Spring 2017 Major League Baseball "Set Registry Masters" Premium Auction
It's difficult to convey just how hard the nostalgic Jay Publishing 5" x 7" black and white photos and other similar team issues are to find in high-grade. Printed on a thin paper stock similar to magazine or newspaper pages in either a semi-glossy or matte finish, these memorable cards were available in team sets for a quarter each at both stadium souvenir shops and through a mail order program. Both formats were extremely popular with fans young and old, who were eager to fork over their quarters for the keepsakes. The close-up portraits and large action shots engaged fans in a way that smaller Topps and other baseball cards could not, and there weren't many young baseball fans' bedrooms in the 1960s that didn't have their favorite players pinned or taped to the wall (or their least favorite players stuck to a dartboard). Due to their delicate paper stock, the act of simply removing the photos from their envelopes can easily create small dents or kinks in their surfaces as well as mildly touched or bumped corners that make high-grade copies almost impossible to find. Indeed, to discover a Mint or Gem Mint copy today would almost certainly require that the card had never previously been handled.
Offered in this lot is one of the finest three copies of Mickey Mantle's 1962-65 Jay Publishing Type 2 "One Ear Showing" variation to ever pass through grading at PSA. Assessed at the NM-MT 8 level, we thought this one had a shot at the first-ever Mint 9 or even Gem Mint 10. Only one other NM-MT 8 of this version has ever equaled it, and only one NM-MT+ 8.5 has been graded higher. There are two other versions produced between 1962 and 1965, the more common of which features Mantle batting with "Two Ears" showing and the other a rare "Portrait" version that rarely surfaces for sale in any grade. While no Mint 9 of the offered "One Ear" version has ever been graded, each of the other two versions have yielded a single unsurpassed specimen in the Mint 9 grade as well as just three and two NM-MT 8 copies, respectively. Were the centering of the offered copy shifted just a hair or two to the right, we're confident it would rank as the hobby's first Mint 9 and arguably the first PSA 10 from among all three versions. To be clear, however, these cards are so tough that only four copies from among the hundreds of examples submitted featuring the 100+ players encompassing the entire Type 2 issue have ever graded PSA 10, two of which in the form of Yogi Berra and Roberto Clemente we are pleased to offer in this month's auction. Unfortunately, John Orsino and Willie Stargell, the set's only other 10s, must be found elsewhere.
1962-65 Jay Publishing Photos Type 2 Mickey Mantle Batting One Ear Showing PSA 8 NM-MT Pop 2 Only One 8.5 Graded Higher
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