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A Birthday Wish : Magical Mickey Mantle

Updated on October 6, 2010

My 18th Birthday

    I have been a dedicated sports card collector since I was 8 years old. It has to be the most legal way of gambling that there is. I say this because if you don't think paying $10 for a pack of sports cards that may only have 2 cards worth a total of 75 cents in hopes of getting a nice crisp auto isn't a gamble then you need your head re-adjusted. I have done that in several instances in the past, but for some reason keep coming back for more. It really is an addiction folks. If you don't collect sports cards, but do watch sports, I encourage you to just go out one day and buy a pack of sports cards. But before you open them, look on the box for the odds and check out their worth in a price guide. Then open the pack and see if you don't secretly hope you get that sacred auto.

    But I digress from my enthusiasm of collecting sports cards. My story here is of my treasured Pristine Mickey Mantle 1955 Bowman baseball card. That's right Pristine! The story starts when I was only 12 years old. I was going through that age of becoming a teenager and trying to goofily act like I was growing up, while I had barely any hair on my legs. That Christmas, my sister and I were being very naughty gift ruiners. We wanted to know what our gifts were before Christmas came. So... we decided to just take a couple into our rooms one night and use a scissor technique we had learned over the years. Long story short, my sister figured out her present, but I couldn't make out what mine was. We were only feeling inside the present that way we would not crinkle the wrapping paper any. So after hearing the door jiggle a bit and possible footsteps, we abandoned procedure and put the presents back. So here Christmas day comes. I get up and have to wait till the very last present to open the one that I could not figure out. When I finally got to it, I opened it and there they were. 29 beautiful, pristine, gem mint "1955" Bowman baseball cards. Now these cards weren't all that great as far as star studded, but never the less they were old. I mean seriously before those I think the oldest card I owned was a 1984 Mattingly Rookie Baseball card. I had several older Football cards because collection football cards was my first love of collecting. I loved watching Barry Sanders , Emmitt Smith , Brett Favre , and who could forget Jerry Rice.

    Time has passed by through the years and I still collected baseball cards off and on when I had the money. I have always wondered about the odd number of 1955 Bowman baseball cards I had got that Christmas. I wasn't ever sure how many cards came in a pack, but I had figured it was something like 10, 15, 30, if not even only 5. I owned a Video Rental Store at this point in my life. I was closing up to go out and celebrate with my friends because it was my birthday this day. As soon as I turned the OPEN sign off, a lady pulled into the lot. I couldn't refuse her as much as I was thinking I wanted to at the time, so I said come on in. The lady was very old, using a walking cane to hold herself up. She addressed me and I addressed myself back to her. She said, "Oh I know who you are." Yeah I was a little spooked when she said that. But then again I was thinking, I'll just kick that cane if she pulls a gun on me haha. The woman continued to explain that she was the owner of the 1955 Bowman cards that I had received that Christmas. She had sold them to my father because he had told her how much I loved collecting. She then said, "I understand it is your birthday." She took an envelope out of her purse and handed it to me. She said, "I decided to just give you this so at least you can have an even number." Man when I heard this my mind started swimming. I thought ok maybe an Al Kaline , Willie Mays or Possible Hank Aaron. Who knows? When I opened the envelope I saw the words "Mickey Mantle". I swear I nearly fainted. I hugged the woman who I had never met before and tears were building up in the corners of my eyes I was so happy. I couldn't understand why someone that didn't even know me from adam would give me such a valuable gift. I asked her why she would give me something that is so valuable. She said that I was the only person she could think of that would appreciate it and that it had belonged to her husbands so she didn't feel right just selling it.

    So now I have an even 30 of these 1955 Bowman baseball cards. Nearly all of them would grade an 8 or above from Beckett Grading Services. These 1955 Bowman baseball cards are beautiful in design. They can be bought pretty cheaply for a 55 year old card. Amazon has several ranging from $4.00 to $25.00. Some are more like the ones I have listed at the bottom, but those are very rare anyway.

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    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Well it was a great story but I am still trying to figure out why it hit my funny bone for you to say you didn't even have hair on your legs yet. Well I am still laughing, maybe I will figure it out tomorrow. I am still hanging onto some Beatle cards that have no markings and no one has heard of; that I got from my husband after we were married, they have to be almost fifty years old and he has tried his best to give them away and I have hid them so many times I don't even know where they are. Hopefully I still have them.

    • bayoulady profile image

      bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      A dedicated collector's story! Great!Your story reminds me of my son who is 30 now. he would buy those bubble gum packs with collectors cards and would open them in the backseat of the car while i was driving. occasionally he would scream. Once he started monaing, because he THOUGH it was such and such a card , but it was Jose C. RATE UP!