation, as some questionable ultra high-grade PSA cards have surfaced on Blowout Forums through the incredible detective work of some collectors. I decided that I needed to find out exactly when, where and from whom I'd bought the card. What I uncovered though was not at all what I'd expected. I purchased the card, along with two other high-end items, from a seller named "Cap's Collectibles" on Mar-13th, 2014. Googled the email address associated with the PayPal account and found a name: Angelo Gustavo Caparelli. Looked it up and was immediately staring back at a link to an obituary note. He died. Age 46. ALS.

Then I noticed the date. March 21st, 2014. He'd died just a week later after selling the cards. Most likely preparing his final arrangements. Cards are just little pieces of cardboard. We all tend to go nuts over a print run that's the slightest bit off-center or a corner with the smallest trace of fuzziness, but there are more important things in life. On the other hand though, our collections are part of our individual story. So if you're thinking about bidding on that card -- now you know a little more about its story. It wasn't just a piece of cardboard. There are people and faces behind all these collections... and that is part of the true beauty of the hobby. Collect what you love.






Last edited by JUrsaner; 08-07-2020 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:44 PM
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Bigdaddy Bigdaddy is offline
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Thank you for that story. Like you said, behind every piece of cardboard there is a story - either the person on the front, the instant of time that the photo captured, the original owner of the card or someone down the line who took it in for a while and then decided to part ways with it later on. Some of those stories are reflected in the fuzzy corners, wrinkles, or worn surface of the card - the DNA that makes that piece of cardboard different from all others.

Most of those stories are lost to time, but every so often, we can uncover a part of the story, piece it together and get a greater appreciation for a piece of cardboard.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:12 PM
JoeDfan JoeDfan is offline
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I agree, thank you for the story.
A tough reminder that this stuff is just stuff; but the stories behind them have the real value.

Last edited by JoeDfan; 08-07-2020 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:56 PM
Arazi4442 Arazi4442 is offline
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Great story, thank you for sharing!

That's a beautiful card as well and good luck with your consignment.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:02 PM
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Hope you raise a ton of money for tbe cause. ALS sucks!
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:35 PM
jb67 jb67 is offline
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Great story and thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:40 PM
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FourStrikes FourStrikes is offline
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great story!!!!!
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:00 PM
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Jay Wolt Jay Wolt is offline
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Jason Good luck w/ the auction, hope the hammer price exceeds you're expectations
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:51 AM
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Snapolit1 Snapolit1 is offline
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Cards are just stuff, and you can't take them with you, but this card no doubt brought joy to that other guy's life. Even after he got sick. Would be cool to give it a new home.

A decade ago I bought a vacation home and found out just before closing that one of the owners had a heart attack one night in the master bedroom and died and that why the family's house was put up for sale. At a way too young age, with a bunch of young kids. While it's sad to think about sometimes, it has not been the burden I thought it might be. Rather, it's a reminder to enjoy what you enjoy as long as you can.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 08-08-2020 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:18 AM
JUrsaner JUrsaner is offline
Jason Ursaner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapolit1 View Post
while it's sad to think about sometimes, it has not been the burden i thought it might be. Rather, it's a reminder to enjoy what you enjoy as long as you can.
100%
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:53 AM
Fuddjcal Fuddjcal is offline
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WOW, very nicely done.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:20 PM
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Rhotchkiss Rhotchkiss is offline
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Really great story. Thank you for sharing it.

It would be really cool to buy it and to give it to the parents, along with the story. I don’t know what it goes for, but I’d kick in $100 for that.

Last edited by Rhotchkiss; 08-09-2020 at 12:22 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2020, 12:28 PM
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Stampsfan Stampsfan is offline
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Wow. Speechless.
Thanks for sharing. What a horrible tragedy for a very young man.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:52 PM
Bestdj777 Bestdj777 is offline
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Thank you for sharing. Beautiful card. The coloring isnít nearly as nice as the 51 Bowman, but I still canít see why this doesnít get the same recognition. Iím not sure how someone could purchase the Bowman and not get the Berk Ross. Hope you get a strong result on this one.
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1952 berk ross, 1952 topps, als, mickey mantle



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