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Sports memorabilia collectors, here’s your chance to secure a unique and extraordinary gem from MLB Hall of Famer and New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle.
According to TMZ Sports, a pair of player's cards that Mantle personally used at Donald Trump's casinos — the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza — in Atlantic City are now up for auction on the Robert Edwards Auctions (REA) block.
The cards are dated November 1990 and are described as in “near mint" condition, according to REA’s website. The back of each card is signed by Mantle in black ink, with the signatures receiving a grade of “nine” out of a possible 10 on the authentication scale.
The cards were put up for auction on March 6 with a starting bid of $1,000. They’re expected to sell for $2,000, which seems a bit light given the parties involved.
Last year, Mantle's 1952 rookie card sold for $2.88 million, making it the second most expensive ever sold at an auction. The TMZ story also points out that Mantle's unsigned American Express card sold for $8,400 at an auction in 2004.
Those impressive numbers show the value that Mantle's memorabilia has held in the past. There’s still plenty of time for the prices to soar here too. The bidding for Mantle’s gambling cards will remain open until March 23.
Banned for life
In an interesting sidebar, Mantle and fellow Hall of Famer Willie Mays were once banned from baseball "for life" by former commissioner Bowie Kuhn after taking jobs for Atlantic City casinos in 1979 and 1983 respectively. Mantle served as director of sports programs at Claridge, while Mays was the president at Bally.
Both were reinstated by Peter Ueberroth in 1985 after he took over as baseball commissioner.
It’s interesting to think back to those times, especially now with Major League Baseball opening itself up to gambling partnerships.
It’s a whole new world.
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