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One of the most prized possessions in any collection is an autograph by Yankees Legend: MICKEY MANTLE. While Mantle autos aren't rare by any means, the market is and has been flooded with forgeries. 

Many are clueless about Mantle autographs, and the amount of forgeries that are out there. In order to help educate the beginner, I will share the 3 most common forgeries that I see flood eBay everyday. 

The first is the "Banana Mantle" or as I call them "Monkey Mantles". These are typically seen on balls/500 HR club balls. Often these come with a COA from Shop-at-Home. Look no further than the "M"s and you know it's crap. (The half moons on the M's look like bananas, hence the name). Numerous other things wrong about this horrific forgery, but it's fairly easy to spot immediately.

These are all laughable forgeries.

These look like they were penned by a 2-year old.  An idiot forger penned this crap.  You would have to be a moron to buy this garbage.

Worthless COA from Pro Sport Authentic (Who???).

Ugly Mantle forgery with worthless COA from "Authenticated Ink."

"Florida" forgery.

Laughable Mantle/Williams forgeries on a baseballWorthless COA from B&J Collectibles

GFA-certed garbage.  Simply put--Forged Mantle Copy on inkjet paper.

This is just plain laughable and ugly.

Here's a forged Mantle on a Budig baseball.

Next we have the "Operation Bullpen" forgeries which flooded the market in the 1990's. If you don't know what Operation Bullpen is, it's worth a Google. Here are some examples of "Operation Bullpen" forgeries penned by lead forger Greg Marino:
Lastly we have the most common forgery style I see. This crap usually comes with a COA from YMC Sports, Autograph Legends LLC, Myst-O-Graph, Christopher Morales, Drew Max, GFA or some other bogus COA. Often these come in a very intricate display which tries to get people to ignore the forgery. People are often fooled by this.

Once you see enough of these, they are pretty easy to spot. They look like "Milkey Mautle". Truly horrific.

If you are looking to purchase an authentic Mickey Mantle, avoid examples like those above, and the COAs mentioned. If you don't know anything about The Mick's autograph, I would recommend buying one that is certed by PSA/DNA or JSA. 


There are several people on here who are incredibly knowledgeable on The Mick's auto, if you have any questions on authenticity feel free to post them. 

For more information regarding The Mick, as well as numerous examples of forgeries feel free to read through the Mantle, Williams, DiMaggio thread posted here: http://live.autographmagazine.com/forum/topics/mantle-williams-and-...

For information regarding tainted Scoreboard COA's I suggest you read this blog by Mr. Christopher Williams: http://live.autographmagazine.com/profiles/blogs/mickey-mantle-joe-...

For authentic exemplars, check out Fuddjcal's discussion here: http://live.autographmagazine.com/profiles/blog/show?id=3524372%3AB...

For information on GAI certed forgeries check out Steve Cyrkin's discussion here: http://live.autographmagazine.com/forum/topics/the-gai-mantle-dimag...

Tags: Bullpen, Forgeries, Mantle, Mick, Mickey, Operation, The

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there ya go!!All in one spot good post bro

Nicely done! Thanks for posting.

Great post. The sad part is I'm more familiar and comfortable identifying these forgery types than I am identifying a legit Mantle. Once you see the banana, it can't be unseen ;)

Could you help me on a mantle auto

Nice job, Ryan. A Cliff's Notes of ghastly Mantle fakes. :-)

This post is great. Could you also include some real ones for easy comparison?

Kevin thank you for posting, but that link is not working?

Sorry about that. Copy paste error. it was very early when I commented this morning.

One of the main forgers behind the Muhammad Ali forgeries and the Operation Bullpen scandal is back to his old tricks. I met john Olson in person recently and unfortunately got conned for a couple bucks. This happened a couple months ago in 2013!

I am now on a crusade spreading the word about this and trying to protect collectors from this guy. All the details can be found here. Hope you enjoyed the 4th of July yesterday. Please spread the word and help stop one of the guys from operation bullpen to continue to steal from collectors. Here is a link to the full story

Operation Bullpen 2013


When did this meeting take place? 

This was end of march early April 2013

I just checked my email history, it was March 17th 2013

Wow. Some people never learn.

Fascinating. I blogged about it and linked to your article: http://zipper68.blogspot.com/2013/07/john-olson-operation-bullpen-m...



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