These Are NOT Mickey Mantle Rookie Cards

A big pet peeve of mine is when people refer to certain authentic cards as an athlete’s rookie card when in fact they’re NOT.  This happens all the time.  Some athletes are more prone to it than others.

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, athlete this applies to is Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle.  I know this may sound like common knowledge for most of us, but Mickey Mantle only has one rookie card.  Its card #253 in the 1951 Bowman Baseball set.  That’s it.  His one and only true rookie card.  No debate needed.

Countless reprints have been made over the decades.  But that isn’t what bothers me.  Three items from that era are constantly being called rookies, but truly aren’t.

Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Berk Ross card uses the same photograph found on his ’51 Bowman rookie.  Although there are some differences between the two, one could easily be mistaken for another.  The 1952 Berk Ross set consists of (72) cards.  I’ve never been a big fan of this set because the images are fuzzy and of poor quality.

Can you believe thousands of these 1952 Topps High Numbers cards were just tossed away in the ocean?  It happened.  They were part of a stash of old inventory that nobody wanted, and Topps dumped them.  You regularly see this classic called Mickey Mantle’s rookie.  Its his first Topps card, but a rookie it is not.

Technically not a card, this Mickey Mantle photograph is part of a Wheaties promotional set from 1951.  The promotion was not widely done, and did not receive the best feedback.  Still not a rookie card though.

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Win This Mickey Mantle Hand-Painted Autographed Baseball

If you have Twitter, this is a contest that you need to get in on.  Piece of the Game is giving away the Mickey Mantle ball from their Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces product.  Authenticated by JSA, this autographed baseball also features the artwork of renowned sports artist Monty Sheldon.  In order to be eligible for the contest, all you need to do is follow Piece of the Game on Twitter and retweet this tweet.  You can get (50) additional entries if you purchase a spot in a break of this product from any of the qualifying retailers too.  The contest ends 1/21/19.  Good luck!

Expected to be released near the end of March, Piece of the Game’s Baseball Authenticated Masterpieces features actual game-used baseballs, autographed, authenticated, and hand-painted by one of the greatest modern day sports artists Monty Sheldon.  It truly is a unique product that we haven’t seen before.

On a side note, don’t forget to take the 2018 Sports & Entertainment Collectibles Hobby Awards Survey.  When you get to the section “Favorite Collector Blog” be sure to vote for Sports Card Info.  Thanks!

Mickey Mouse Turns 90 – Here’s His Rookie Card

When you hear the name “Mickey” and the words “rookie card” in the same sentence, most people are going to think of that famous #7 who played for the Yankees.  It makes sense they would.  Mickey Mantle is one of the most notable and collected sports figures.  His cards have fetched millions.  That 1951 Bowman rookie card is an icon of the industry.  So are many of his other cards.

What if I told you twenty years prior to Mickey Mantle’s rookie card, another Mickey was already making his cardboard debut.  Of course I’m talking about Mickey Mouse.  I believe he’s a bit more well-known around the world than that Yankee guy.  Mickey Mouse is right up there with the McDonald’s Arch and Nike Swoosh as far as most recognizable symbols go.

In 1928 Mickey Mouse made his public debut in the short film Steamboat Willie.  It was a total hit.  Animated short films eventually turned into full-length features.  Everything snowballed from there bringing fame and fortune to Walt Disney.

Disney is the king when it comes to merchandising.  They’ll slap their characters on anything if they think it will sell.  Three years after being introduced to the world, Mickey Mouse received what is now considered to be his rookie card.  Drawn by Floyd Gottfredson, this premium was made available during the May 27, 1931 Mickey Mouse comic strip.  In that particular story, Mickey had his picture taken.  Fans of his could get a copy of that picture if they wrote in during the “High Society” story line.  This is the card they’ed receive.  It measures 3-3/8″ x 5-3/8″.  At the bottom it reads “Gobs of Good Wishes, Mickey Mouse” and “Me too, Butch”.  As you can see, Mickey’s streetwise friend Butch is standing in the background.

Very few of these cards exist.  When they do popup, the asking price is usually in the thousands.  Another card featuring both Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse was released in 1931.  That one comes from the Wills Cinema Stars tobacco card set.  Its much more common though.

Mickey Mouse celebrates his 90th anniversary this year.  His 1931 First Newspaper Premium Picture Card takes us back to a time when he was fairly new and just beginning to make an impression on the world.  Truly an interesting piece of history.  Four more years would have to pass by until Mickey Mouse’s 1935 Gum Cards would be released.

Card of the Day: Mickey Hatcher 1991 Upper Deck #666

Card of the Day: Mickey Mantle 1964 Topps Stand-Up

Flashback Product of the Week: 1991 Score Mickey Mantle Dealer/Media Mailing List Set

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Mickey Mantle hasn’t had any new cards made for about five years.  The Mantle Estate parted ways with Topps after 2012 claiming the market had been too saturated with his cards.  Personally, I believe it was all over money.  During that time, no manufacturer was allowed to print cards of the great #7.

His estate seems to be loosening up a bit.  This week we learned new Mickey Mantle cards are going to be offered through the Panini Eternal line of collectibles.  Panini can make cards of him, but none of them will contain a Yankees name/logo.  Mickey Mantle and the Yankees.  Yankees and Mickey Mantle.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly.  It looks odd.  Mickey Mantle would’ve fit well into the Topps Now program.  Unlicensed Mantle cards kinda makes the family look desperate.  Although Topps isn’t the only company to make cards of Mickey Mantle over the years, its the first manufacturer I think of when it comes to his stuff.

For a brief moment in time, it was possible to pull authentic on-card autographs of Mickey Mantle.  Today’s collectors are mostly likely use to seeing his autographed cards come in the form of cut signatures, but it didn’t start out like this.  Mr. Mantle was around long enough to see the start of pack inserted autographs before passing away in 1995.

Collectors opening packs of 1991 Score Series 2 have the opportunity to pull an autograph of Mickey Mantle.  They’re individually numbered out of 2,500.  I can’t tell you how many might be left in packs, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a few were still hiding in there.

In addition to those autographs, that second series also had seven Mickey Mantle inserts.  Score sent out a special version of these inserts to dealers, members of the media, and whoever else was on their mailing list.  All seven cards came packaged in a pinstripe promo pack.  The cards inside look almost identical to the ones found in the standard second series packs.  Other than the serial number, Score’s name on the back is surrounded by a red box.  Five thousand of these sets were produced.  I don’t believe its possible to find any Mickey Mantle autographs tucked away inside these promo packs.  Sealed promo packs cost about $20 each.

Card of the Day: Mickey Moniak 2016 Bowman’s Best Red Refractor Auto

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