Memory Lane Inc. will offer the first public showing of the finest known collection of Mickey Mantle baseball cards during this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention. The California-based auction company will have the Donald E. Spence Mantle collection on display for collectors to enjoy inside the IX Center in Cleveland July 29-August 2. Memory Lane will also be in attendance at the show, displaying other high grade items that will be for sale in its summer auction, which begins just after the National. The company will also be taking consignments for its fall auction. Stop by Booth No. 101.
Mr. Spence’s “Lone Star Collection” features all 21 major Mantle cards in Mint or Gem Mint condition, all of them authenticated and graded by PSA. Every card is graded 9 or 10 and several are the highest graded Mantle cards in existence.
Collectors will be able to see the cards and have their picture taken with the “Million-Dollar Mantle card,”a PSA 10 1951 Bowman Mantle rookie at booth No. 101.
The Spence collection grades out at an incredible 9.53 on a 10-point scale, making it the No. 1 “set” of Mantle cards on PSA’s Set Registry. Eleven of the 21 cards in the basic Mantle collection have been graded PSA 10 and the group was named to PSA’s Set Hall of Fame this year.
Mantle is an icon to baseball card collectors, especially those who watched his meteoric rise as a player propel baseball bubble gum cards into the social conscience of youngsters around the country during the 1950s. His 1951 rookie card and initial Topps card from 1952 are two of the most desired, valuable and popular issues in the hobby, selling for thousands of dollars even with significant wear. High-grade Mantle cards are the ‘holy grail’ for baby boomers with cards selling for tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Spence collection is the ultimate accomplishment, pieced together by a collector with a goal of owning the most superlative pieces.
The collection begins with a PSA 10 1951 Bowman rookie card, No. 253 in the set. The card is stunning in quality, the only one of its kind ever to reach the pinnacle of grading. Blazing colors, snow-white borders, excellent centering and razor-sharp corners highlight the issue that represents the beginning of Mantle’s two-decade Hall of Fame career.
Its bookend is a PSA 10 1969 Topps No. 500, which puts the wrap on Mantle’s fabled career. In between are a number of “1 of 1”, “best of the best” Mantle cards that have been accumulated by the Texas collector, such as the 1953 Bowman Color No. 59 (PSA 10), 1959 Topps No. 10 (PSA 10), 1962 Topps (PSA 10) and 1964 Topps (PSA 10).
Spence’s collection has been built over a period of years, upgraded as he claimed victory in auctions or bought cards in the highest available grades to push the set toward its current lofty status as the all-time finest PSA Mantle set in the world.
Collectors can revel in its perfection by visiting the IX Center for the annual NSCC show, which draws tens of thousands of collectors each year. The show opens for a VIP “sneak peek” Wednesday night, July 29 and closes late Sunday afternoon, August 2.