30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, June 17, 2019

Holy Crap and Staring Speechless

When it comes to collecting sports cards, Mickey Mantle might just be the most iconic name in our hobby.  Back in the 80's and 90's, you couldn't go into a card show without hearing his name at least a few times and his vintage baseball cards are usually the highest priced card in any Beckett or Tuff Stuff I've ever read.

That's why I didn't own a Mantle baseball card issued during his playing days until six years ago, when I found this card sitting inside some magazines I purchased at the flea market:

1967 Topps Poster Inserts #6

Okay, so technically this isn't a card.  It's a poster printed on newspaper stock, but it was originally pulled from a pack of cards.

Later that year, I picked up his 1962 Topps home run leaders card that also features his teammate Roger Maris off of eBay:

1962 Topps #53

I had been wanting to add this card to my collection for years.  Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and the Great Home Run Race of 1998 were the inspiration.

In 2015, I purchased the 1968 Topps Game set on eBay which included this card:

1968 Topps Game #2

Just like the 1967 Topps Posters, these were inserted into packs of cardsWho doesn't enjoy a nice, vintage floating head every now and then?

The following year, I made one of my favorite card show purchases of all-time, when I picked up a complete 1964 Topps Giants set at the Serramonte Mall Sports Cards, Toys, and Collectibles Show.  And guess what... Mantle was part of the checklist:

1964 Topps Giants #25

This is one of my all-time favorite oddball issues.  It features a beautiful design and an awesome checklist.

Getting back to floating heads, my next Mantle acquisition came from the Capitol Flea Market a month or two after the 1964 Topps Giants purchase:

1967 Topps #103

If you ever want to pick up a vintage Mantle from his playing days and your budget is limited... then this card is for you.  I found my copy sitting in a quarter bin.

Up until this weekend... this checklist represented the last vintage Mantle card addition to my collection.  Up until this weekend.

That's when I opened up a padded mailer sent to me by Commish Bob over at The Five Tool Collector and saw this staring back at me:

1958 Topps #487

I immediately muttered, "holy crap" and then sat there sitting at my desk in my office staring speechless for at least a minute... if not longer.

At first I was just admiring the beauty of this card.  The 1958 Topps Sport Magazine All-Star cards is one of the greatest looking subset cards of all-timeThey're gorgeous.  But the Mantle is the best looking card of them all.  Most of the guys in the set are head shots.  And the handful that are posed action shots are zoomed in a little too much.

Mantle is zoomed out and placed smack dab in the center of this card.  I'm still staring at this card's beauty as I type out these words.

The back of the card states that he was the most powerful slugger in the game back when this card was issued, but I was more impressed by his batting average.  In 1957, he hit .333 or higher against every team he faced during the regular season except the Detroit Tigers.

Thank you Bob for this super generous gift you've given me.  I'm not sure what I did to deserve such an awesome card.  What I do know is that I promise to cherish this card forever... as it now represents the oldest Mantle in my collection and hands down the most beautiful.

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. That's a terrific vintage Mantle collection and a crazy card to find in a trade package. And I'm with you--I love the design of those All-Star cards. By the way, crack that slab and grab a razor and you might be able to increase that grade a bit!

    1. Yes, those All-Star cards are truly great. Brilliant design and the Mantle, like you said, is perfectly executed. Congrats on the pick-up!

  2. Very nice. Sweet. Awesome. Amazing. Wow. What else can I say?

  3. Sent a package to you today. A variety of things including your winning card from the contest.

  4. Beauty of a card Fuji. Commish really outdid himself

  5. Whoa! Way to go Bob! You need to figure out what you did to deserve this... that way I can do it too :)

  6. Wow. Congrats on getting a Mantle. He is like one of the guys that would be on a hobby Mount Rushmore.
    On a side note, that All-Star card is the one that Bob Costas has when he says he has a Mickey Mantle card in his wallet.

  7. What, no autograph? Pfff.

    ;). Great cards.

  8. Wow, what a generous gift!!

  9. Whoa! Commish is an awesome guy, that's one of the greatest cards I've ever seen in a trade package for sure!

  10. Commish Bob is an awesome guy! Beautiful card!

  11. That is awesome! Vintage Mantles are the best!

  12. Congrats! Vintage Mantles will always be in style!

  13. I’d treasure any mantle card and that’s a really nice one. Bob’s a great guy.

  14. That really is a specimen of a card, isn't it? Nice way to build up the suspense by showing all your other Mantle cards first ;-)

  15. dennis - i thought about writing a post about all of the trimming drama that's going around. but right now i'm just enjoying the view (of this mantle)

    p-town tom - thanks. it's so awesome!

    johnnys trading spot - i think you covered all the bases... and i agree 100%

    rod (padrographs) - another package? lol. i already owe you for two.

    mark hoylr - he sure did. this isn't the first awesome vintage card he's sent my way. a few years ago he also hooked me up with the famous 1959 roy campanella.

    jon - he broke it down in an email, but it's top secret.

    hackenbush - hell yeah it is

    jeremya1um - i was just thinking about what 4 baseball players would make the hobby mount rushmore. i'll go with mantle, wagner, ruth, and griffey.

    zippy zappy - i know, right? ;D

    sean - yeah... i was truly blown away.

    shoeboxlegends - i've had a few nice cards sent my way over the years and bob has sent two of them: this mantle and a 59 campy

    angus - heck yeah he is.

    sumomenkoman - i couldn't agree more

    gtt - yup

    the lost collector - it's not often that i add one to my collection, so i'm pretty happy. the fact that this is one of the best looking mantles around is a nice bonus

    matt - very true

    steve at 1975baseballcards.com - i agree on both statements

    gregory - lol. i don't get to show off my mantles very often... and i had to save the best for last.

  16. Amazing Mantles! My father would be jealous!

  17. That's an amazing gift! Just noticed that his 1968 Game card features the same photo as his 1962 main card #200.

  18. sport card collectors - my father wouldn't care too much... but he did tell me that he did enjoy rooting for the yankees back in the 50's and 60's when mantle played.

    adam kaningher - nice catch there. i don't own his 62, so i never would have noticed that.