Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hanging A Mask on the Mantle

Today we explore a somewhat mysterious item, namely an inelegantly titled premium commonly referred to as the 1963 Mickey Mantle Mask. As you can see, it's a beauty:

That scan is lifted from some major auction or another I suppose but the off-kilter look belies that. It measures about 6" x 8" and there is a little eyelet at top to hang it. Construction is of plastic according to the guides. It is definitely not a mask though and clearly is a plaque.

The story is that this was a premium available on high number '63 wax pack baseball wrappers but a discussion over at Net54 a while back revealed none of the wrapper experts there had ever seen such a thing.

The side panel ads I am aware of on the wax wrappers are these five:

Big Twin Chews, Big Comics
Free Baseball Pennants
Baseball Card Album
Stan Musial Says
Bazooka Joe Magic Circle Club

I think it possible the Mantle was a Bazooka premium, either from the comics or part of the retailer premium certificate redemption program but without actually being able to see one (they are quite rare) the Topps provenance is speculative at least in my eyes. I mean all the hobby lore says it's a Topps piece and has for as long as I have been involved (1981 you young whippersnappers!) but I would like to see the offer somewhere.

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