Your chance to win a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle/Hank Aaron!

So Topps wants to give you back the cards your mother threw out? I guess I do too, only you won’t be getting a 1987 Pete Rose or 2009 Paul Konerko. One lucky winner will receive an original vintage 1958 Topps “World Series Batting Foes” featuring Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron.

I am nearing 100,000 page views, which is a lot for me considering I don’t: a) have sponsorship, thereby not breaking the latest product; b) hold routine contests; or c) write reviews or previews of product I don’t care about. This accomplishment, when it happens later this month, will be a momentous occasion for this collector. And when it happens, one of my readers will be a winner.

OK, so here’s the deal, I have two of these 1958 Topps World Series Batting Foes cards in very different condition. Neither is mint, but each is equally desirable I think. In order for you to win, all you’ve got to do is look at these cards and the description I give of each and write a short paragraph in the comments section telling me which card you’d rather have and why. The winner will be RANDOMLY picked from all qualifying answers, and he or she will receive the card which they wrote about.

I know this isn’t a bright, shiny refractor version of the latest hot prospect, but how can you pass on a chance to win a real vintage Mantle and Aaron card? All it will take you is a few moments of your time. I’m even paying for shipping.

(click the images for larger versions)

Card A // Card B

Card A // Card B

(click the images for larger versions)

Card A is very near and dear to my heart. I actually wrote about it more than a year ago.  Anyhow, Card A is in great shape if it weren’t for the tape residue at the top of bottom. It has four decent corners and no creases. I see two surface wrinkles, one on the front near Mickey’s head, and one on the back near the card number. There also is some surface wear, which is evident with the slight discoloration of Mickey’s hat (see the white spot?) The centering  is a bit off up and down, but not horrendous.

Card B is new to my collection. It actually displays a bit better than Card A, even though it is in worse shape. The card’s corners are rounded, I see no less than three creases, and there is a tiny tear near Mickey’s arm. This tear is evident on the back near the word “foes.” The centering is off up and down, yet the card looks amazing on display because there is no tape or discoloration.

I would be proud to have either of these cards displayed in my collection, and will still have one when this contest is over. But all that is left to decide is which one stays and which ones goes to you.

The contest will run until I reach 100,000 page views (which is about 7,500 away — the stats are visibile on my home page.)  The winner will be selected within 24 hours of that, and a video of the random selection will be posted here.

Only one entry per person, anyone caught doubling up will be automatically eliminated. Make sure to pick which card and tell me why — and don’t simply state “because it’s free.” Give your answer some thought, I will be using some of these comments in a future blog about vintage cards. Also, make sure to think before you pick your card — YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR MIND LATER. Comments MUST be left on the blog.


40 Responses to “Your chance to win a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle/Hank Aaron!”

  1. I prefer card #2 because it is in better condition as it has less staining and tears. To me the centering doesn’t really matter. What really matters is what is between the centering and that is the photo of 2 of the greatest players to ever play the game. Even though I sell cards I will not sell this one if I get it. I will give it away to a friend who is very special to me. She is a true fan and has met Hank Aaron in person. She lives and dreams baseball and this will mean more to her than other people who are caught up in grading, quality and money. She is a true fan and deserves this card and if I win she will get it.

  2. I would pick card B because it looks to be in better condition. Vintage Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron cards are always cool. Back in 1958, it was a big deal to pull a card like this. Back then pulling a card featuring more than one player was a relatively new concept that many say started with the Phil Rizzuto / Billy Martin card found in 1953 Bowman Color.

    When I was younger and very new to collecting, it was a big deal to attend small, local mall shows. My father and I then discovered a show that took place once a year in Ephrata, PA. I still attend that show today, but I can still remember the first time I went. That day, former kicker for the Miami Dolphins Garo Yepremian was signing autographs. Up by the stage where they had him setup there was a dealer who had a bunch of cards in a glass case. In the glass case was a reprint of the Mantle / Aaron 1958 Topps Batting Foes card. That was one of the earliest card show purchases I had ever made. I thought that card was the greatest. It features two of the best baseball players in history.

  3. johnlaf Says:

    Although I believe card b is in better shape, there is something about tape on an old baseball card that somewhat appeals to me. It is certainly noticeable and actually kind of annoying, however that tape at the top and bottom are there for a reason. Chances are it was put there by a kid who wanted it on his wall, or inside a notebook or something similar. This card was extremely special to them when they had it over 50 years ago. While this is all just conjecture, and possibly too romantic of a view to actually be true, I would like to think that it is the card of a some kid who loved the Mick or Aaron all those years ago!

    Either card is awesome, but that tape, it just brings an extra bit of life to it!

  4. Like it matters! But if you made me choose, I’d say B because, although it’s hard to tell, the corners appear better and I am more of a corner guy than a centering guy. Regardless, I’d be privelaged to add either of these iconic cards to my collection. Thanks for the contest!!

  5. I would have to go with B. For vintage cards my view is always not so much on grading, though I’d never turn down a high grade vintage card, but on consistency and symmetry. I’ll take a card that is more appeasing to the eyes than which is of ‘better quality’ but uglier any day.

  6. Card A. I like cards with wear and tear, and tape wear is always great. It’s like a pinhole—it speaks to use and admiration. I have several tape cards in the pc, and absolutely dig them. They are cards that speak to collecting’s history.

  7. I’d like either card of course, but I would select Card B. For one thing, I think you like Card A more because, well, you said so! And anyone generous enough to offer such a nice prize should at least keep the card that means more to him. Congrats on getting close to 100,000 hits! I can’t imagine getting there.

  8. I’ll go with Card B. Staining, including tape stains, kind of weird me out a little. I’m funny that way, I guess. I don’t mind creases, centering issues or corner wear, but stains always bothered me.

    Congrats on nearing 100,000. I’m getting there myself.

  9. Play at the Plate Says:

    I’m going with B solely because of the tape discoloration on A. I love vintage cards and condition is less of a concern for me. I’d love to have either one and think they look great. Thanks and congrats!

  10. A, easily. That’s a pure Tipton right there. Stain on the top, tape on the bottom, small but significant paper loss including a spot on Mick’s hat, little crinkles here and there. That card there has character.

    Whoever wins this, please contact me. I need this card for my ’58 Braves set and I may be able to make you an offer you can’t refuse…

  11. I pick A. You keep the one in better condition. If I won this, it would not be leaving me any time soon, and the condition/value would matter little. The chance to have a vintage card with these two greats on it would be the reward in itself, and add a shred of credibility to my decidedly more recent leaning collection.

  12. First thanks for this contest. I’m not a collector per say. I go in spurts, leave my cards alone for a few years. then do some buying and selling. My choice would be B. I just think it “looks” better. Corners are corners, who cares unless they’re torn off. Or those corners on the 1970 Topps. That black border was great, until the card was handled. Yeah blemishes can help make a card. I’ve got a 75 Brett Rookie, gum stain right across the back. One of my favorites. I really liked those Topps “In Action” cards from 72. Would consider it an honor to add this card to my collection.

  13. I voted for A. I guess that I am in the minority, but I like these types of cards in my collection. They show the love that a kid put into displaying their cards and it is a reflection of nostalgia. Now if “B” was a beautiful centered copy then it would be a no-brainer.

  14. Card B. Bright card back! A tear in Mantle’s arm is a nice metaphor for Mantle’s broken body late in his career. No tear in Hank represents his endurance. Both were great, but in different ways.

  15. […] « Your chance to win a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle/Hank Aaron! […]

  16. The Diamond King Says:

    Card B! I went back and forth, reading others comments here, but here is my reasoning. My thing with vintage cards is the ‘wow’ factor. Its those first three seconds when you see the card that stick with me.

    Bright color is a must and to my eyes, card B is brighter, especially on the back. The tape on card A is appealing but detracts from the overall brightness of the card. Point for card B.

    That advantage for card B is offset by the more visible creases on it. In general, creases are even worse for me than bad corners. Point for card A.

    So by the point system, Its a tossup, but the real reason I pick B is that it has a better ‘wow’ factor for me.

  17. JD's Daddy Says:

    I would definitely go with card A. Neither is mint, so personality goes a long way, just like a ratty ol one dollar bill…though probably not as scary as a ratty ol one dollar bill.

  18. I voted for card B, but if I win, I’d go with card A. It has been used and admired. Someone else revered it. If I saw a 52 year old woman with no creases I’d be a bit concerned. For either card I wonder who owned them and what journey the cards have had. How long was card A taped to the wall or to an album page? Why did the owner use tape and not a thumbtack? Did it travel to school in a math book or a history book? Which card was it traded for? Card A, definitely.

  19. […] Plug: Don’t miss your chance to win a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle / Hank Aaron card. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)A little perspective for the Topps Million […]

  20. I would have to go with card B. For some reason, I can’t get past the tape residue as it feels like the card was altered somewhat by a foreign substance. My memory of asking my mother, who worked in a library, to laminate some of my 1986 Topps cards still haunts me – not that anything from that set is worth anything. The white spots near the center of card A, including the one on Mantle’s hat, are also a little distracting.

  21. Card B is definitely the one I would choose. The fact that is has rounded corners and creases is actually attractive to me. I have a 1952 Cliff Mapes card and the condition of it is even worse than card B. The corners are entirely round and there are creases galore. However, I love this card more than anything. The sentimental value is above and beyond, as Mapes gave this card to my grandfather. Card B would look great next to the Cliff Mapes card, whereas Card A would not. (And who better to have with Cliff than Mantle himself!)

  22. It was a tough call, since they’re both such great looking cards. After much deliberation though, I would go with Card Number A. Looking at the scan it seems to be slightly more worn that Card Letter 2. A large portion of my modest vintage collection revolves around cards in similar, if not worse shape than that. To me there’s something unsettling about looking at a 50-something year old piece of cardboard that is still in pristine condition. What kind of a child would preserve a beloved baseball card like that. I much prefer to inherit the baseball card that some kid carried around with him and flipped and put in his bike spokes and overall enjoyed.

  23. I think Card A is really fantastic. While both cards have been admired and held through the years, by evidence of the wear, there’s something about Card A that really looks like it was loved. The tape stains give me an image that a young kid taped the card up to his wall during the summer and fall of ’58, looked up at it, admiring it, while listening to the radio broadcast of the ’58 Series – a rematch of the ’57 Classic. The photo is a little sharper in Card A and I can just picture this kid staring into the card, listening to games and being transported to the stadium, watching his baseball heroes.

    I’d really like to win this card and give it to my hero, my Dad. He’s coming off of double-knee surgery a couple of weeks ago, and while this story is not meant to sway the judging, it has been a very tough recovery and I know this would cheer him up. My Dad’s favorite player is Mickey Mantle and he was 12 during the ’57 Series. While he doesn’t have this card now, maybe once upon a time he looked at it while listening to baseball on the radio, just as I envision the original owner of Card A doing way back when.

  24. I’d go with card A. The tape makes me think of some kid plastering this thing to his headboard. This is the one he displayed, the one with his heroes on it, the one that didn’t get jammed into the bike spokes. Hank and Mickey survived, but more than that were displayed in splendor. And isn’t it funny how we’re so careful now with our sleeves and sheets and top loaders. But here’s an example of a card with love behind it, and it still wears the scars. I’d choose that one any day.

  25. Card A vs. B, Mickey and Hank “The Real Home Run King” Aaron, on the same card…tough choice. Card B looks brighter in the coloring, front and back, but has crease and corner issues. Card A has a noticeable white “fleck” on Mantle’s Yankee cap and the obvious scotch tape residue across the top front of the card. I would choose A for the sheer authenticity of a great Classic Topps Card featuring two of the greats-in their prime-on one card! The bunting in the background adds a festive touch-a fan knows the picture was taken prior to a 1957 World Series game. Both players really look youthful and I love the lefty-righty batting poses of each-a classic touch.

  26. I like Card B because it is lighter and cleaner looking. I have my cards in plastic sheets, so corners don’t matter as much as the overall appearance. Centering counts, but as long as I can see white border on a card like this (valuable, sentimental), I’m good with it. I also like this card, because it goes well with the Braves multi-player card from the same year.

  27. I like card B better, the coloring is more vibrant and the centering is better. I wouldn’t mind either because I really idolize both players for their respective accomplishments. Finally answer B.

  28. I’m bad at this game because I actually didn’t notice the creases in either card. What I like about Card A is the coloring. Card B seems to have a little too much red in it. I feel like Card A has better photo and therefore like that card better.

    However, should I win this contest, you get to keep A because it’s your card and that’s the one you like most.

  29. I’d prefer card B although A is nice too. It sounds like A has more of a meaning to you so I wouldn’t want to take that away. Card B looks in great shape and I would so love to win it. B’s color looks a little better and even though there is a rip, I kind of prefer the worn cards when it comes to vintage.

    Thanks so much for this contest, I really hope I could win this one! Drew

  30. I’m going with card A. Although card B is more aesthetically pleasing, card A, like 100% of my collection, has sentimental value. Ben, I would be honored to add the card to my collection, because it will be going into a very diverse collection of not only sports heroes, but of sports memories as well. Card B displays better, but card A just has so much more visible history to it. If I had a pick, card A is going in the curio cabinet right next to Jim Thorpe’s GU jacket, and right next to the magic/bird/erving RC that I pieced together myself. Its about appreciation of history…

  31. I would rather have card A. I can’t really say why, because I don’t have a clue. Maybe it’s because that was the first one I saw. Maybe it’s because it’s the first one offered. Maybe it’s because there’s a subtle difference that makes it look better, a difference that tells my mind, “THAT ONE! THAT ONE!” Maybe my dad even owned that card at some point (even though it’s somewhat unlikely)! Whatever the case may be, this card is truely something to be cherished, and, like the others, I would be honored to own one of these cards. It would definitely be the centerpiece of my collection were I to win it today.

  32. Card A. In a sense, this is very much a Sophie’s choice. Each card has attributes – contingent upon the individual’s viewpoint – that make it more valuable. Perhaps an individual seeks to obtain cards with the highest resale value. As such, most then would choose B, I would think. However, the wear and tear – although evident in both choices – of Card A enables the user to conjure a more fantastic origin tale. We tend to create background for people and objects in the absence of concrete information. There is a certain amount of romance in obtaining older baseball cards that is lost in an era full of game-used artifacts (sometimes manufactured), certified autographs, and card grading. Now, there is less importance given, than prior generational waves, to the players depicted on the cards. At the end of the day, each card is just that, a piece of cardboard depicting two men whom baseball enthusiasts, fans, and everyday people deem a couple of the greats in baseball history. Each lacks implicit value until it is given value. Because Card A is important to you, perceived value increases as a result. And this is the sort of nostalgic value that cannot be measured in condition, price guides, or EBAY sales histories.

  33. […] week I’ll be giving away an AUTHENTIC 1958 Topps Hank Aaron/Mickey Mantle card. See details here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Little Box + Little Cards set for my babyBaseball […]

  34. Card B- Regardless of the corners and any other blemishes in the end the cards are meant to be looked at and in my case share time with my father something we have done since I was a child. The major turn off if I had to find a reason not to like A is the tape marks, in my opinion. Thanks for the opportunity!

  35. I’d chose Card A because of the tape marks and stains/discolouration. I like my cards to have lived a little and to be able to think of how the kid who pulled this out of a pack originally felt. Did they have it stuck to the wall to look at? I also think the colours printed better on card A and really make Mantle and Aaron stand out.

  36. I would rather choose card A. Because it is not as bright as the other. But also I don’t really care about how torn up the card is it is an awesome card it has Mantle and Aaron. I have collected many baseball cards and i would like to keep adding to my collection. to me it isn’t how torn up the card is or how good of condition it is in I would want it because i like the card and i like baseball. well thanks for letting me join this contest.

  37. Ray Smith Says:

    I like A because the image is sharper. Actually either would be an honor to have and would be cherished. My oldest card is a 1964 Leon Wagner. I Still have my card collection from when I was a kid.

  38. Brian Jacobson Says:

    I would have to take card B. If card A is near to your heart, I couldn’t feel good about winning that one. It’s the card’s relation to you that makes it special. This B card might as well be a relic, for it is not the one that you treasure the most. Thanks for the contest! Awesome!

  39. Richard Willis Says:

    Okay..I can’t say that I choose both because that’s not an option but truthfully..they are both desirable for different reasons and yet the same reason. Cosmetically speaking, they do both have imperfections but looking at this card is like looking at your child or your wife. You look beyond the flaws and see the spirit of who they are. The cards are more than a photograph of two great baseball players. They capture the spirit of a great game in a great time. That being said..I choose B.

  40. Michael Kaz Says:

    My father and I were just sitting here talking about his old collection when he was a child and he mentioned his favorite card, the 1958 Topps Mantle/Aaron. We did a search and we came across your blog! My dad was able to sneak into Milwaukee County Stadium for game 7 of the World Series against the Yanks. The Mick was his favorite player, but he loved watching Aaron at the plate. He remembered having won this card playing a game of “flipping cards”. He kept this card his whole childhood before he went off to school…my grandmother apparently took all his cards, threw them into a garbage bag and tossed them out. He always regretted not holding on to that one card. So, I guess if by chance we are selected, I’d choose B and present this to my father, so in some small way he can be reminded about his favorite card, and his favorite pastime.

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