At the current baseball card display in the new York subway area, the dealers’ instances gleamed with large ticket beauties. One contained a 1915 Babe Ruth Sporting News rookie because that sale because that $90,000. Another had a 1910 Honus Wagner Sporting Life card the would collection you earlier $14,000. No no the Wagner, yet a gorgeous version that used the very same iconic portrait. There were no much less than 3 Topps 1952 Mickey Mantles, costing between $12,000 and $20,000.

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Stafford"s signed 1953 Topps Mantle has tripled in worth over the past year, to around $11,000.... <+> (Photo by David Seideman courtesy of Mohawk sporting activities Cards)

But the hottest card in the house was an additional Mantle i m sorry Justin Stafford to be selling. The owner the Mohawk sporting activities Cards (named after the hair reduced he sports) brought it all the way from Chesapeake, Virginia, 400 mile south: a 1953 signed Topps. Which PSA, one authentication company, graded a 9, or mint condition. His questioning price to be a cool $11,000. On Saturday, I thought he was nuts. Top top Sunday, he was a genius.

The shift in my opinion stemmed from the astounding revenue of a PSA 10 (mint), signed 1953 Topps Mantle on Saturday night in a storage Lane auction for $14,935. At the same time a PSA 9 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle commanded $97,200 in the very same auction. “The optimal three collectible name in baseball space Ruth, Cobb, and also Mantle,” Ron Keurajian, the writer of the authoritative and indispensable guide, Collecting historical Autographs, explained. “100K because that a signed Mantle rookie is great. In five years the the person who lives will double his money.”

end the past year, this trio that mid and late-career Mickey Mantle Topps has an ext than doubled in... <+> worth to about $1200 to $1800. (Photo by David Seideman)

Stafford may have done also better. He paid $3000 for his PSA 9 Mantle a year ago. “At the time the PSA 10 sold for only $2800,” that told me. “So I assumed I had actually overpaid.”

memory Lane’s sales offer further proof that a climbing tide lifts every Mickeys, the face of the understand . On peak of that, they show the growing value of signed baseball cards. “The most famous medium is the baseball card,” Keurajian notes in his book. “Topps concerns are the many popular and can it is in purchased because that a few dollars. Al Kaline, George Kell, Brooks Robinson, and Ernie financial institutions can be had for $25 come $50.”

During the course of the baseball map show, i observed the revenue of 6 signed Mantles covering from 1953 (a rough Bowman card) to 1969 in miscellaneous grades. A dealer cum collector that purchased plenty of of them, claimed that castle had an ext than doubled in value over the previous year to around $1200 to $1800.

this vintage Topps baseball cards signed through Brooklyn Dodgers variety in price native $100 for a 1956... <+> Sandy Amoros to $500-$600 for a 1956 Sandy Koufax. (Photo by David Seideman courtesy of Phil Marks)

The happy marriage in between card and autograph collectors—long overdue—reminds me that the at an early stage TV commercials for Reese’s advertising that chocolate and peanut butter to be the perfect blend. “There offered to be civilization who didn’t collection them due to the fact that the signature ‘ruined’ the card,” man Cerilli an avid signed card collector because that 50 years, said me in ~ the baseball card show (hosted by JP sports Promotions).

When shopping because that vintage cards, shot to buy people in the ideal shape possible. “The condition of an autographed card is everything,” Phil Marks, a veteran autograph dealer said me at the show. “A pretty autograph on a real crummy card will certainly not sell. A lousy sig ~ above a quite card may not market either.”

The mother of all signed baseball cards, a 1932 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth, would most likely sell because that more... <+> than $100,000 today. (Photo through Robert Edward Auction)

Striking the balance between a card and also an autograph’s top quality isn’t constantly easy for excessive rarities. For example, a 1932 U.S. Caramel Babe Ruth card signed by him showed substantial wear and also had writing on the back. Yet it commanded $48,000 in late 2015 through a Robert Edward Auction. “That Ruth is an easy $100K today,” point out said. “I’ve just seen forgeries, no a actual one.”

It all boils down to eye appeal. Collectors and investors tend to prefer Sharpie signatures come ballpoint done throughout the player’s career. “Everyone wants the thick, wet blue Sharpie,” Stafford said. “Blue sells an ext than black. Blue ball allude is understated.”

This signed 1966 Mantle Topps offered for just $325 in a current auction. Collectors tend to choose bold... <+> Sharpie autographs. I still think duration signatures choose the Mantle v looping Ms have plenty that upside potential(Photo by hunt Auctions)

No issue what the composing instrument, authenticated signed Mantles from his early on years are scarce. “As a collecting sub-genre, signed commerce cards has actually never been much more popular,” Heritage listed in a sale of a Sharpie-signed 1952 Topps Mantle in 2013 ($26,290). “But this hobby development was in that infancy once the Mick gave in to liver fail in 1995.” according to storage Lane, over there are just eleven 1952 Topps Mantles authenticated by PSA.

As through all autographs, execute your homework by studying instances on the Internet and in publications like Keurajian’s. Buy from trusted dealers prefer Marks that specialize in autographs. If she spending really large money, buy pieces authenticated by SGC, PSA/DNA, or BVG. Another fantastic resource is autographlive, a forum wherein you can short article photos for other collectors to sweet in.

For mine part, I very own a tiny Mets arsenal of vintage signed cards, obtained over countless years. Ns strongly choose a duration ball signature choose a Tom Seaver 1970 Topps that i recently got from a Clean move Auction for just $40 (including the buyer’s premium). I enjoy imagining exactly how the original owner acquired it ago then. Did he send it through the letter or wait patiently at the round park for his hero come oblige?

Nineteen-seventy was likewise the first year ns seriously obtained into baseball cards after the Mets won the 1969 championship. Seaver’s map was the best deal on the school playground. If i had enjoyed the good fortune to no only display off a Seaver card, however an autographed one, ns would have actually been king that the jungle gym. Ns won’t spend too plenty of hours dreaming around it. Really, just a few.

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I’ve created on the sporting activities collectibles sector for 30 years for such publications as Time and also Sports Illustrated and also have to be quoted as an authority all over from

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I’ve created on the sports collectibles sector for 30 years because that such publication as Time and also Sports Illustrated and also have been quoted together an authority almost everywhere from abc come The new York Times. My attention in sports and also its collectibles is life-long: I deserve to still mental the boyhood thrill of opening packs and also discovering a Willie Mays or Tom Seaver card. My career in magazine journalism has contained long stints at Audubon, Time, and also The new Republic in their heydays. When serving together the editor-in-chief of Audubon for 13 years, ns was a five-time nationwide Magazine award finalist, including three nominations for general excellence, the identical of one Oscar for ideal Picture. (I to be a national Magazine compensation judge and screener for 15 consecutive years.) ns the author of 2 books, the award-winning Showdown at Opal Creek and The brand-new Republic: A Voice of modern Liberalism, both favorably the evaluation in The brand-new York Times. My 2nd book play a pivotal duty in conserving an endangered old forest in Oregon. Mine articles and essays have appeared in The new York Times, London time Literary Supplement, London Independent, Los Angeles Times, Atlas Obscura, and also many various other publications.