The ”Holy Grail” of baseball cards Antonio Gates Jersey , a pristine 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle valued at several million dollars, was delivered to the History Colorado Center on Monday via armored truck for a 72-hour public display.
”I want the community to enjoy looking at the card,” said its owner, retired lawyer Marshall Fogel of Denver. ”It’s the finest card ever made, and it just happens to be my favorite player, Mickey Mantle.”
The cardboard treasure was transported from a bank’s safe deposit vault and placed in a secure case that once housed Thomas Jefferson’s Bible, with UV-lens protection and temperature/humidity control.
The card, which Fogel said was insured for $12 million ”and is probably worth more than that,” is being displayed in the lobby of the museum where its current exhibition, ”Play Ball!” features Fogel’s collection of classic baseball artifacts.
Mike Fruitman, a sports card expert in Aurora, Colorado, said Fogel’s `52 Mantle card is at least on par with the 1909 Honus Wagner T206 card whose rarity is attributed to Wagner’s supposed disapproval of the card being sold along with tobacco.
One reason Mantle’s 1952 card is so rare is that so many of them were returned along with other unsold cards by retailers making room for the 1953 cards. The returned `52 cards were subsequently sunk from a barge in the Hudson River.
Fogel’s card is a gem mint PSA 10, one of only three `52 Mantle cards in existence with this rating. Of the three, Fogel’s card is the only ”perfect 10 Germain Ifedi Jersey ,” what’s known in the collecting world as an A-plus. The other two are As.
”So, yes it’s the Holy Grail of sports cards,” Fruitman said. ”Mickey Mantle was exceedingly more popular than Wagner. But each has a romantic backstory about them.”
Fogel also owns the original photo that was used to make the Wagner T206 card.
Like so many others, Fogel caught the collecting bug in the late 1980s, but he focused on high-end, one-of-a-kind pieces that he sometimes displays at Yankee Stadium.
In addition to amassing one of the most valuable baseball memorabilia collections in the world, he also has boxing artifacts and a collection of original historic photographs.
”I always liked boxing. I used to box as a kid. My dad used to take me to the fights as a kid. So, I have Jack Dempsey’s gloves, Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali. I have Patrick Roy’s Stanley Cup jersey, John Elway’s uniform. I have my photo collection, I collect `Wizard of Oz,’ Marylin Monroe. I have one of the original photos of Iwo Jima, the flag raising.
”But I mainly concentrate on our national game, which is really the fiber of our culture. Everybody loves baseball.”
He showed an Associated Press reporter at his home a Babe Ruth-signed baseball A.J. Klein Jersey , a rare Ty Cobb-signed ball, Lou Gehrig’s last signed bat and a ball signed by all the game’s greats who toured Japan in 1934.
The Mantle card is kept in a bank’s safe deposit vault in Denver, and Fogel said he takes it out about once a year to admire it.
”I’d go to the bank for other reasons and I’d take it out and pinch myself,” he said.
”Oh, I enjoy it. I have his uniform that used to be in his restaurant across from Central Park in Manhattan. It’s on display here,” Fogel said. ”More than seeing this card in my hand, but I have to admit – now, don’t tell anybody – but I put Mantle’s uniform on.”
The last time Fogel displayed his Mickey Mantle card in public was at a sports memorabilia convention more than two decades ago.
Fogel paid $120,000 for the card in 1996 and he figures it’s now worth 100 times that.
”People said I was stupid to buy it,” Fogel told the AP. ”Now, I’m wisely eccentric.”
Unlike the ”Play Ball!” exhibit, which is running through the baseball season, the Mantle card will only be on display for the All-Star break. Jason Hanson, the museum’s chief creative officer and lead curator of the exhibit, said there are many reasons for that but primarily because no one wants the brilliant colors from the 66-year-old baseball card to fade under the lights.
It will head back into Fogel’s safe deposit box midweek.
Fogel said he’s no longer looking to buy any baseball memorabilia.
”I’m very satisfied with what I possess Malcolm Mitchell Jersey ,” he said. ”There’s got to be a point where you enjoy what you have.”
And he’s enjoying the Mantle card most of all, he said.
Fogel, who is in his 70s, wouldn’t say whether the card’s ultimate destination was another auction or whether he’d bequeath it to his children someday.
”I don’t know,” he said. ”I’ll tell you what, I’m going to take it to heaven with me. It’s going to be laid across my chest in my casket.”
HOUSTON — One obvious benefit of a club-record-tying 12-game winning streak and 13 victories in 14 games is the positive impact it has on the standings, something the Houston Astros could attest to before dropping the opener of a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals on Friday.
On June 5, the Astros (50-27) were the scuffling team, falling two games behind the Seattle Mariners in the American League West with a 7-1 loss, their seventh setback over 10 games. The entered this weekend 3 1/2 games ahead of the Mariners and maintained that lead Friday when Seattle lost at Boston 14-10.
Midseason standings are fluid, and it’s far too early to get enthralled by scoreboard watching.
“I think I pay attention to our team,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “I appreciate the stress that comes with whether you’re a game up or a game back or five games up or five games back. I really think we’re chasing ourselves. I think we need to play our best baseball and we’ll sort out the standings as it gets towards the later end of the season.
“I’m aware of it because I’m a baseball enthusiast; I watch the scores all the time. It’s what I do. I’m not emotionally drained when other teams go on win streaks and I’m not emotionally charged by a couple losses. I just want our team to play well.”
Right-hander Lance McCullers (8-3, 3.77 ERA) gets the start in the middle game of the series for Houston. He is 1-0 with a 2.33 ERA over four career starts against the Royals, and he recorded a no-decision in his previous outing against them after allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings in a 7-4 Astros victory on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals will hand the ball to right-hander Ian Kennedy (1-7, 5.31 ERA) on Saturday. Kennedy is winless over his last 13 starts Eric Berry Jersey , one behind Athletics right-hander Chris Bassitt for the longest active streak in the majors. He is 0-7 with a 6.12 ERA since his only win on April 7.
Kennedy is 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA over five career starts against the Astros, including 3-0 with a 0.92 ERA over three starts at Minute Maid Park.
The Royals (23-52) on Friday began transitioning veteran Alcides Escobar off shortstop, ending his string of 407 consecutive starts there by moving him to center field for the opener of their series with the Astros. Escobar finished 2-for-2 with two walks, marking the first time since Sept. 6, 2017, against the Detroit Tigers that he reached base in all four plate appearances.
Escobar, a free agent following the season, has been a mainstay at short for the Royals since 2011. Before making his first career start in center on Friday, Escobar last played that position on Aug. 2, 2010, while with the Milwaukee Brewers, shifting in the eighth inning after starting at shortstop.
“We know that he’s athletic enough to play it and we want Mondi (22-year-old infielder Adalberto Mondesi) playing short,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Escobar. “We just think that the time is right. We talked to the coaches about it and they feel like he’ll be fine.
“He’s really excited about the opportunity at playing multiple positions, not only center but some third and some second. He knows that his next career move is probably going to be a utility-type player on the field and he’s anxious to start showing people that he can handle it.”
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