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Mantle Series Part XII: Display Ads Part III

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By Kelly Eisenhauer

(The Mickey Mantle Collectibles Guide Series continues with the final of three installments in the display advertising section, which ran in the October, November and December issues of SCD as listed in the chart below. The Mickey Mantle Collectibles Guide resumes in 2010-dated issue of Sports Collectors Digest, running as it did this year, approximately one installment per month. )

In the 1960s, Mickey appeared in two different oversized display ads that promoted Weller Power Tools. In the first ad, Mantle is shown with his Yankees hat and using a soldering gun. The ad says, “Take it from Mickey Mantle, Weller Power Tools make homecraft easy.” In a second ad, a different pose of Mickey is shown while using a Weller sabre saw. The ad says, “You’ll be amazed at the jobs you can do yourself with Weller Power Tools.” (Photo Nos. 766-767)

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Celebrating national Wheaties Week during the summer of 1956, General Mills did a double layout spread that featured Mantle, Al Kaline, Ted Kluszewski and Willie Mays. The ad told consumers how they could win $100 for every home run the foursome hits during the 1956 season. A sweepstakes coupon was a part of the ad and had to be sent in before July 4, 1956. (Photo No. 768)

In a second Wheaties ad, Mickey is shown in 1943 as a teenager and then is shown in color wearing his Yankees uniform in 1954. The ad tells how Mickey grew up on Wheaties and states, “Champions are made, not born.” (Photo No. 769)
A third Wheaties ad featured Mantle, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Richie Ashburn and Bob Feller. The ad used a total of 12 pictures of the six different ballplayers in their youth and as major leaguers. The caption of the article read,” Which kids became World Series Champs? They all grew up on Wheaties. The Mantle photo shows him in his bib overalls, farmer’s hat and rake. It’s a great picture of the Oklahoma kid. Below this photo the caption reads, “A sturdy youngster. He now hits a long, long, ball. Outfielder, New York Yankees.” (Photo No. 770)

Claiming to be “Ohio’s largest and only true volume Chrysler Plymouth dealer, Superior Motors of Cleveland, Ohio, produced a black-and-white display advertisement that featured eight American League stars. Included in the ad were Mantle, Carl Yastrzemski, Al Kaline, Roger Maris, Harmon Killebrew, Rocky Colovito, Albie Pearson and Elston Howard. All photos were head shots and inserted in the middle of a hand-drawn star design. The ad states that all of the above mentioned players will be coming to Cleveland Stadium.
(Photo No. 771)

With pretty deep pockets for their advertising budget, Anheuser-Busch in 1980 used Mantle to promote “Natural Light” beer. Television commercials aired with Mickey playing a Roger Maris pinball machine, while he joked about switching to Natural Light. Norm Crosby, Walt Frazier, Catfish Hunter and Nick Buonocotti also appeared in the television spot. Large posters measuring 54-by-24 inches (Photo No. 772) were made to promote the advertising campaign, as well as magazine ads and table tents. Mantle appears by himself on the 5-by-7-inch table tent (Photo No. 773). He is wearing a blue jacket while pouring a beer. The ad says, “Natural Light. Taste is why Mickey Mantle switched.” A smaller poster was issued showing Mickey in a different pose where he is shown holding a glass and a can of Natural Light. (Photo No. 774)

Beginning in 1954 and continuing until the 1960s, the Dallas, Texas-based Haggar Slacks Co. used Mantle as one of their primary spokesmen. Along with Arnold Palmer, Bobby Lane and others, Haggar’s ads appeared regularly in Sports Illustrated, Sport and other top-selling magazines. One item that stands out in the field of display advertising was a 39-by-13-inch cut-out stand-up of Mantle. The stand-up shows Mickey in gray Haggar slacks and a yellow sports shirt. Mickey is seen holding the knob of a baseball bat and at the base of the display it reads, “N.Y. Yankee Mickey Mantle wears Haggar Slacks.”
(Photo Nos. 775-776)

In 1995, Wiz Electronics teamed with Toshiba and the NEC to produce two 17½-by-22-inch posters of Mantle. The posters were a giveaway at Yankee Stadium. In poster No. 1, The Mick is shown in a posed left-handed batting stance with the Yankee Stadium façade in the background. A large “top hat” Yankee logo is centered at the bottom of the poster, along with a “Nobody Beats the Wiz” logo and a “In Touch with Tomorrow” Toshiba slogan.
(Photo No. 777)

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The Wiz and NEC distributed a second Wiz poster. The poster shows an action photo of Mickey batting left-handed. The same Yankee logo appears at the bottom with the logo of the Wiz in the lower left corner. The letters NEC are in the lower-right corner. Mickey is shown in his home Yankee pinstriped uniform. Highly acclaimed Yankee photographer Louis Requena took both photos. (Photo No. 778)

In 1986, the makers of Sportflics chose Mantle as their spokesman for their new card set called Decade Greats. Using a studio portrait of Mickey for the ad, Mick’s testimonial was simply stated, “Decade Greats ... Best darn set I’ve seen.” The Mantle proof portrait for the ad is also shown. (Photo No. 779)

Using a family photo of Mickey that dated back to 1936, Blooingdale’s used simplicity and humor to their advantage by featuring a 5-year-old Mantle sitting on his birthday pony. The ad used Mantle’s actual handwriting to say, “If I’d have known then what I know now, I’d of named my horse Yogi. He’s a lot smarter than he looks! My heroes have always been cowboys.”
At the bottom of the ad is the word, Bloomingdale’s, with the closing statement, “For 100 years, our heroes have been our customers. It wouldn’t be the same without you.” (Photo No. 780)

In 1995 during Mickey’s final months, Brooklyn Union Gas, SUNY (State University of New York) and the Mickey Mantle Foundation produced and distributed an 18-by-22-inch poster of Mickey promoting organ donation. The poster showed the famous No. 7 walking into the Yankee dugout with his fist and index finger raised. The poster told fans to “Leave Your Own Legacy, Join Mickey’s Team.” (Photo No. 781)

One of the rarest Mantle displays known to exist, this hard cardboard ad was placed inside city buses and targeted commuters to contribute to help Mickey Mantle in the fight against Hodgkin’s Disease. The bus displays contained envelopes for the convenience of contributors. The display featured the word “HELP” on the left side of the poster, while a right-handed batting pose of Mickey’s graced the right side. Photo courtesy of Corbis.
(Photo No. 782)

Although not technically a display ad, the Mickey Mantle Fund for Research in Hodgkin’s Research published a program in 1957 that was to be distributed at a Press party. The program featured endorsements of Cardinal John Spellman, and Commissioner Ford Frick. In addition to these testimonials, Mantle is seen in a batting pose and also with kids in a hospital ward. The program was multi-paged and measured 8-by-11 inches.
(Photo No. 783)

In 1986, CBS/FOX released a video called, “Mickey Mantle’s Baseball Tips.” The video was for kids of all ages and featured Mick’s former teammates Phil Rizzuto and Whitey Ford. To promote the video, CBS/FOX released a hard cardboard, stand-up display ad. The ad featured illustrations of Mantle, Ford and Rizzuto and offered participants a chance to enter the Grand Slam Sweepstakes. The grand prize was an all-expense-paid trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y. Entry forms were also part of the display. A large poster measuring 19½-by-28 inches, with the same artwork was also released. (Photo Nos. 784-785)

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In 1987, Fuji Film ran a contest which offered participants a chance to win a trip for four to the 1987 World Series or $10, 000 in cash. A hard cardboard display ad showed Mantle with an illustrated Yankee Stadium in the background. The ad stated, “ Mickey Mantle invites you to play the FUJI Home Run Game. $1 rebate coupons were also a part of the display. Fuji issued three variations of this ad, but all were basically the same. The only differences were in size and the placement of the $1 rebate forms. A completely different ad display was issued featuring Mickey in a left-handed follow-through batting pose. The ad read,” Step up to the plate, and Win with Fuji.” The ad measured 12-by-9 inches (Photo Nos. 786-787).

This black-and-white store window display featured a circular photo of Mickey. The display ad told kids that they can become a .300 hitter, home run hitter or switch-hitter by purchasing the Mickey Mantle Training Set. Mickey says, “It can make you a great hitter.” (Photo No. 788)

Circa 1954, Look Magazine promoted its magazine by issuing a poster of the year’s All-American Baseball Team. The green display featured the 10 best All-American players by position. Two pitchers, Robin Roberts and Billy Pierce, were selected as well as the following position players: Ted Kluszewski – 1B, Red Schoendienst – 2B, Pee Wee Reese – SS, Eddie Mathews – 3B, Roy Campanella – C, Stan Musial – LF, Mickey Mantle – CF, and Carl Furillo – RF. (Photo No. 789)

Goldman, Sachs, and Co., the global investment banking firm, in 1991 hosted a Spring Training 1991 Mixed Grill party. Attending the event was Mantle, the Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders and others. A softball game and other outdoor events were scheduled. The event took place on April 4, 1991, at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Ga. The poster featured a black-and-white picture of Mickey batting left-handed. The company’s name was on top with “Spring Training’ 91” at the bottom. (Photo No. 790)

In 1995, Upper Deck produced a set of 10 metallic baseball cards called Mickey Mantle’s Baseball Heroes. To promote their new product, Upper Deck issued a hard cardboard stand-up easel with an actual Mantle card attached. The display ad stated that there would be a limited production of 19, 950 sets, with each card containing fascinating narratives and stats about Mickey’s career. The stand-up display measured 12-by-9 inches. (Photo No. 791)

In Mick’s last advertisement, he is shown in a sports shirt and lightweight blue and white jacket holding a First Page Pager. Mickey says, “ I’m never too far from the home office with First Page by my side.” Mantle is shown standing in front of Burton Silverman’s painting and a small inset photo of Mickey playing golf is also present.
(Photo No. 792)

First Page also produced a die-cut, hard cardboard stand-up display ad with easel on back. The ad shows Mickey in a slightly different pose than the poster, but has the same testimonial. The display ad has a facsimile autograph of The Mick. (Photo No. 793)


In 1972, Swift’s Premium All Meat Franks designed a full-page newspaper display ad using Mickey as their spokesman. The ad, which was done in full color, offered a $1 rebate check from Mantle when eight Swift wrapper were submitted. The ad featured a large illustration of Mickey and told consumers that if they were among the first 1,000 people responding to the check offer, they would receive an Official Mickey Mantle Fielding Glove. The ad was prepared by the William Este Co. (Photo No. 794)

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In 1957-58 Orange Mission Soda of California used Mickey Mantle to sell their soda. Three different magazine ads with Mickey were used. Mission also issued a very rare window poster to promote a free copy of “My Greatest Thrills in Baseball by Mickey Mantle. The company utilized a full newspaper campaign featuring the same layout design. (Photo Nos. 795-796)

When a book is written and becomes available for sale, the goal of the author and publisher is to get the book noticed. Now, when a new Mantle biography makes its way to the book store, there is often a large book display to accompany it. Three of Mickey’s last books have had displays that are very collectible in their own right.


This die-cut display ad shows Mickey in a follow-through swing with a large baseball in the background. The display reads, “ The Mick, The Sensational New York Times Bestseller.” The book and display dates back to 1985. (Photo No. 797)

With a backdrop of Yankee Stadium and the famous façade, this display features a close-up color photo of Mickey in his early days batting right-handed. The display reads, “He played the game like nobody else ... and tells the stories you’ll never forget. Return to the days when the Yankees ruled the World.” A copy of the book’s jacket is located in the lower-right corner. The book and display were released in 1994. (Photo No. 798)

In 1991, Doubleday publishing issued a double-sided display that featured the front cover of the Phil Pepe book. The display had a 3D effect with five baseballs projecting from the ad. The front cover featured Mickey in a blue background with the copy reading, “There was never a time like it before ... There will never be a time like it again. The National Bestseller! Mickey Mantle’s My Favorite Summer 1956.” (Photo No. 799)

To celebrate 25 years of memorable moments in baseball, Citi Bank produced a series of photographic art prints. Part of series, Citi Bank issued a gigantic display piece of Mantle that measured 32-by-42 inches. Done in shades of black and blue, the Mantle display ad features Mickey in two different shots. The first is a close-up facial shot and the later features a right-handed follow-through swing that shows Mickey’s famous No. 7 on his Yankee pinstriped jersey. The captions reads, “Citi Bank. Mantle Wins Triple Crown.”

On the right side running down the picture vertically it says, “Memorable Moment 25 Years Ago.” (Photo No. 800)

In 1981, to promote Terry Cashman’s record, “Willie, Mickey & The Duke,” Lifesong Records issued a large poster that featured the threesome walking into the infield from center field. Written at the top of the poster it says, “1603 Home Runs – What a Record.” On the bottom, Willie, Mickey & The Duke. “Talking Baseball” by Terry Cashman, Lifesong Records is scripted. (Photo No. 801)

Another large-sized magazine ad from 1956, this Lifebuoy ad gave kids (ages 8-80) a chance to get a free Mickey Mantle Batting Secrets Booklet by sending in a coupon and three front panels from any size Lifebuoy soap cartons. The ad featured Mickey in a left-handed follow-through swing and showed the Lifebuoy booklet called, “How I Hit.” (Photo No. 802)

HBO Sports produced a small poster that showcased Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays to promote “When It Was a Game, Part 3.” The HBO program aired on July 17, 2000, at 10 p.m. (Photo No. 803)

In one of the most bizarre advertisements that Mickey Mantle ever did, he is shown promoting a 25-cent coupon for Bow-Wow Dog Food. The Mick is quoted, “Now, more than ever, Bow-Wow Dog Food is your best buy for dogs that work hard ... Play hard.” (Photo No. 804)

In the early 1950’s, Mantle advertised Vitalis hair tonic. In a small ad that featured an illustrated Mantle, the star center fielder of the New York Yankees was quoted as saying, “ Here’s the New Greaseless Way to Keep Your Hair Neat All Day.”
(Photo No. 805)

In June of 1957, a double-page layout ad appeared in Boys’ Life. The ad featured Mickey and was recruiting boys to sell boxes of Christmas cards for valuable prizes. The testimonial read, “Boys! Take a tip from me! Get free gifts. Join JSCA.” The Junior Sales Club of America was located in Springfield, Mass.
(Photo No. 806)

In 1964, using the same concept from the Junior Sales Club of America, the National Youth Sales Club produced two double-page layout ads that featured different pictures of Mickey. The message was the same and was designed to get boys to sell Christmas cards for valuable prizes. An English bike was the top prize and young men who sold 12 boxes or more would get a free autographed picture of Mickey and an official membership badge. (Photo Nos. 807-808)

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