A few years ago when I was putting together my '58 Topps set I had to hunt around for a Mantle card that was in decent shape yet still affordable.Atone of the TriStar shows here in Houston I found the card above in a dealer's case and asked about it. The price he quoted seemed too good to be true but he proceeded to mention that he had submitted it to PSA and had it sent back ungraded. He suspected it was trimmed. After showing it to a couple of people at the show that I've dealt with and trust I ened up buying it.
As you can see it's really a beauty. I stuck it in the slot in my '58 binder, knocked off the last few cards I needed for the set, and figured I was done. But something nagged at me. What if PSA had rejected the card because it was a reprint/counterfeit? Trimmed I could live with. Heck, I have cards with writing on them and it doesn't bother me. But the thought that it might not be real bugged me.
Flash forward to this spring and during one of eBay's 20% off days I happen upon a cheap graded Mantle for a good price. With that discount and beaucoups of eBay Bucks I nabbed it for less than $70.
Meanwhile, with a verified Mantle in hand I did what I'd wanted to do for a long time. I sent my trimmed(?) Mickey to SGC for authenticating. It was my first venture into the world of paying to have cards graded and slabbed. SGC has a box on their submission form which allows you to request them to slab a card even if it is altered as long as it's deemed to be real. It took a couple of weeks and about $30 but back it came, looking good in a slab:
It was a relief to know it was a real 1958 Topps mantle even though by now I had another one. And it didn't stay cooped up in plastic long. Once I' scanned it I broke it free and Mickey returned to his rightful spot in my '58 Topps binder. Right there in the sheet with, among others, Don McHahon, Les Moss and my slot-filling Bob Lemke-made #145 Ed Bouchee card.
It's a beautiful thing.