One of the most prized possessions in any collection is an autograph by Yankees Legend: MICKEY MANTLE. While Mantle autos aren't rare by any means, the market is and has been flooded with forgeries. 

Many are clueless about Mantle autographs, and the amount of forgeries that are out there. In order to help educate the beginner, I will share the 3 most common forgeries that I see flood eBay everyday. 

The first is the "Banana Mantle" or as I call them "Monkey Mantles". These are typically seen on balls/500 HR club balls. Often these come with a COA from Shop-at-Home. Look no further than the "M"s and you know it's crap. (The half moons on the M's look like bananas, hence the name). Numerous other things wrong about this horrific forgery, but it's fairly easy to spot immediately.

Ugly Mantle forgery with worthless COA from "Authenticated Ink."

"Florida" forgery.

Laughable Mantle/Williams forgeries on a baseballWorthless COA from B&J Collectibles

GFA-certed garbage.  Simply put--Forged Mantle Copy on inkjet paper.

This is just plain laughable and ugly.

Here's a forged Mantle on a Budig baseball.

Next we have the "Operation Bullpen" forgeries which flooded the market in the 1990's. If you don't know what Operation Bullpen is, it's worth a Google. Here are some examples of "Operation Bullpen" forgeries penned by lead forger Greg Marino:
Lastly we have the most common forgery style I see. This crap usually comes with a COA from YMC Sports, Autograph Legends LLC, Myst-O-Graph, Christopher Morales, Drew Max, GFA or some other bogus COA. Often these come in a very intricate display which tries to get people to ignore the forgery. People are often fooled by this.

Once you see enough of these, they are pretty easy to spot. They look like "Milkey Mautle". Truly horrific.

If you are looking to purchase an authentic Mickey Mantle, avoid examples like those above, and the COAs mentioned. If you don't know anything about The Mick's autograph, I would recommend buying one that is certed by PSA/DNA or JSA. 


There are several people on here who are incredibly knowledgeable on The Mick's auto, if you have any questions on authenticity feel free to post them. 

For more information regarding The Mick, as well as numerous examples of forgeries feel free to read through the Mantle, Williams, DiMaggio thread posted here:

For information regarding tainted Scoreboard COA's I suggest you read this blog by Mr. Christopher Williams:

For authentic exemplars, check out Fuddjcal's discussion here:

For information on GAI certed forgeries check out Steve Cyrkin's discussion here:

Tags: Bullpen, Forgeries, Mantle, Mick, Mickey, Operation, The

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Just saw on eBay, the same exact ugly forged mantle ball picture that Ryan first posted here, six and 1/2 years ago.

Hi all,

I just bought this piece on ebay. I purchased it for what in my opinion was a bit discounted, so I am initially a bit skeptical. it has an authenticity sticker only on it from "In Person Authentics"  but no letter or certificate in which I've never heard of them. But, that does not mean its not legit. Its a Brown ball and it is a bit roughed up.  Any opinions on if it is consistent with an authentic Mantle signature? MM1.jpg

Attachments: No photo uploads here

It appears slowly and deliberately applied to me. Last name is really stretched out. Likely not authentic in my opinion.

I called the authentication company, they said it was authenticated at the national in July in Chicago. Could the authenticator be in on the scam? they have a website and everything.

Definitely not authentic.

Did you really pay $400.00 for that?

yes, but I just bought it so I can easily send it back. and get a refund.

Please do it as soon as possible.

If you have any problems, direct the seller to this thread.

This is awful.

This was sold by Ebay seller Estdad747.

Worthless COA.

how can you tell this item is fake? also what's the deal on the authentication company?

There are hundreds of so-called "authentication" companies out there.

Anyone can become an "authentication" company.

People who don't know autographs are impressed by stuff like a website or a so-called "COA."

The authentication company's website basically says they call everything real.

The website itself is telling: Grammar and spelling are ridiculous, like they learned how to write in English by reading Facebook groups.

100% fake.  Slowly written and a couple specific areas the forger has not figured out.

How can you tell it is slowly written and what should I be looking at specifically? 



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