I wasn’t all that surprised that pretty much everyone chose the Honus Wagner over the Mantle.
What I did find surprising was the number of people that said Mantle wouldn’t even be the second, third, or even 10th on their list.
I don’t get the Mantle hate, in the same was I don’t get Jeter hate.
Sure there were better players in their respective generations, but they were the biggest names in the game. The main reason being they played for the Yankees in a time of Yankee dominance.
As far as popularity nothing trumps the pinstripes, love it or hate it, it’s true.
I just would have guessed more people would place the Mantle a little higher.
One area I tend to differ from many of my collecting peers is pre-war cards. I don’t have a ton of interest in pre-war stuff. I recognize how cool it can be, but for me the 1950s, in really 1952 was the birth of baseball cards.
My collecting is as much about nostalgia as anything else. A Topps card in my hand reminds me of being a kid. Mickey Mantle reminds me of Yankees stories from my dad and grandpa.
As a kid, like 10 years old, when we talked about the bestest baseball card we could imagine it was the ’52 Topps. That’s stuck with me to this day.
For the record a 1951 Bowman Mays would be my second choice.