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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Charles, it takes a long time to acquire "an eye for autographs."

Forgeries are meant to have the appearance of looking authentic.

Those people know that 80% of the people who buy autographs, do not know autographs and that's why selling forgeries on EBay is easier than selling authentic autographs.

It's a huge industry.

Okay so theres a good chance it's fake...

What about this MJ auto I'm looking at too.  

see pic

Attachments: No photo uploads here

There isn't a "good chance it is fake."

It is a fake.

Definitely a fake.  99.99% of Jordan signed jerseys are from Upper Deck.  Jordan had an exclusive contract with them.  He may have signed a couple during a golf event like the Mario Lemieux event years ago.  Aside from that, the signature is not his.

As far as someone telling you an item was authenticated at a major show in Chicago, they can tell you anything they want.  They are not going to admit to you it is fake.  People who sell forgeries have all kinds of prepared stories.

i know i called him out on it and asked him what his booth number was at the show and what booth was next to him and he had no answer. 

thanks for the help my friend.

Steve is 100% spot on.

That's why selling forgeries is not only lucrative, but it's easy and the scammers know it.

And Ebay doesn't care; if anything, in my opinion, they are an enabler of this crap by doing nothing about it.

Charles, I got into this discussion late, but I hope by now you understand and believe that this Mantle ball is a forgery.  When you ask "how do you tell it is slowly signed", that tells me you are a novice at collecting autographs.  One does not need to be a Mantle expert to see that this is slow and shaky, no fluidity. 

Going forward, before you purchase a Mantle ball, post it here.  You have some of the best Mantle experts in the hobby on this site, and they will provide a free opinion that you can take to the bank.

For 400, you can get an authentic Mantle if you are patient.

When it comes to autos yes I’m pretty green on recognizing fakes. Thnx for the help. 

Hi Charles, stick with the folks here they will steer you clear of the bad and into the good. :)

+1 over and over, and once again.

Hey All, 

What are your thoughts on this Bobby Brown Mantle ball? I got it a few years ago on craigslist for around $200. It does not have a COA. Any input would be great. Thanks guys! 



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