Dear Babe: I bought a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle Sport Magazine All-Star card No. 487. My concern is that the card may be a fake. On other All-Star cards of this year, I notice that the yellow on the front is bright, but on this card the yellow is faint. I realize that a scan is not the best way to make a judgment, but can you take a look and give me an opinion?
— Bob Hugus, Westville, Ind.
You are absolutely right about judging a card from a scan, but that won’t stop Da Babe from making educated guess that it’s either a printing flaw or possibly the card being exposed to too much light over the years.
“To me, it looks like either a printing flaw or the card just seriously faded (maybe due to overexposure to the sun) over time or maybe a combination of the two,” said Brian Fleischer, a senior market analyst for www.Beckett.com. “Other than the ‘washed out and faded’ look of the card, it looks OK to me, but ... we can’t 100 percent authenticate anything without examining it in person.”
The 1958 Topps All-Star cards feature one of the all-time great designs. Plus the Mantle card (No. 487) has gained even more fame, because it is the one Bob Costas carries in his wallet as a reminder of his boyhood idol.
The Sport Magazine All-Star subset has 21 cards. Fred Haney, manager of the world champion Milwaukee Braves, and Casey Stengel, manager of the American League pennant-winning New York Yankees, are on No. 475. Eight position players from each league plus right-handed and left-handed pitchers follow.
Stan Musial (No. 476) and Mantle were triple printed, according to Beckett’s Almanac of Baseball Cards, so there’s no shortage of them.
Eleven of the 21 cards feature Hall of Famers. In addition to Stengel, Mantle and Musial, the set includes Nellie Fox (279), Eddie Mathews (480), Ernie Banks (482), Luis Aparicio (483), Frank Robinson (484), Ted Williams (485), Willie Mays (486), Hank Aaron (488) and Warren Spahn (494).
Mantle is the most valuable card in the subset. Beckett’s Almanac has it at $125-$200, while the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards from the editors of Sports Collectors Digest lists it at $45-$150.
o o o
Dear Babe: I have eight Los Angeles Dodgers yearbooks from 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1970 and 1971. The eight yearbooks are in perfect condition.
— Kathleen Murray, Grand Terrace, Calif.
Even though the Dodgers were World Series winners in 1963 and 1965, it appears that overproduction and Internet sales have combined to drive down values for these yearbooks.
“The Dodgers overproduced their yearbooks and thus they have a value of $15-$30,” said Phil Regli, www.cards programs.com, a longtime magazine dealer. “The 1960 and 1962 programs are worth $30 (each), and the rest would be $15 (each) in value.”