Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Yankees Collection - 1953 Bowman #59 Mickey Mantle

When I first started this blog back in 2012, there were numerous cards in my collection that I simply couldn't WAIT to share with you guys.   They are the keystones of my collection for many different reasons and many of them are cards that I never, EVER thought I would own or be able to enjoy.

What I did have, I always told myself that I would space my posts about these gems about as far apart as I could.   Why use up my 'awesome' material in the very beginning?   If I show my 'best' cards right off the bat, I won't have anyone who will give a flip about following my blog for journeys in set-building or appreciation for beat up common cards from the junk wax era of my youth.

I was a fool.

I've learned a lot since I rediscovered our Hobby back in 2011 and a lot of my education came through correspondence learning from you all - the "Hobby Blogosphere" & online community.   You all welcomed me back with open arms and I am forever grateful.   

SO what have I learned?

First, hat there will always be appreciation, by someone and for some reason, for just about every card in my collection or every Hobby endeavor I undertake - no matter what!   And second, awesome cards are exactly that and tomorrow is never share as much as you can, whenever you can!

Ladies and gentlemen, here is one of my favorite cards:

It's a 1953 Bowman (color) Mickey Mantle!   I never thought I would own a true base card of the Mick.   Their prices are sky-high and Mantle cards will simply always be the most sought-after cards in the baseball card world.   But that never stops me from searching and waiting...hoping for the right opportunity to find a well-loved copy of one of Mick's cards that fits my budget AND still resembles an actual card.

I found this particular card on the Bay of E one day and couldn't look away.   The picture on this card is well known, often utilized for media purposes.   And who can blame the choice?   It's a young Mantle with the whole world in front of him after his first All-Star selection and second World Series title the year before.   The posed image is typical for a majority of the '53 Bowman set (ah, the Pee Wee!) but it offers a clear depiction of a wistful Mantle completing a bare-right-handed swing in his Yankee pinstripes.   There's not a cloud to be seen and it looks like it was a great day for baseball in the Bronx.   I am fairly certain it's Yankee Stadium in the background...the placement of the lights, pole, decks, bleachers and billboards seem to check out - let me know if I'm wrong!

This particular card caught my eye because, even though it is creased and a bit is fairly well centered and none of the folds or marks take away from Mantle himself. I wish the crease across his hands could be a little lower....but so be it!   The corners are rounded but all things considered, not bad.   The top right-hand corner is certainly the hardest hit portion of the card, but it is something I was absolutely fine with.

Here's a close-up of Mantle.....just because.

But how about the back?   I am sure the back's condition had something to do with the great value I was seeing in its offering price, but I was reassured because I could still read everything.   That is important to me, so the fact that the vertical stain on the left didn't block any of the letters or design was a big win.   You can see the reverse damage from the huge crease I described above but even that doesn't seem so bad in the lower left corner of the back.   All in all, I was satisfied with the card and knew I would treasure I entered a bid!

I love the write-up on this card back.   The usual bio-data resides at the top but the paragraph below really dishes out some great Yankee history.   It refers to Mantle as "the youngster" and makes a prediction that Mickey "...inherited the...centerfield spot from DiMaggio...and should hold it for many years to come."

Good call, Bowman.   And bonus points to them for using the past participle of "bear".   Much respect. 

Interestingly, Bowman makes it a point to reference Mantle's shortened season with the Yanks in '51 by pointing out that he only played in 96 games and....wait, finished the season in KC?   That doesn't reconcile with my recollection or the records.   I show Mantle missing from the Yanks roster between mid July and late August?   He then returned to finish out strong, head to the World Series and went 1 for 5 with a run scored and 2 walks (and one BADLY injured knee) against the Giants in less than two Series games....?

What in the world?

Huh.    More research, maybe?   Anyways - here's the glorious back to this awesome card: 

I don't know why I took this next shot - maybe to show myself that my Mick is relatively flat, after all?   I know I'm committing a major sin by releasing this treasure from its ill-suited top-loader....but until I get this card confirmed as a "POOR - 1" by PSA one day (and I will).....I choose to truly enjoy it.   Hold it.   Feel it.    Relish it.

Oh, and I'm also a card stock junkie.   SO here ya go:  

Fantastic stuff.   I love this card and am very excited to have it in my Yankee collection and be able to share it with you guys.   I don't feel like I can say that I have a Mantle Collection.....yet.......but my search will never end and that hope never truly dies.

Thanks for reading and KEEP COLLECTING!


  1. Thanks for sharing. I imagine a halo above the Mick's head. Of course we all know he was no saint.

  2. That is an awesome card. I only own one Mantle base card, and it's a 1967 Topps in FAR worse condition than your Mantle.

    1. I have te same mik card as pictured above in far better condition for sale $1,850 let me know if your interested ..thank you...