The Copeland Collection 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle

The following scan is from Sotheby’s March 1991 catalog that featured James Copeland’s incredible collection.

Apart from its scope, the collection was known for every item’s superb condition and quality, including his 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle.

Sotheby’s described the card as being in mint condition, coming from Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen’s 1952 Topps discovery of cards, and being the best of the Mantle cards from this discovery (the finest copy known to exist).

Interestingly, in August 2022, Heritage sold the “Finest Known Example” 1952 Topps Mantle for $12.6M, and it was accompanied by a letter from Rosen, dated June 17th, 1991, to the consignor explaining that this copy was the nicest one…

1939-66 Exhibit Supply Company Archive Of Original Baseball Photos

This lot of 342 Exhibit Supply Company photos is a genuine piece of hobby history. It was originally purchased at the time of ESCO’s liquidation in 1979 upon the owner’s retirement. Mastro offered it in their April 2003 Sports Premier Catalog Auction.

I can’t get a clean scan of the lot’s description because the catalog is so thick, so I’ve re-typed it:

Presented is the absolutely unique hoard of 342 original photographs and artist’s proof pieces that were used to construct Exhibit Supply Company’s baseball-themed arcade cards from 1939 to 1966. The importance of these images cannot be overstated. They were the foundations for some of the hobby’s most cherished collectibles, and every illustration is a one-of-a-kind origin item behind the production of an industry favorite. The long span of years covered allows a flight of fancy through the game from its early 20th Century Hall of Famers to the more recent superstars we watched in action during the 1950’s and 1960’s. This is an unbelievably compelling assembly of material! Many of the stars are presented in multiple poses (since they appeared in more than one Exhibit set) and the array of talent included is simply incredible. The original images for the much sought-after Exhibit “team” cards are here also. A tiny sampling of the players represented, mentioning just a fraction of the stars included, reveals: Hank Aaron, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Ernie Banks, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Mickey Cochrane, Ty Cobb, Dizzy Dean, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Evers, “Jimmy” Foxx, Frankie Frisch, Lou Gehrig, Henry Greenberg, Carl Hubbell, Walter Johnson, Connie Mack, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Christy Mathewson, Willie Mays, Joe Medwick, Mel Ott, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Warren Spahn, Tris Speaker, Joe Tinker, Rube Waddell, Honus Wagner, Ted Williams (including ‘number 9 showing’), Cy Young, 1949 Yankees, 1950 Yankees, 1951 Yankees and many, many others. (Only space constraints prevent the listing of dozens more from this mind-boggling roster of baseball giants.) These photographs are b/w glossies of 8” x 10” or smaller dimensions, or have been fashing as “paste-up” grafted likenesses. Almost all have artist’s or editor’s working specification notes attached. A number of the images are actual “wire photos,” with news service attributions stamped on the reverse sides, and most of them display an enhanced definition of appearance that made them suitable for quality reproduction on cards. Overall condition is EX to EX/MT. This breathtaking archive was purchased at the time of Exhibit Supply Company’s liquidation in 1979 (upon the owner’s retirement), and has been preserved in full, intact form. An LOA, from the industry veteran who obtained the items directly from Exhibit Supply Company, accompanies. This amazing assembly includes an unbelievable wealth of key rarities and stars, and offers phenomenal “break” value!

The minimum bid was $2,500. If anyone knows the final price, let me know in the comments.

1964 Yoo-Hoo Yankees Easel Back Counter Sign With Yogi Berra And Mickey Mantle

Mastro Fine Sports Auctions offered this Ex-Mt Yoo-Hoo easel back counter sign for sale in their November 2000 catalog.

They described the 11” x 14” piece as being from 1964, featuring eight New York Yankees. Moose Skowron split 1964 between the Senators (the hat he is pictured in) and the White Sox after spending 1963 with the Dodgers but was with the Yankees from 1954-1962.

From an advertising perspective, Yoo-Hoo had a long-standing relationship with Yogi Berra, their spokesman, for around two decades, starting in the late 1950s when Berra became friends with the company’s owner. Berra helped recruit investors and brought in his teammates to help promote the drink.

A few copies exist across the hobby, and when they pop up for sale, they have been selling for ~$1k, but higher prices are possible. However, replicas are available on eBay for under $20.

1952 Bowman Uncut Sheet Including Mickey Mantle

Here’s a cool one from my hobby library auction catalog archives: a 1952 Bowman Uncut Production Sheet with Mickey Mantle (cards 73 through 108).

Mastro offered this one in their “Fine Sports Auctions” November 2000 catalog. It was described as a complete 36-card final production sheet. The sheet’s corners all showed wear consistent with a Very Good card, and a fairly heavy crease runs across the second row from the bottom, along with a few shorter creases and some wrinkling.

I don’t know what it sold for, but the minimum bid was $5k.

REA re-sold the sheet (you can tell from the crease on the Billy Hitchcock card – 2nd from the right on the bottom row) in their 2020 Spring catalog for $45,600.

The December 1981 New York 1 Show Featuring Mickey Mantle and Duke Snider

I ran across this advertisement for “The Largest Show Ever Held in New York” in the December 1981 issue of Trader Speaks.

Mickey Mantle and Duke Snider were probably decent draws to a show offering free admission! And they appeared on both days of the show.

I’m curious about which items made up the display of the hobby’s ten most valuable cards. If you know, drop a comment. By the way, many collectors used to order from Gelman’s catalogs. Unfortunately, I don’t have any of them in the Hobby Library to share yet.

An Incredible 1953-54 Briggs Meats Mickey Mantle

This 1953-54 Briggs Meats Mickey Mantle has the most manufacturer’s packaging borders I’ve ever seen. This one was offered for sale in December 2004. Do you think it was cut for grading?

The Mickey Mantle is the most popular card in the already scarce 1953-54 Briggs Meats 40-card, Washington D.C. regional set. This unique example measured 4-1/2” x 4-3/4” and features the same image of the mantle used by the Dan-Dee and Stalh-Meyer regional issues. According to PSA, the set includes “28 players from the Washington Senators and 12 players from the three New York teams (Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, New York Yankees).”

To put the popularity and cost of this set into perspective, in May 2009, REA sold nine panels, including the following Mantle/Bauer, for $82,250. Granted, the cards were usually hand-cut from the panels, which drove the high price over a decade ago.

However, Memory Lane Inc. did sell this PSA authentic graded Mantle for >$30k in late 2021.

1953 New York Yankees Team Photograph Inscribed By Mickey Mantle

Here’s a super cool item from Guernsey’s Mickey Mantle Auction in December 2003: A 1953 New York Yankees team photograph inscribed by Mickey Mantle.

It’s got player autographs in the border beneath the image and two signatures of Mickey Mantle. One over his image, and the other following an inscription he wrote: “One of the all time Great teams in Yankee history. Five straight world championships-Mickey Mantle”

Here’s the cover of the auction catalog.