By Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media
Who could have imagined that a single baseball trading card could cause such a commotion in downtown Denver? But it did. Escorted by nine Denver motorcycle police with sirens blaring, a swat team, two black police SUV’s and an armored van the famed 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card arrived at the dazzling new Rally Hotel at McGregor Square, directly across 20th Street from Coors Field, at 1600 20th Street in Denver. (see video below)
Once delivered the card was handled with kid gloves, okay purple gloves in this case and was placed in a special display case that also housed President Thomas Jefferson’s Bible and the inkwell that Gens. Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant used to sign the surrender at Appomattox.
The card is only one of six in existence. Others have sold in the millions. The last card sold went for a record $5.2 million. But the owner, Marshall Fogel, of Denver said that his card is not ever going to leave his possession.
The card was among the final in the Topps series of 1952 but after failing to sell the bulk of the packs of cards the company decided to throw the remaining packs into the Atlantic Ocean.
Fogel has owned the card since 1996 when he bought it for around $160,000. He told Latin Life Denver Media the gum was no longer with the card as the package had already been opened. “Awe that gum was terrible anyway he said. You couldn’t even chew it.” Speaking in Spanish Fogel told Latin Life Denver that he had the honor of playing baseball in various cities in Mexico.
“The card is considered a work of art and among baseball card aficionados it is equal to the Mona Lisa or a Rembrandt” said Jason Hanson, chief creative officer at History Colorado and the organizer of the Hall of Legends exhibit. The card is the Holy Grail of baseball cards. It is the most sought after baseball card in the world.
It is kept in a vault at an undisclosed location and will be on display for three days only at the Hall of Legends exhibit on the second floor of the Rally Hotel. Tickets are $10 online or $20 at the door to get in and are well worth the money to see the legendary pieces of baseball history that reside there. Tickets can be obtained at Rockies.com/HallofLegends and in person at The Rally Store, located at 20th and Wazee.
The Hall of Legends is part of an All-Star Week exhibit of the finest collection of baseball memorabilia outside Cooperstown. Organized by History Colorado and the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club Foundation, it features more than 30 pieces of baseball history, including the jersey worn by Joe DiMaggio when he hit his last home run in his final game at the 1951 World Series. Bats, gloves, jerseys and other memorabila from Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente and many others are on display.
Saturday, July 10–Sunday, July 18, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Mickey Mantle card will only be on view to the public through July 12, before returning to its bank vault. Hall of Legends is closed on Tuesday, July 13 in order to accommodate private events, reopening the following day for regular hours through Sunday, July 18.
The dazzling new Rally Hotel at McGregor Square, directly across 20th Street from Coors Field, at 1600 20th Street in Denver.
All proceeds benefit the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club Foundation to support underprivileged and at-risk youth.
About the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club Foundation
Since the organization’s inception in 1993, the Colorado Rockies have demonstrated a passionate commitment to their philanthropic mission of positively impacting the community through corporate investment and active outreach. The Colorado Rockies Baseball Club Foundation is the charitable arm of the organization tasked with the mission to support underprivileged and at-risk youth through programs for youth baseball and softball, education, literacy, drug and alcohol-abuse awareness and prevention.
Since 1993, the CRBC Foundation has granted over $31 million to agencies, organizations and programs that support the foundation’s mission. In addition, the Rockies take pride in hosting members of the community at Coors Field, having donated close to two million tickets to numerous non-profit organizations throughout the region.
About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 142-year-old institution that operates Colorado’s oldest museum, nine additional museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is the nation’s largest preservation program of its kind. The SHF currently administers more than 250 grants across Colorado, of which more than 70% are allocated in rural areas.
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and nine other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.