For over 20 years, Randall Swearingen has been collecting Mickey Mantle memorabilia. The owner of a Texas software company had the resources to acquire some pretty special items, too. His ultimate goal was to establish a museum to show it all off, even partnering with the Mantle family to try and make it happen somewhere. But those dreams never came to fruition and now, he’s consigned much of it to auction.
Swearingen, who also wrote a 2007 book about Mantle, will keep some of the thousands of items in his collection, but says the responsibility of ownership is getting to be a little too much.
The collection of Mantle memorabilia Goldin will offer includes a mixture of artifacts from his playing career such as: his 1955 Yankees American League Champions ring; 1956 Player of the Year Award; Street & Smith’s Dream Team Award; and Player of the Decade Award presented in 1964 by the Touchdown Club. Additional lots offer several personal items such as his Stetson cowboy, a Cripple Creek cowboy hat given to him by Billy Martin and the original manuscript for his autobiography The Mick with personal annotations indicating Mantle’s edits. All items are accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity (LOA) from the Mantle Family.
“The market for Mantle memorabilia is as hot as it has ever been with several Mantle cards recently realizing record prices,” said Ken Goldin Founder of Goldin Auctions. “The Mick was a hero to a generation of baseball fans and that’s why so many collectors yearn to own a piece of him.”
Swearingen invited neighbors over last week to tour the collection before Goldin arrived to pack it up and ship it to New Jersey for cataloging. He talked with the Beaumont Enterprise about his collection, the fantasy camp meeting with Mantle that launched it and the museum effort that never panned out.