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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Thanks!. Lets raise mr Olsons internet profile a little bit guys!

Wow! Thanks Kevin. I have an Olson signed Ali.

Does this help?  Absolutely.  Thank you for taking the time to write up so much for us.  In reality, if you're new like me, it is easier said than done.  I just checked out several Mickey Mantle autographs from (which I hope don't sell fake items because it is the biggest company) and a lot of the autographs DO look like half moons.  How I can personally tell the difference between the fakes you posted and the ones on is that the fakes do look like they were signed more carefully and not as quickly.  First impression is very important, I think!  I'm new to this subject, so feel free to elaborate!

Winnie thanks for reading, if I help just one person avoid buying a fake I feel I have justified this post. Obviously myself and others don't want to elaborate too much, as the forgers may take these "tips" to fix their "work". If you ever have a piece you're contemplating purchasing, post it here first and myself and others will help you out.

What about this ball what do you think?

Undoubtably bad in my opinion. Milkey Mautle forgery style. Note the obvious quivering in the loops under the Ms.

Yikes!!!  Ugly forgery!!!

no question not authentic...sorry bro

Yea, even being a rookie as soon as I posted this, I thought "wtf thats nasty"

Thanks for creating this discussion Ryan.

   For Everybodies information, John Olsen is still on Craigslist.Late last year ,I was searching Craigslist for anything Muhmmad Ali. I came across some autographed items and responded to the ad. The pictures on the ad weren't that good and I requested a better photo. A John Grim (who I believe is John Olsen) responded by saying he didn't have a camera. HUH ?? He talked about need of money due to storm Sandy,the more I communicated with him and not seeing these posts ,I came to the determination that I was in communication with John Olsen. As of right now he is on Craigslist from New Jersey peddling whatever you want to call them.So some excellant points here, no time rush, do your homework. One other item on Craigslist right now from Connecticut, a so called fight worn Muhammad Ali Everlast trunks verus J. Coopman.. These are BAD and the story behind that junk is even worse.

please check this out.. signed book 1991 and a letter of guarantee because the seller was on site that matching with this signed ball which has no there a pic of the signature that is accurate and not a so called fake

also any comments on this pic of the book Golfers Golf signed Golfingly Tony Lema? have looked at via pics other Lema signatures and this appears to be similar if not right on.. plus the seller was a friend of Lema's and apparently got it signed at a book store signing in 1965, Lema died in 1966

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