By Karen Morfitt
DENVER (CBS4) – One of baseball’s most valuable pieces of memorabilia is set to go on display at Denver’s History Colorado center.
“It is the perfect 1952 gem, mint Mickey Mantle card,” renowned collector and card owner Marshall Fogel said.
The card is so valuable that an armored car will transport the item from an undisclosed location to the building on Broadway where it will be part of the “Play Ball” exhibit.
“It’s exciting for me. You know some people like to keep their collections where nobody sees them in a dark closet. I enjoy having people see the collection,” Fogel said.
His passion for collecting started with his love for the game, and as he put it, limited talent of his own.
“I was one of the world’s worst catchers in school, and so I wasn’t a good ball player so I became a good collector,” he said.
After nearly three decades in the business, he is one of the best with a collection envied by most.
“People would love to have this ball,” Fogel said holding a mint Babe Ruth single ball in his hand. “There are hundreds and hundreds of Babe Ruth balls, but not as clean as this one.”
Sitting next to Roy Campanella’s catchers mitt and a glove signed and used by Brooks Robinson, the Denver attorney says is one of his favorite items.
The stand out in his collection, however, is the mantle card purchased in 1996 for $121,000.
Present day, it’s estimated value is somewhere around $10 million.
“In those days, they called me stupid. Now, they call me wisely eccentric,” he laughed.
The Colorado History Center already has a number of his items on display, and for a limited time will add the Mantle card.
Fogel’s hope is the exhibit will take people back in time.
“Baseball reminds us of what once was good, and what could be good again, and that comes from the ‘Field of Dreams,” he said.
While his deep-rooted love for the game may have launched his collection, the continued interest and dedication is far more simple.
“It boils down to having a hell of lot of fun,” he said.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.