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."
Laughable Mantle/Williams forgeries on a baseball. Worthless 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.
*AVOID CRAIGSLIST/UBID/ESTATE AUCTIONS/OTHER CRAPPY AUCTION SITES
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: http://live.autographmagazine.com/forum/topics/mantle-williams-and-...
For information regarding tainted Scoreboard COA's I suggest you read this blog by Mr. Christopher Williams: http://live.autographmagazine.com/profiles/blogs/mickey-mantle-joe-...
For authentic exemplars, check out Fuddjcal's discussion here: http://live.autographmagazine.com/profiles/blog/show?id=3524372%3AB...
For information on GAI certed forgeries check out Steve Cyrkin's discussion here: http://live.autographmagazine.com/forum/topics/the-gai-mantle-dimag...
Both Mantle pieces are good in my opinion.
The Mantle book and ball are no question authentic. No clue on Lema.
Two beautiful Mantles. I'd like that book for my own collection.
Hey guys! First timer here. Wanted to show you a Mantle I bought years ago from a store right across from Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. ..after reading the entire thread I'm most certain it's a fake but wanted a second opinion to be sure. Thanks for your great advice. Seems as if I should be worried about autographs from my two favorite celebs...Mantle and David Gilmour.
Unfortunate you are correct, 100% forgery.
Thank you for the unfortunate news....looks like I can't even trust items close to the HOF! Great article, I learned a ton. My new mission is now finding an authentic. May need to stick to UD or PSA items only.
Feel free to run any potential purchase by us first. I have 10+ Mantles and none are authenticated. You'll find MUCH better deals with no "COA". You can find a nice 8x10 for $125-$150 if you're patient.
Will do. You guys are the best.
Beautiful Mantle signature on the paper. The ball is good, but hard to see well in the lighting.
Thanks Steve sounds great!