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  #1  
Old 01-11-2019, 08:05 AM
Sportscards1086 Sportscards1086 is offline
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Default When it comes to Mantle, is it better...

To collect quantity or quality?

My budget doesn't allow for higher-end cards on the regular. It would take time to get a 2-400 card. With that said:


Is it better to save for those higher priced cards or collect the lower end graded cards?

David
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2019, 08:08 AM
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Each to his own, my friend. Personally I'd favor having several PSA 2 cards that present well for the grade over 1-2 nicer cards. Still, I know other collectors whose stomachs would turn looking at much of my collection.

Now from an investment standpoint I'd presume high grade wins, but I'm talking mainly PC here.

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Old 01-11-2019, 08:17 AM
Sportscards1086 Sportscards1086 is offline
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Originally Posted by jason.1969 View Post
Each to his own, my friend. Personally I'd favor having several PSA 2 cards that present well for the grade over 1-2 nicer cards. Still, I know other collectors whose stomachs would turn looking at much of my collection.

Now from an investment standpoint I'd presume high grade wins, but I'm talking mainly PC here.

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Or maybe one or two nice mid grades sprinkled in with some lower graded stuff. I can do that I think lol.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:21 AM
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I went for quantity. I got the low grade but presentable examples of everything I could, with some ragged cards and some nicer samples here and there when nothing that met the above criteria was available. To each his own though.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2019, 08:45 AM
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This will come down to "personal preference". In my case, I struggle with star cards (Mantle, etc) in EX or below condition. If one of my star cards is below EX, I might as well not have it. However, I do not look critically at "OC". I have generally accepted OC as part of the reality in vintage cards. Creases are not acceptable and corner wear is the main focus for me.

There is no wrong approach so long as you get the degree of satisfaction you are seeking.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:18 AM
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I grew up in the 80s and 90s hearing the Mantle legends, so when I looked for something to focus on, I chose the PSA Mickey Mantle Master Set registry. In only a few years, I've now got about 150-175 different Mantle (and Yankee team) cards from his playing days (1951-69). Many you can buy for $20 each in VG, many are going to cost thousands.
But I'm having a lot of fun with it; got this banged up Bazooka this morning for $70:

1965 Topps Bazooka - [Base] #1 - Mickey Mantle [Poor]
Courtesy of COMC.com
Front is pretty clean (although cut poorly, common for the cards), but the back is destroyed. Will still get a PSA Authentic and go in the collection... ;-)

Adding a couple every month I enjoy more than saving $3,000 over the year and trying to buy one card at the end.
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2019, 11:46 AM
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Quantity versus quality will always be debatable. Either way has its benefits.
As several others have said, you are wise to decide what really makes you happy, given the budget you will be working with. As Jason wrote, finding cards and items that present well for the grade is sound wisdom.

There will often be collectors who find it useful to them, and their own self-centered ego, to criticize the way you collect, but with competition for Mickey Mantle cards being strong, and prices all over the spectrum, at least there seems to be a lot of Mantle to select from, and a price tag that is feasible.

It seems as though one cannot deliberate very long over a Mickey Mantle he wants, without someone else ready to rip it out of our clutches, and buy it before we can get it. Hang in there; again, there's a lot of period Mantle to choose from, and repeating myself again, buy Micks that you know you'll be happy with. You owe that to yourself as a hobbyist.

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  #8  
Old 01-11-2019, 01:31 PM
Promethius88 Promethius88 is offline
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I agree that it is all personal preference. I guess my philosophy is that the higher you go up with the price tag, the fewer who are going to be able to afford those, making the lower to mid grades a more solid purchase. With the "investor" side of high grade, that probably doesn't hold as much water as it used to. But also, as those higher graded cards get purchased and put back, collectors will have to start going down the quality ladder to get what is available.
Maybe start out with some lower grades then over time get some that are higher grades...selling out the lower grade to ease some of the pain of buying one a couple grades higher.
As you can see by the responses, personal preference varies and there is much to be said for each opinion. While i personally don't like oc cards, you can get some really nice ones for a fraction of the cost of their straight grade counterparts Personally I would rather have a centered card in a lower grade but seems like that is becoming more the norm causing prices to spike on the well centered stuff.
Best of luck in whatever road you choose and be sure to post pics!
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:45 PM
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There's some good advice above. I've always collected on a bit of a tight budget, even in the early 80's when everything was cheap.

It really is up to you. What goals do you have in collecting, what you can tolerate etc.
If you're looking at a long term collection - mine is a bit past 40 years depending on when you count from - and do want to consider that you might sell at some point, then buying the best you can afford isn't a bad way to go. Better cards sell easier and sell easier still in better condition.
Short term better cards are an even better play. Being high bidder on a worn card means probably having to wait at least a couple years before it will be worth enough to not lose money.

But if you're less worried about that as I am, then it's pretty much anything goes. I have stuff ranging from totally wrecked to really nice. (I don't think I have any PSA 10s, but there is a 9 somewhere from one of those graded card in each pack Edge products) I basically pick up what catches my eye, and seems like a good deal for what it is.

Every time I've gone to a show with a goal in mind, there aren't any of what I want at a price I like.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2019, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
then buying the best you can afford isn't a bad way to go. Better cards sell easier and sell easier still in better condition.
Short term better cards are an even better play. Being high bidder on a worn card means probably having to wait at least a couple years before it will be worth enough to not lose money.
I find the opposite to be true for the vast majority of cards. Sure, HOFers in high grade normally rise, but high grade commons in some sets have plummeted. Check the thread I created when PSA came out with their Auction Prices Realized tool; the 1952 PSA 8-9s that averaged $10,000 in 2008 or so sold for $2,000 each in 2010.
I think there's more financial upside in oddball and rare issues, personally. We still haven't had a stock market crash in 10 years. So maybe the best plan for a new collector who hasn't decided yet is to save up money when collectors liquidate during a crash?
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:02 PM
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The 'problem' with Mickey Mantle overall is his stature within the collecting world and his eminence in the non-baseball community as a whole. He simply exists in his own universe. The point being, no matter what card you look for (say, on ebay), it's going to be way overpriced (as compared to other HOF'ers from his era). You have to dig, dig, dig to find anything priced even nearly 'accurately.' (I'm sure with lower conditioned cards, it's not as ridiculous, but still.) So, you have to add that reality to the equation, and it becomes, "Do you want to overpay for quantity or do you want to severely overpay for quality?"
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2019, 09:31 PM
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For me when collecting Mick I go with the lower grade cards that I enjoy looking at on a regular basis. Having said that I do collect high grade cards of Johnny Bench.

I think you have to go with what you will enjoy looking at on a regular basis. For me I would rather look at many lower grade Micks instead of 1 or 2 high grade Micks. Here is a sampling of some of my low grade cards that I thoroughly enjoy looking at on a regular basis.

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Old 01-11-2019, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sportscards1086 View Post
To collect quantity or quality?

My budget doesn't allow for higher-end cards on the regular. It would take time to get a 2-400 card. With that said:


Is it better to save for those higher priced cards or collect the lower end graded cards?

David
Hi David,

As many have said, it all is about which cards call to you, which you want to enjoy looking at. You can't go wrong as long as your cards please your eye— and a great thing about Mantles is that his cards in any grade are so liquid, you can always pivot.

I collect pretty much only Mantle, and I have found great specimens all across the grading spectrum. Here are some examples that illustrate how we can get nice Mantles at various grades, though it can take a fun and rewarding— and long— hunt to land those diamonds in the rough. These cover from 2.5-6.5 grades...

And JB, those are truly GORGEOUS! Centering, color, image quality, those are some carefully chosen Micks.












Last edited by MattyC; 01-11-2019 at 11:10 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2019, 11:44 PM
Sportscards1086 Sportscards1086 is offline
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Thank you all for the comments, advice, knowledge and the time you took to respond. A lot of good stuff to read in here and several things to take with me...

This is what I have so far.



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Old 01-13-2019, 06:19 PM
jb67 jb67 is offline
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[quote=MattyC;1844553]Hi David,

As many have said, it all is about which cards call to you, which you want to enjoy looking at. You can't go wrong as long as your cards please your eye— and a great thing about Mantles is that his cards in any grade are so liquid, you can always pivot.

I collect pretty much only Mantle, and I have found great specimens all across the grading spectrum. Here are some examples that illustrate how we can get nice Mantles at various grades, though it can take a fun and rewarding— and long— hunt to land those diamonds in the rough. These cover from 2.5-6.5 grades...

And JB, those are truly GORGEOUS! Centering, color, image quality, those are some carefully chosen Micks.



Thanks MattyC. Love that 53 Bowman. I remember when you were offering it up for sale and wish I would have jumped on it back then. I never get tired of looking at your Mick collection.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:47 AM
Sportscards1086 Sportscards1086 is offline
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Originally Posted by MattyC View Post
Hi David,

As many have said, it all is about which cards call to you, which you want to enjoy looking at. You can't go wrong as long as your cards please your eye— and a great thing about Mantles is that his cards in any grade are so liquid, you can always pivot.

I collect pretty much only Mantle, and I have found great specimens all across the grading spectrum. Here are some examples that illustrate how we can get nice Mantles at various grades, though it can take a fun and rewarding— and long— hunt to land those diamonds in the rough. These cover from 2.5-6.5 grades...

And JB, those are truly GORGEOUS! Centering, color, image quality, those are some carefully chosen Micks.












Nice cherry picking Matty. Those are some BEAUTIFUL looking Mantles. That 2.5 Bowman is STUNNING.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:28 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
I find the opposite to be true for the vast majority of cards. Sure, HOFers in high grade normally rise, but high grade commons in some sets have plummeted. Check the thread I created when PSA came out with their Auction Prices Realized tool; the 1952 PSA 8-9s that averaged $10,000 in 2008 or so sold for $2,000 each in 2010.
I think there's more financial upside in oddball and rare issues, personally. We still haven't had a stock market crash in 10 years. So maybe the best plan for a new collector who hasn't decided yet is to save up money when collectors liquidate during a crash?

I'd have to wonder why that happened. Did the high prices bring out a lot of nice cards for grading? Or did the few people who could afford to try for a 52 set in 8-9 complete sets or give up? 8-9 I'd think is primarily a registry competition thing and once the few really tough cards are locked up in a couple collections the competition that drove prices stops.


I'm nowhere near on that league, so even at 2,000 they wouldn't fall into the "best I can afford" category.

I was thinking more along the lines of whether I wait for a 5 or buy a 4 now. Or maybe even take a chance on a nice looking card and send it in myself. (Or just buying it and not bothering with grading)
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:53 PM
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I'd have to wonder why that happened. Did the high prices bring out a lot of nice cards for grading? Or did the few people who could afford to try for a 52 set in 8-9 complete sets or give up? 8-9 I'd think is primarily a registry competition thing and once the few really tough cards are locked up in a couple collections the competition that drove prices stops.


I'm nowhere near on that league, so even at 2,000 they wouldn't fall into the "best I can afford" category.

I was thinking more along the lines of whether I wait for a 5 or buy a 4 now. Or maybe even take a chance on a nice looking card and send it in myself. (Or just buying it and not bothering with grading)
The reason some cards are or were low pop purely had to do with centering. I suspect that when the demand became really high from ego-driven registry guys, people either pressured PSA to give some borderline cards 8s, and/or trimmed and got some through. And as supply increased, prices eventually came down to earth. That, plus set collecting seems generally to have dropped at least in high grades.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:25 PM
Promethius88 Promethius88 is offline
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Originally Posted by Sportscards1086 View Post
Thank you all for the comments, advice, knowledge and the time you took to respond. A lot of good stuff to read in here and several things to take with me...

This is what I have so far.



David, those are absolutely acceptable Micks. Both notorious for centering issues. That 61 is clean and bright. I have an 8oc and 4 of that. And the 58...very nice centering. I have a straight 6 of that one that is still oc and would rather have your 4.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:41 PM
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Agree; that 4 of the 58 All Star is a really pretty example that certainly hits the eye as much better than the grade. The centering and focus draw the eye in. Great acquisition.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:17 PM
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I went for quantity. I got the low grade but presentable examples of everything I could, with some ragged cards and some nicer samples here and there when nothing that met the above criteria was available. To each his own though.
+1
And I am doing mostly oddballs now since his base cards are so plentiful at mid grade. All Mantle's are awesome! Good luck!

Ben
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:35 PM
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I think that part of the benefit of collecting anything is the decision-making process, figuring out your priorities and adapting. Even if you're unsure of what you want (quantity vs. quality), dive in and see what happens. More than likely, you'll quickly find out if you made the choice that's right for you, and if not, adjust.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:16 PM
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Totally your preference. Sometimes quantity is quality, and sometimes it's worth it to sacrifice to get that one really cherry card you've wanted for a long time. Difficult decision with Mantle more than most since in comparison to his comps, his dollar value in the vintage card game outshines everyone regardless and likely will for the foreseeable future.

My first Mantle base card (as a kid, I was about 11) was an absolutely destroyed, waterlogged 1965 Topps #350 that the kid down the street traded me. It was still in it's toploader and had been dropped in the toilet or in a lake or something, and literally still had water in it. If you had tried to take the card out, it would have disentigrated into a zillion pieces of mush.

The nicest Mantle I've ever had (that I really couldn't afford, which is why I don't have it still...) was probably a 1959 Topps #10 PSA 7.

Right now I make do with a lower grade but presentable '56 Topps that I've had since I was about 14, and a (nicer looking than the grade) PSA 5 '62 Topps #200...which you've seen, as I think we discussed over on the pickups thread. Your '61 is a very nice card!
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:17 PM
Sportscards1086 Sportscards1086 is offline
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Totally your preference. Sometimes quantity is quality, and sometimes it's worth it to sacrifice to get that one really cherry card you've wanted for a long time. Difficult decision with Mantle more than most since in comparison to his comps, his dollar value in the vintage card game outshines everyone regardless and likely will for the foreseeable future.

My first Mantle base card (as a kid, I was about 11) was an absolutely destroyed, waterlogged 1965 Topps #350 that the kid down the street traded me. It was still in it's toploader and had been dropped in the toilet or in a lake or something, and literally still had water in it. If you had tried to take the card out, it would have disentigrated into a zillion pieces of mush.

The nicest Mantle I've ever had (that I really couldn't afford, which is why I don't have it still...) was probably a 1959 Topps #10 PSA 7.

Right now I make do with a lower grade but presentable '56 Topps that I've had since I was about 14, and a (nicer looking than the grade) PSA 5 '62 Topps #200...which you've seen, as I think we discussed over on the pickups thread. Your '61 is a very nice card!

I have my eyes on a nice 1957 PSA 4 here in town for about 400. It's centered pretty well. If I end up pulling the trigger, I will post a pic.

The nicest one I've had was a 69 in BVG 8 and a Stand Up in a BVG 7


Post a pic of your 56 jchcollins!!

Last edited by Sportscards1086; 01-14-2019 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:45 PM
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I think that part of the benefit of collecting anything is the decision-making process, figuring out your priorities and adapting. Even if you're unsure of what you want (quantity vs. quality), dive in and see what happens. More than likely, you'll quickly find out if you made the choice that's right for you, and if not, adjust.
Well said, sir!
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:09 PM
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Default Very Nice Collection

My comment to the OP is that you’ve received some excellent advice here. Also, you’ve presented photos of some wonderful Mantles in your collection!

By the way, I just noticed, for the first time, that in the photo on the ‘58 All Star card, Mickey’s uniform has a stain on the right knee. Very cool. If he really strode into a pitch when batting right handed, the violence of his swing would cause his knee to make contact with the dirt.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:11 PM
Sportscards1086 Sportscards1086 is offline
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My comment to the OP is that you’ve received some excellent advice here. Also, you’ve presented photos of some wonderful Mantles in your collection!

By the way, I just noticed, for the first time, that in the photo on the ‘58 All Star card, Mickey’s uniform has a stain on the right knee. Very cool. If he really strode into a pitch when batting right handed, the violence of his swing would cause his knee to make contact with the dirt.

Thank you.

Good point about the knee. Never thought of that...lol
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:00 PM
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Post a pic of your 56 jchcollins!!
Here 'tis. Lower right corner would likely keep it at an A or 1, but dig that centering... I've had it since about 1990.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:22 PM
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Here 'tis. Lower right corner would likely keep it at an A or 1, but dig that centering... I've had it since about 1990.
That is a pretty one and well centered!!!
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:23 PM
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Here's my 57 I got today...




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Old 01-15-2019, 09:23 PM
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Here 'tis. Lower right corner would likely keep it at an A or 1, but dig that centering... I've had it since about 1990.
Leave it raw.
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