Mickey Mantle cards found in their collection.
Back in April, former Pro-Bowl NFL offensive lineman Evan Mathis sold a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card for $2.88 million — the second-highest price ever. A 76-year old man from New Jersey was following the news of the sale and, after seeing the price Mathis’ card fetched, went digging through his own collection.
As children, he and his brother had collected cards in 1951 and 1952 and — as he discovered — amassed a total of five 1952 Topps Mantle cards. After the brothers — John and Ed — stopped collecting, the cards ended up in a box in their mom’s attic. In 2006, the undisturbed box moved to John’s basement after his mom died.
Their Mantle cards weren’t in quite as good condition as Mathis’ but are doing quite well at auction. In addition to the five ’52 Mantles, the brothers have auctioned other cards from their collection as well.
The brothers credited their father — who collected coins, stamps and postcards — for setting a model of preserving collections. “We didn’t abuse [the cards],” John said. “They were a collection. We watched how he did things and we did the same.” More than 60 years later, that care is paying off.