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Mantle Series Part 11 - Display Ads Pt. II

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By Kelly Eisenhauer

(NOTE: The Mantle Collectibles Guide Series continues with the second of three installments in the display advertising section. The final installment of this massive section appears in Part XII in the Dec. 11 issue of SCD.)

1962-63 JELL-O
Before Bill Cosby made JELL-O a household name, Mickey Mantle made his impact as well. In a very large store display that measured 28-by-34 inches (and featured on the cover of the Oct. 16 issue of SCD), JELL-O used a beautiful color picture of Mickey that showed the Yankee Stadium facade and stands as a backdrop. Mickey is shown in a right-handed batting pose. The poster promoted that “Baseball Trading Cards are now available with JELL-O Gelatin Dessert.” (Photo No. 705)

In the late 1950s, Wonderbread issued two supermarket displays that featured Mantle and Stan Musial. The first display ad featured two black-and-white photos of Mickey and Stan and promoted its product with the words, “Be a Wonder Winner! Helps Build Strong Bodies 12 Ways.” At 10½-by-14½ inches, the ad featured a white background with a colorful loaf of Wonder Bread. The second supermarket display featured the same black-and-white photos with a yellow background. This second display was much larger in size and measured 32-by-44 inches. (Photo Nos. 706-707)

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Eyesight and YMCA Posters
In yet another public service advertisement, Mickey is seen posing with two young children with the words, “Champions need good eyesight. Have your eyes examined!” Mickey is shown in his Yankee home uniform and cap. The poster was issued in the 1960s and measures 10½-by-13½. inches. (Photo No. 708)
Circa 1960s, this YMCA public service announcement features a black-and-white headshot of Mickey saying, “ Support your Local YMCA.” The poster is black and white with large orange print. (Photo No. 709)

Mickey Mantle Nite Poster
The Oneonta Yankees made a poster to promote Mickey Mantle Nite at Damaschke Field in Oneonta, N.Y. Mantle’s picture, taken by legendary photographer Ozzie Sweet, is shown promoting the game between the Oneonta Yankees and Elmira Red Sox of the New York Penn League. Also on the bill that evening was a home run contest and autograph session. The red, white and blue poster measures 22-by-15 inches and dates to the 1970s. (Photo No. 710)

Mantle and Maris Budweiser Countertop
In late 1979 or early 1980, Budweiser produced a series of red, white and blue, 11-by-14 heavy stock cardboard art pieces. Mantle and Maris appear together with the facade of Yankee Stadium in the background. Stating “Part of a Proud City’s Tradition,” the ad piece came with the Budweiser logo in the upper right corner and a self-supporting “easel” stand on back. (Photo No. 711)

In 1987, Budweiser offered consumers free playoff and World Series programs. The free program was available at beer distributors throughout the country. A large 29-by-23-inch die-cut standup of Mickey was made to promote the giveaway. Mickey was shown wearing a Budweiser hat and Budweiser baseball uniform. A similar, but smaller 5-by-7-inch table tent was also issued. Both ads stated, “Watch the game with Budweiser and a free scorecard.” (Photo Nos. 712-713)

Viceroy and Camel Cigarettes
In the 1950s, Mantle was paid to advertise Viceroy and Camel cigarettes. We shouldn’t be shocked at this news. Heck, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Yogi Berra, and Roger Maris all smoked at one time or another, as did a majority of adult Americans during any of the eras involved. Pictures of them with cigarettes and “victory” cigars are commonplace.

Mickey was paid $2,500 for his testimonials for Viceroy and was probably paid about the same to promote Camels. Mick appeared in quite a few different magazine ads for both companies, respectively.

Viceroy produced a hard cardboard display ad that showed him in a yellow sports shirt smoking a cigarette. The display ad shows Mickey and the words, “Viceroy has the smoothest taste of all.” (Photo Nos. 714-715)
Another Viceroy ad shows Mickey in the exact same pose with a drawing of a stadium, presumably Yankee Stadium, in the background. The ad copy reads, “Mickey Mantle, N.Y. Yankees’ home-run champion, says ‘Viceroys are richer tasting ... smoother by far! From my very first puff – Man, it was Viceroys for me!’ ” (Photo No. 716)

R. J. Reynolds – Camels

In the early 1950s, R. J. Reynolds, the makers of Camel Cigarettes, used a comic strip-styled format to tell the Mickey Mantle Story. Titled, “Over the Trees is a Home Run,” the ad starts by telling how Mickey’s dad put a baseball glove on his hand, as soon as Mickey could walk. Other panels show Mickey playing high school football and being welcomed back home after winning the World Series. Mickey’s testimonial goes on to say how Camel Cigarettes are his favorite. (Photo No. 717)

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Other Camel ads featured Mantle as well. In 1954, Red Barber was the main subject of an ad that stated that Camels were the choice of many of Red’s friends. Some of the players included in the ad were Mantle, Harvey Kuenn, Warren Spahn, Gerry Coleman, Granny Hamner, Mickey Vernon, Eddie Lopat and others. (Photo No. 718)
A 1953 oversized Camel ad showed Mickey in color. It also showed golfer Julius Boros, diver Zoe Ann Olsen and tennis player Pauline Betz. The ad offered testimonials as to why Camels were first with sports stars. (Photo No. 719)

A final Camel ad featured pictures and testimonials from 13 famous baseball players. Included in the ad were Mantle, Billy Martin, Early Wynn, etc. The ad boasts that Camel is the Big League choice for mildness and flavor. (Photo No. 720)

Even though Mickey pitched ads for Viceroy and Camel cigarettes, Bantron used Mickey in its 1959 and 1960 ads to help people quit smoking. In a large, oversized, irony-challenged ad, Mantle is shown in a photo circa 1952-53 stating, “If you want to stop smoking, I know what can help you. I am confident this amazing pill can help anyone.” The Mick is also shown with an inset picture from his new 32-lane bowling alley in Dallas. (Photo No. 721)

Kodacolor Film
Circa 1959, Kodak produced a 12-by-24-inch hard cardboard display ad that featured both Mantle and his son, Mickey Mantle Jr. Mickey, dressed in a sports shirt and jacket, is shown holding a camera and the words, “Never thought I could take snapshots like this. It’s so easy with Kodacolor film.” A snapshot of a young Mickey Jr. is shown in his Yankees uniform. (Photo No. 722)

Using the same photos of Mickey and Mickey Jr., Kodak added Mickey’s wife, Meryln and their son David to the bottom of the layout. Mickey’s testimony read, “ You don’t need any practice to take Kodacolor snapshots like these.” The ad appeared in May 1959. (Photo No. 723)

Using what they called Dynamic Imaging Technology, Kodak produced a commemorative, three-dimensional motion card that showed Mickey hitting his 500th home run on May 14, 1967. The “flicker” card measured 16-by-20 inches and carried the Kodak logo. (Photo No. 724)

In a co-op advertising arrangement with Rawlings, Delco-Remy, a leading distributor of automotive parts, produced a 20-by-30-inch poster with Mantle. With the purchase of a $5.95 tune-up, customers would receive an autographed Rawlings Mantle baseball glove and ball. (Photo No. 725)

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Instant Lottery
In an effort to generate more interest in the new Baseball Instant Lottery, Mantle was used as the lottery’s pitchman in 1982. Gracing a large subway poster (45-by-59 inches) and a smaller-sized version, Mickey is shown holding an Instant Baseball Lottery ticket with the words, “Mickey Mantle Can Still Hit the Big One. Play the Baseball Instant Lottery. It can make your life a whole new ball game.” (Photo No. 726)

Armour Franks
Promoting Armour Franks with an illustrated image of Mantle in the lower-left corner, this 1967 ad piece highlights a $5 Mickey Mantle Rawlings glove promotion with specially marked packages. Red, yellow, and blue in color this ad piece measures 7-by-11. (Photo No. 727)

Fedtro Electronics
From 1966 to the early 1970s, Mantle served as the official spokesman for Fedtro Electronics. Fedtro, which specialized in devices such as megaphones, house alarms, car alarms, intercom systems and speakers, etc., issued a number of products with Mickey’s face and testimonials. During this time period, Fedtro used hard cardboard stand-up displays and also metal signs that varied in size to promote their line of products.

Mickey Mantle Powerhouse Megaphones – featured a large, reddish-orange hard cardboard ad that featured 10 different pictures of Mickey. This retail display ad featured an easel on the back side and measured 17-by-22 inches. The ad is circa 1966. (Photo No. 728)

Mickey Mantle Wireless Intercoms – (black background) A metal sign (131/2-by-32 inches) featured Mickey promoting Fedtro’s Wireless Intercoms. The ad shows Mickey and the testimonial, “Enjoy a New Wonderful Convenience with Quality Transistorized Wireless Intercoms. Just Plug in and Talk.” The ad shows Mickey’s likeness with a black background. (Photo No. 729)

Mickey Mantle Wireless Intercoms – (red background) A second metal sign, identical to the above mentioned, exists with minimal changes. The biggest difference is that the black background has been changed to a red background. (Photo No. 730)

Mickey Mantle Powerhouse Deluxe Megaphones and Powerhouse Trumpet Horn Speakers – Red, white and black in color and measuring 36-by-16 inches, this metal display sign shows Mickey on the right side, with him saying, “Fedtro is the proven sound around the world.” (Photo No. 731)

The second Fedtro metal sign for Fedtro’s Powerhouse Horn Speakers is yellow in color with red and black letters. Mantle is shown on the extreme left of the display saying, “Fedtro is the proven sound of champions. Proven sound around the world.” (Photo No. 732)

Mickey Mantle Fedtro Advertising Booklet

Fedtro issued a small advertising booklet that featured 10 different poses of Mickey using various Fedtro products. The ad copy reads, “Take it from Mickey Mantle. Try the Finest! Buy the Finest! Go with the Champs! Go with Mickey Mantle!” (Photo No. 733)

Fedtro’s Easy Talk

Placed in this section to serve as an example, The Easy Talk was very typical of all Fedtro products that were endorsed by Mickey Mantle. Most Fedtro items included black, white and red colors, while using pretty much the same Mantle photo. The various items, whether it was a bullhorn, megaphone, alarm system or intercom system, usually contained a hard cardboard header card with Mickey and the name of the Fedtro item. Most of their products were affixed to the header cards, but some of the larger items were enclosed in boxes that had their individual packaging design. (Photo No. 734)

Louisville Slugger Bats
Circa 1960s, Hillerich & Bradsby of Louisville, Ky., the company that makes Louisville Sluggers, issued a golden silk banner showing a Mickey Mantle model bat. The banner measures 30-by-44 inches and has the words, “Performance Makes Them Great.” (Photo Nos. 735-736)

Lousiville Slugger Little League Bats

This very large display ad, 36-by-24 inches, features eight different model Louisville Slugger Little League bats. At the bottom of the ad, 19 players are pictured with facsimile autographs. The 19 players are: Joe Torre, Jim Fregosi, Ernie Banks, Carl Yastrzemski, Roberto Clemente, Pete Rose, Mantle, Maris, Rusty Staub, Tim McCarver, Al Kaline, Tony Oliva, Rocky Colavito, Hank Aaron, Brooks Robinson, Orlando Cepeda, Ken Harrelson and Frank Robinson. At the bottom of the ad are the words, “Look for the Famous Oval Trade-Mark.” (Photo No. 737)

For Auld Lang Syne
In an effort to commemorate the 1961 season, Hillerich & Bradsby issued a display ad that featured Mantle, Maris, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. With Maris and Mantle chasing the Babe’s home run record for a single season, the ad pictures the four Yankee immortals and their Louisville Slugger war clubs with the motto: “Louisville Slugger Bats – Choice of the Champions Always.”

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Accompanying the display ad was a home run chart where fans could keep a running tally of the home runs hit by Maris and Mantle during the month of August 1961. (Photos Nos. 738-739)

In the 1950s and 1960s, Hillerich & Bradsby were big advertisers in the Sporting News and other magazines. They would also produce yearly booklets that would feature head shots of some of the game’s biggest stars who used Louisville Sluggers. If one would want to collect all of the Hillerich & Bradsby Louisville Slugger variations that featured Mantle, the total would literally reach into the hundreds. Listed are four sample ads that appeared during the 1950s. (Photo Nos. 740-743)

Reviewed in detail in the March 2009 edition of Mickey Mantle – The Complete Collectibles Guide, there are four Mantle display ads that were made from 1959 to the mid-1960s. The first display ad featured a colorized picture of Yogi and Mickey drinking a bottle of Yoo-Hoo. Both Mickey and Yogi are shown in their Yankee road jerseys, with facsimile signatures. The two are leaning on a cooler that states, “The Drink of Champions.” The dimensions of this very rare advertising piece is 28-by-35 inches. (Photo No. 744)

In 1962, Yoo-Hoo made a counter display in yellow and brown that measured 11-by-14 inches. It showed eight Yankee players: Yogi, Mickey, Bill Skowron in a Washington Senators cap, Elston Howard, Joe Pepitone, Tom Tresh, Bobby Richardson and Whitey Ford, all holding a bottle of Yoo-Hoo with their left hand. The display piece contains the slogan, “The drink of champions!” (Photo No. 745)

Two hard cardboard advertising displays were made in the early 1960s. The first stand-up ad shows Mickey and Yogi with a bottle of Yoo-Hoo in the lower-right corner. The ad is yellow and brown in color and measures 9-by-12 inches. (Photo No. 746)

The second stand-up ad is identical to the first, but a can of Yoo-Hoo is shown, instead of the Yoo-Hoo bottle. (Photo No. 747)

Afrin Poster
In 1969, Afrin issued large black-and-white, 18-by-36-inch posters to promote its nasal spray. Mantle is shown leaning on his bat in his road Yankee uniform. At the base of the poster is a perforated advertising section that reads, “There’s only one Mickey Mantle. There’s only one Afrin. Both with long duration of action and extraordinary performance.” (Photo No. 748)

Ajax Combs
In the late 1950s, Ajax combs produced a hard cardboard display ad with stand-up easel that gave customers a chance to own an official League autographed baseball by sending in $1 with a proof of purchase price sticker. The facsimile autographed baseball contained signatures of Mantle, Lew Burdette, Whitey Lockman, Duke Snider, Hank Bauer and Del Rice. The ball was made by Rawlings. (Photo No. 749)

In 1977, Brylcreem, a famous brand of men’s hair-care cream, produced a hard cardboard display ad with a stand-up easel. The ad showed a bust shot of Mickey in coat and tie promoting a free World Series Fact Book with the purchase of a tube of Brylcreem. Three grand prizes were also given away. The first Grand Prize was four season box tickets for all home games of your favorite major league team. Mantle appeared on the front cover of the booklet. (Photo No. 750)

Eveready Batteries
After his playing days were over, Eveready Batteries used Mantle in a hard cardboard stand-up display ad to promote their batteries and also a chance to win a World Series TV party with him. Mickey, wearing a blue shirt and tan sweater, was shown holding a bat and two Eveready batteries. The ad featured tear-away coupons with a 50-cent refund offer. (Photo No. 751)

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A 1988 AT&T display ad shows a black-and-white photo of Mickey swinging in a classic left-handed home run swing. Promoting AT&T’s Team Spirit, the ad shows Mickey in his home Yankee pinstripe uniform at Yankee Stadium. The ad measured 27¾-by-22 inches. (Photo No. 752)

A&W and Mickey Mantle – True Legends
In the late 1980s, A&W used Mantle to promote its sodas. In a very colorful ad, Mickey is shown in a right-handed batting pose in his Yankee home pinstriped uniform. At the bottom of the ad are four cans of soda: A&W Rootbeer, A&W Diet Rootbeer, A&W Cream and A&W Diet Cream. The ad also featured information as to how the consumer could get a free baseball through a mail-in offer.

The ad also promoted the fact that A&W and Mickey Mantle are TRUE LEGENDS. Other variations of the TRUE LEGENDS poster exist, but the idea is the same, as well as the same Mantle photograph. Mantle’s Yankee hat has been airbrushed to avoid copyright violations. A combination chalkboard and mirror with Mickey’s picture was also available from A&W. (Photo Nos. 753-754)

Gem Razor Blades
In the 1950s, Gem Razor Blades ran a series of display ads featuring the great Mickey Mantle. Using illustrations that made Mickey appear almost life-like, Gem issued several different ads to promote its razor blades and deluxe featherweight razor. Using a comic strip type advertising format, these ads appeared in Sunday comic sections throughout the country. One such ad tells of Mickey batting .081 in the romance department because his face looked like a porcupine because he hadn’t shaved. As the story continued, Gem Razor blades, with their “Duridium process,” came to the rescue and Mickey hit a “home run” on the dance floor. (Photo No. 755)

Gem also issued a large hard cardboard display ad that showed Mickey wearing his Yankee hat. The ad stated, “ ‘Gem gives me more clean shaves than any blade,’ says Mickey Mantle, star of the New York Yankees.” This rare display ad was issued in 1956-57. ((Photo No. 756)

Another colorful newspaper display ad featured an illustration of Mantle pointing to a Gem Special Bonus Offer. The offer included a can of 79-cent ASR Instant lather, a Gem razor and Gem blades, all for 98 cents. Mantle’s testimonial states, “Prove Gem Razor Best!” Several different sizes of this ad were printed. (Photo No. 757)
The above-mentioned comic style of advertising continued with several different companies using the same format. Beech-Nut Gum, Butternut Coffee, R.J. Reynolds, El Rancho, Karo Syrup and General Mills all used colorful comic book strips to promote their products with Mickey Mantle. These colorful ads usually appeared in the Sunday funnies section.

Beech-Nut Gum

“Ease the tension with Beech-Nut” was the message of this ad. With two packs of chewing gum at the bottom of the ad, Mickey was illustrated throughout the ad with references to Mickey and how he helped win the 1952 World Series. (Photo No. 758)

Butternut Coffee

This ad shows several illustrations of Mickey throughout the ad. In one scene, there are two kids who recognize Mickey while riding their bicycles. In another panel, the same boys are shown at the supermarket with two shopping carts full of Butternut Coffee. The ad also illustrates Mickey saying, “Get My Mickey Mantle Signature Glove and Official Little League Ball for $4.95 with a Butternut Coffee label.” (Photo No. 759)

El Rancho Supermarkets
Offering youngsters a chance to have their picture appear with their favorite Big League Ball Player, El Rancho Supermarkets issued a comic-styled advertisement that showed youngsters talking about how to get a coupon. The ad showed a photograph of Mantle and a youngster in the ad. There were 200 baseball stars from which to choose. (Photo No. 760)

Karo Syrup
Karo Syrup used the comic-styled format with illustrations of Mickey for several of their advertisements. In addition to promoting Karo’s flavors: Dark, Light and Waffle syrup, the ad also tells us how to get Mickey Mantle’s new book, “Playing Major League Baseball.” The ad shows an illustrated Mickey with his baseball bat and another panel shows him eating pancakes with Karo Syrup. (Photo No. 761)

Another Karo Syrup ad is called, “Mickey Mantle Smashes A Record.” In this ad, Mantle is shown throughout the comic batting, talking to his fans and eating pancakes with Karo Syrup. An illustration of Yankee Stadium is also present in the ad. (Photo No. 762)

In a final ad, Karo uses illustrations of Mantle, basketball star Bob Cousy and English Channel swimmer Florence Chadwick. The ad shows the threesome eating breakfast with Karo Syrup. Atop the ad are the words, “American Champions Agree, Let’s Have the Karo Syrup ... It Tops Everything!” The ad appeared in 1957. (Photo No. 763)

Phillies Cigars
In a double-page layout ad, Phillies Cigars featured Mickey and his son, Mickey Jr. With a black-and-white photo of Mickey on the right side of the ad, Mickey says, “Great glove, Son!” On the left side, Mickey Jr. retorts, “You said it, Dad!” The ad shows a cigar store display with Phillies Cigars and tells consumers how they can get a Mickey Mantle glove for $3.39 and 20 cigar bands. A smaller version in black and white also appeared as a newspaper advertisement. The ads ran in 1964. (Photo Nos. 764-765)

(This installment about display advertisements concludes with a third and final segment slated for the Dec. 11 issue of SCD.)

Kelly R. Eisenhauer of Lehighton, Pa., has been a fan and collector of Mickey Mantle memorabilia for more than 40 years. He supplied photography for the HBO documentary “Mantle, The Definitive Story” and is featured in Richard Wolfe’s current book, For Yankee Fans Only – Vol. 2. Eisenhauer owns and operates his own Mickey Mantle webpage at Anyone with questions or comments can reach him at

Many of the photographs from this multi-part series, including a remarkable number of one-of-a-kind pieces, came from the Mickey Mantle Collection of B.S. Alpert.