Promoters asked Mickey Mantle to sign all kinds of autograph inscriptions when he did shows in the 1980s and early 90s. Much of the time he obliged. Caught at the right (or wrong) time, Mantle was also known to sign a few baseballs with phrases that weren’t necessarily ‘G’ rated. Sometimes Mantle scribbled messages that were just funny and one of those is coming to auction later this fall.
Printed at the landmark 500-home run club show in 1989, the photo was actually handed to Mantle by one of the promoters simply to show him where to sign other copies (see the “Mickey Mantle sign here” notation). The direction was to keep the 500 prints looking uniform as all 11 players began to add their autographs. Once all were signed, the photos were then offered for sale.
After getting the photo from promoter Bill Hongach, Mantle—ever the prankster– offered the message you see below.
The photo was brought home by Hongach, who has hung onto it ever since. It’ll be in Robert Edward Auctions’ Fall Catalog and you can get a little more background on it here.
English pugilist Charley Mitchell’s 1888 Silver and Gold Engraved Trophy Belt – bestowed by fans following a three-hour, rain-soaked illegal slugfest with champion John L. Sullivan at the Baron Rothschild’s chateau at Chantilly, France – is expected to sell for $30,000 as part of Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Night Sports Auction, set for next Thursday in conjunction with the 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.
The 12-pound belt spent much of its life in the private collection of Nat Fleischer, founder of “The Ring” magazine after it was previously sold to raise funds for wounded World War I veterans.
Sullivan and Mitchell’s March 10, 1888 fight was actually a rematch between the two. Sullivan, who had soundly defeated Mitchell five years earlier in New York City, agreed to meet the fighter again however, it took a squad of armed French police to break up the fight, which left both men unrecognizable and locked in a French jail. Faced with charges for violating French laws banning boxing, the two jumped bail and fled.
A huge collection of graded vintage cards is entering the hobby.
New Jersey-based Just Collect was contacted by a southern California collector looking to raise cash for a new car and other expenses. A representative flew cross-country and after more than ten hours of examination, calculation and negotiation, a deal was made: 2,800 total cards weighing several hundred pounds. Not all of it fit on the plane but the company says the rest of it arrived safely by ground transportation last week.
The cards from the ‘Pasadena Find’, including a 1934 Goudey Gehrig, 1949 Leaf Musial and other well-known rookie and star cards dating from the T206 era to the late 1970s, are being sold via the company’s weekly eBay listings.
Just Collect’s Leighton Sheldon says his company has spent more than $100,000 on graded cards this month alone.
They’ll be at booth #903 at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.