1951 Wheaties Premium Photos Set Registry

1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
edited January 15, 2018 10:02PM in PSA Set Registry Forum

Hello everyone! I'm brand new, I'm a big Yankee fan and I collect the 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos. There are 12 cards in the set (9 baseball, 3 other) and I still need:

L - Jack Kramer (tennis)

UPDATE - This is the last card I need. I figure a visual can only help.

I love the set and would buy ANY if the price is right. I have a Mickey and they're quite expensive so I'd be lying if I said I want to see his cards at their typical (rightfully so) price tags. I also have a few from the set I could trade - and some other cool stuff, too. I am obviously looking for this one above. I'm not worried about condition or grade; set completion is the main goal. If anyone has a lead on where I can land it or any for sale or trade themselves, let me know! I follow most reputable auction sites, I've run a few searches here (and similar forums, and I have seen what's on eBay) but so far have come up empty for this one. PSA has graded 0 Kramer's so it's a bit needle in a haystack but I keep the dream alive.

Anyone else here have some? Let's see them!


  • My 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos are now up on the PSA Registry (#3) and so I have added incentive to get my others slabbed and try to improve in the standings as well as get my SGC Mickey and BVG Stan crossed into PSA slabs.

    I also saw a great thread (started by @RipublicaninMass about his auto 52T quest) and thought I might try to do something similar. I have some fun info about this mysterious set and so I'll share some of it here in this thread while hoping that others may chime in with what they know, have or whatever else might be relevant.

    And, yes, this is also a blatant attempt to keep a fire burning for the three cards I still need. I'll try to make it worth while and vary what I post.


    If you look into this set even a little bit, you'll hear many different versions of the story below. What I did below is try to focus on presenting a version that features the key details that were repeated most often in the varying accounts pulled from oral traditions, articles, blogs, message boards and auction descriptions. I don't necessarily agree that ALL of what is contained below is factual - merely that this is a generic version of the story that would be familiar to most people.

    "The 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos set was designed, produced and intended for release by General Mills in 1951.  It featured some of the brightest sports stars of the day in various action or portrait shots on a 5 x 7 card; it is probably best and most accurately described as a lithograph on card stock with a high gloss finishing coat over a photo quality image that had a unique font underneath each picture that identified the subject by name and a 6 character alphanumeric identifier in the lower right hand corner, whose last letter corresponded to a different subject.  Similar to the 'Team Issues' that were being sold in picture packs of 12 in baseball stadiums (and via mail in offers) around the country, this offering clearly has the look of a finished product that was intended for public consumption.  However, while it is unclear if these were, in fact, ever issued on a test basis, their existence is undeniable with a fair number of copies surfacing ever since.  A General Mills executive who was close to the original project (and perhaps more than one executive), disappointed that they were only ever used a 'salesman's promo' and nothing more, tucked some of them away for safekeeping and upon his retirement, liberated them from their place in storage.   Over the years, they were handed out to friends, family, former colleagues and hobbyists as singles, sets and/or (in some rare cases) even small stacks by the executive, with his widow selling off any final remainders after his passing.  While the exact reason as to why the set was never released has never been confirmed, four of the stars featured in the 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos - Richie Ashburn, Al Rosen, Mickey Mantle and Betty Schalow - are not featured in the 1952 Wheaties Multisport On-Box Set that features eerily similar poses among athletes that are common to both sets, leading most to assume that contractual issues between Wheaties and one or all of these parties may have prematurely ended their release, if not stopped it outright, with many pointing to Mickey Mantle as the likeliest holdout.*  

    (*Other theories as to why the set may never achieved a full public release include the relatively high cost of production, a lack of popularity of the program during its limited release/test issuance, concerns over packaging or that they were only ever created to be used to aid/inspire the artists behind the design of the 1952 set and were never at all intended for public consumption. These were ordered from from most often offered to least often and I chose not to include some of the least plausible explanations.)

  • "Unless you give it all you've got, there isn't any sense in playing..."
    - Stan Musial

    While he needs no introduction, the first card in the set is perhaps one of the greatest and most fan friendly gentleman to ever play the sport of baseball. Stanley Frank Musial played 22 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1941-1963, making the All Star team a remarkable 20 times and leading them to three World Series titles. Stan 'The Man' won 3 MVPs (and finished 2nd four times), won 7 batting titles and finished with a remarkable .331 career batting average and 3,630 hits. Ever the model of consistency during his career, Musial struck out only 696 times and had EXACTLY half his hits at home and half his hits on the road. For such a tremendous hitter, many do not realize he began his career as a pitcher but was injured crashing into his pitching shoulder playing the outfield one day when there was a shortage of players and was thusly converted to a full time hitter. He also never traveled without his trusty harmonica even long after retiring. Growing up, he once played baseball in his neighborhood against Buddy Griffey (father and grandfather to two Griffey's you may have heard of). His greatness helped cement the Cardinal franchise as one of the cornerstones of baseball. He missed the Triple Crown by one home run in 1948. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969, becoming the fourth player ever to be selected on their first ballot.

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited January 16, 2018 8:48PM

    "Holy Cow! I think he's gonna make it!"

    • Phil Rizzuto

    A beloved character in baseball history, his personality seemed to overshadow his on field performance. While not the most intimidating figure at the plate, Phil was the type of guy a team needed to be a champion. Scooter was scrappy, funny and aloof in the clubhouse but all business on the field; the type of player who does all the little things right when they're most needed. Getting down a jumping bunt on a ball thrown at his head with the squeeze play on in a pennant chase in the late innings of a 1-1 game was described by Casey Stengel as ''THE greatest play I ever saw" - a stark contrast from when Stengel told him to "go to the clubhouse and get a shine box" when he first tried out for the Dodgers as an up and comer in the game. He was also a fierce defender who was adept at turning the double play with whomever was at second for the Yankees. His peers certainly respected him with Joe DiMaggio giving him many back handed compliments (a compliment of any kind was rare for Joe D) about his importance to the team and its success. Even the great Splendid Splinter himself, Ted Williams, proclaimed the Red Sox would have won a lot more pennants if only they'd had 'that little so and so' at short. While Phil lost three good years to the war in the Navy, he managed to play in nine World Series as well as anchor the infield during the run of 5 straight titles from 1949-1953. His 125 runs scored, 200 hits and .324 batting average coupled with his excellent defense earned him the MVP award in 1950. His post baseball career saw him become the charming and funny broadcaster almost immediately after being released - a position he would hold for the next 40 years. And his double entendre voiceover in Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf is still a favorite of drunken karaoke singers everywhere. He was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1994.

  • JBrulesJBrules Posts: 1,138 ✭✭✭

    Great post. Love learning about these type of photo/cards. Thanks for sharing.

  • "I would rather beat the Yankees regularly than pitch a no hit game."

    • Bob Feller

    When discussing the all time greatest pitchers in baseball, if you leave out Bullet Bob you simply don't know the history of the game. From a young age, Robert William Andrew Feller took the world by storm out of Van Meter, Iowa. While most people have heard the name, not everyone knows the story. If you're under the age of 50, the easiest way to explain it is this guy was Bryce Harper BEFORE Bryce Harper with arguably more hype to live up to (really) only without the benefit of social media and the internet. And perhaps Lebron James is a better comparison, since Feller achieved immediate, pronounced long term success and shares the city of Cleveland as the location for his dominance. In 1936, Feller was signed by Cy Slapnicka, a scout for the Indians - for one dollar and an autographed baseball (gotta love the 1950s!). While scouting Feller, Slapnicka said, "This was a kid pitcher I had to get. I knew he was something special. His fastball was fast and fuzzy; it didn't go in a straight line; it would wiggle and shoot around. I didn't know then that he was smart and had the heart of a lion, but I knew that I was looking at an arm the likes of which you see only once in a lifetime." The controversy surrounding his jump straight to the majors made him a national story and the Indians a team to watch. The "Heater from Van Meter" would make his debut later that summer and strikeout 15 in his first career start en route to one of the more prolific careers any pitcher has ever recorded - 8 All Star appearances, 7 strikeout crowns, 6 time AL win leader, 3 no-hitters, the 1940 pitching Triple Crown (W/K/ERA) and World Champion in 1948. The best part of his rookie summer? He then goes back to HIGH SCHOOL for HIS SENIOR YEAR in the fall. This baseball prodigy was only 17 when he began dominating major league hitters. His high school graduation was broadcast nationally and his famed Fastball Race against a Harley Davidson motorcycle clocked his fastball at 104. Bob Feller would work through his off-season pitching in barnstorming tours for the expansion of his own wealth and baseball's popularity as well as players rights and perhaps most importantly equal rights - many such exhibition games featured Negro League ball players like Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige and other stars who would go on to play in the major leagues one day. He retired in 1956 - and he'd be the first to tell you that having lost significant time to the war cost him 100 wins and 1000 strikeouts, or more - having posted a remarkable 3.25 ERA, 266 wins, 2581 KS and 279 complete games over his 18 seasons with the Cleveland Indians. As the first player elected president of the MLBPA in 1956, he worked against the reserve clause and helped move players closer to free agency. Never shy about sharing his thoughts and a long time friend to collectors, Bob Feller was a baseball icon and as of 1962, a first ballot Hall of Famer, earning what is still today one of the highest percentages of all time.

  • This post is about the 8 cards common to both sets - for comparison. Above are the first 3 from the 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos (Ashburn was not in the 1952 set) and below are the eight cards from the 1952 Wheaties On Box set. You'll see the rest of the 1951 set when I 'profile' the other remaining athletes. As I mentioned, there is a bit of mystery and controversy surrounding the 1951 set. We'll get to it...

    UPDATE: I have acquired a Bob Feller!!!!!!!!

    Now, I just need Phil Rizzuto (2 graded; 1 PSA, 1 SGC) and Jack Kramer (1 graded, SGC).

  • We got a on-going thread over on Net54 about the 51 Wheaties Mickey Mantle dating the image to the 52 World Series.

    Collecting RC's (mostly 40-60's)
  • http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=175675

    Here's the above mentioned thread; it is a fabulous read chock full of some really excellent information on the set. There's also some incorrect information in there, as well, but anyone interested in the set should definitely give it a look as it features contributions from some of THE most knowledgeable hobbyists around. While I happen to disagree about some of the conclusions drawn in the thread, I referenced this thread in a report I compiled this summer on this set for PSA. As a result, they now grade the complete set - both Ben Hogan, Letter I (like ice) and Jack Kramer, Letter L. I can honestly say that dealing with Mr. Orlando and his team on this project was one of the more pleasant experiences of my life collecting old cardboard. Hands down.

    It's funny - I was going to get to this eventually - I'm glad to know at least two other people are reading!

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2017 11:26AM

    There are presently 189 graded cards from the set on the PSA population report. Mickey Mantle has by far the most graded copies, with 73.

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2017 2:59PM

    "The greatest thrill in the world is to end the game with a home run and watch everybody else walk off the field while you're running the bases on air." - Al Rosen

    I have to admit when I started collecting this set I knew almost nothing about him other than he resembled Paul Newman and is the only baseball player in the set not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, Albert Leonard Rosen turned out to be a really nice surprise for me - one of those hidden gems that I'm glad I can say I've added to my knowledge of baseball history. Known as Flip to teammates, Mr. Rosen is the classic case of an under the radar superstar who really has a strong case for enshrinement. In 1953, for starters, Al Rosen had what Bill James once called the greatest season ever by a third baseman, when he lead the league in R (115), HR (43), RBI (145), SLG (.613) and total bases (367). He missed out on the Triple Crown that year by .001+ on the last day of the season finishing with a .336 batting average, and was unanimously elected MVP for the American League. He finished 2nd in OBP, 3rd in hits, 8th in stolen bases and you could easily make a case for him being the best defensive third baseman that year, too, without much argument from anyone. Surrounding that season is also a considerable battery of statistical brilliance but his career was significantly cheated because from ages 19-23 he was serving in the Pacific during World War II (after enlisting, not being drafted), serving as a minor leaguer and backup until earning a full time role in 1950 with the Indians (despite prodigious minor league numbers at every level for both the Yankees and Indians) and he because he retired in 1956, after injuries to his legs and back could not be overcome, at the relatively young age of 32. Also worth mentioning is that he was an amateur boxer, tough as nails, and ready to throw down when his Jewish heritage was attacked. Once during a game, when Red Sox bench player Matt Batts taunted Rosen with anti-Semitic names, Rosen called time and left his position on the field to confront Batts in a very public manner. Rosen said that, sometimes, the only way to deal with racism is "to flatten them." And he was on the World Series roster in 1948 at the request of Indians ownership, so he is also a champion. Al Rosen would remain around the game for most of his life, serving as executive for the New York Yankees (1978-79) and Houston Astros (1980-85) and San Francisco Giants (1986-1992). He is the only man in baseball to ever win both Executive of the Year and MVP - a testament to his unique place in baseball history. He has been elected to the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame and perhaps one day, for the entire body of his work in baseball, he'll earn a well deserved place in Cooperstown.

  • My set - currently # 2 on the PSA Registry:

  • UPDATE: Just landed Phil! Only need Jack Kramer, Letter L

  • Updated original post for accuracy and information - with a card this rare, a visual will probably help me find it.

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited January 18, 2018 11:10AM

    Set Controversy

    I'll begin by saying that this set is cataloged as the '1951 Wheaties Premium Photos.' But I have to be honest, I'm not exactly sure how a set gets cataloged. I have always imagined it as a group of older men in the early 1960s in a smoke filled room - some with beers and some with coffee - going over an endless sea of paper checklists and talking over every known issuance in the history of baseball. Someone makes a joke that Jefferson Burdick is supposed to be coming. After a long weekend, everyone agrees to make copies of what others need and mail them off and a standard catalog is born. Years later, as the hobby grows, it's published. I don't know if this is how it happened - does anyone? I also imagine (though if my timeline is correct, this is less imagination than reality) that many of the people who were there are dead or soon will be and some of that knowledge gets lost. This past year alone, the hobby lost a few heavyweights. Life works like this for everything, including baseball cards. In any event, I have to believe that those who catalog any set had a reason to do so and this set was cataloged. The date 1951 was assigned - whenever this set was first cataloged. However, attempts to disprove this revolve around dating an undated photograph. Specifically, this photo:

    Now, since I try to be driven by fact and reason I will point out that PSA assigned 'c1950s' as the date. As the leading authority in sports grading and authentication, they did their due diligence and did not assign any specific date. After looking into the matter on my own, my guess is because that photo appears with dates stamped on it in at least two other cases. This one, which has what looks like a separate piece of paper scotch taped on the back of the photo to date it to the 1952 World Series:

    There's another that features a date stamped on the back of 1955 and I believe it is a Getty Image. There are also other as yet undated photo premiums that bear this same image. With so many 'dates' on the photo, it seems hard to draw any real conclusion as to the specific date of when the photo was taken. I respect other peoples theories and have had fun reading them but theories are not quite the same as facts. Anyone could take the PSA photo above, look at these markings on the back...

    ...and put forth a theory that these are from the Spring Training series of 1951 when Mickey Mantle made his New York debut at Ebbets Field. Perhaps Mr. Wingfield saw the young heralded slugger who had been smashing the ball in Joplin in 1950 as the league MVP who had hit .383 (and was having a massive spring training, batting.402, hitting 9 HR and driving in 31 RBI) and decided to snap a shot of him alone with no one else around. After all, there are only two markings attributable to Wingfield on the back - his namesake stamp and the number '00351' - perhaps his own way to note it was the 3rd photo of the 1951 baseball season? Again, it's fun to make educated guesses but at the end of the day a guess is still a guess - it's not ironclad. And yes, I'm aware of the 1951 patch that would be on Mickey's shoulder, too. However, since it was an exhibition series, it's possible they debuted the patches in the final game of the series or wore multiple uniforms during the series or any other reasonable explanation that would help explain the theory I'm putting forth. And, no, I am not trying to say that '00351' is a date or that this is somehow proof that it's from 1951; more that it is easy to jump to conclusions when dealing with these types of issues. While this explanation for 1951 issuance (and some of the ones for later issuance) sound pretty good, they're all just educated guesses at best - unless there is something I've missed. And I fully acknowledge the fact that that is certainly possible. But I've talked to lots of folks, checked dates of listings (and profit margins) and compiled information about many aspects of this set from multiple sources, one of which had so much incredible 'first hand' knowledge (all of which I was able to corroborate) that was related to this set; a wonderful guy who was generous with his time and tolerated all of my questions. Another gentleman sold me a card he had had himself since he purchased it in the late 1970s - a massive player specific collection he was unloading - who obviously helped me create a timeline of their existence. Anyone with a listing or one for sale on the internet got questions.

    And after a long extensive search, I still felt I couldn't definitively prove when that photo was taken.

    However, the reality is that Don Wingfield is dead and he didn't date the photo in any conclusive way that I have seen. I do think it's quite clear that the Wheaties Premium used the Wingfield photo for its image. But if you look at the vast array of photo premiums (cataloged and uncataloged) from the era you will see quite a bit of repetition and 'photo theft' going on - the Jay Photos, Team Issues, regional issues and countless other subsets all have the same photos but either change borders, add text and/or facsimile signatures and off they go into production. Therefore, in my humble opinion, the evidence is inconclusive. When a photo has more than one date attached, I don't think you should just pick the one that adds the most value and present it as legitimate. Instead, I think the correct conclusion to draw is that all dates are invalid until further evidence comes to light or else it remains a 'circa 1950s' item, as slabbed by PSA.

    I can also say that the one question which has always bugged me is if that photo is from the before game six of the 1952 World Series at Ebbets Field when the Dodgers had a chance to clinch and win at home, where are the people? Dodger fans were famously rabid and this was a Subway Series. It's hard to believe that out of the 30,000+ people to attend, no one showed up early for the game and yet the stands look almost completely empty. I'll also point out that there is footage of Game 6 on youtube that shows the house pretty well packed well before first pitch as it seems BP was finishing up.

    As I have mentioned, I have done considerable research on this set and I have not seen any definitive proof that correctly dates the photo to any specific date - and PSA seemingly agreed.

    Please feel free to throw in your two cents - I'm always looking for new information.

    I'll post more stuff soon.

  • It ain't over til it's over.
    - Yogi Berra

    While obviously one of the beloved characters in the history of the game of baseball, sometimes for people my age (under, though nearing 40) the greatness gets overlooked. Many in my generation remember Lawrence Peter Berra as the little old man who came out on Old Timers Day, said a lot of funny things, made commercials for Yoo-Hoo and won a bunch of titles with the Yankees teams that had Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. While that's all true, there's more to the story. This guy wasn't just there; he was as big a reason as anyone. At 5'7 and 185 pounds in his prime, this guy was built like Joe Altuve at catcher and hit like Jose, too. And though small in stature, he stood out on a team that featured both Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle and won MVP, earning it two more times after that one for a total of 3 MVPs in his career. He was one of the games most feared hitters because he could hit the ball - hard - wherever it was pitched and was very difficult to strikeout, with a high of 38 in any season. Defensively, he once went 148 consecutive games without an error and all of his pitchers credited Yogi with an adept ability to throw out runners, frame pitches, call games, work umpires, relax pitchers and in general run a staff with good authority. Especially his battery mate, Don Larsen, with whom he collaborated on in the only perfect game in World Series history. This love from teammates makes great sense since he would go on to manage and coach in the Majors for both the Yankees and Mets and never cease to be loved by the fans. His generosity (and he'd correct me and say 'our' meaning he and his beloved wife, Carmen) was limitless and continues posthumously at places like Montclair State University. He retired having played nearly his entire career as a Yankee (a cup of coffee with the Mets, at the end) and his number 8 is rightly retired at Yankee Stadium. On his second ballot, he earned enshrinement in Cooperstown in 1972. After a famous feud, he ultimately reconciled with George Steinbrenner to the delight of the fans and became a fixture at Yankee Stadium in his later years, perhaps helping to bring some of that old Yankee magic to those late 1990s teams. Whether it's the cartoon modeled after him that BEARS his name, the World Series record books where Mantle and Yogi are first or second in just about every hitting stat there is or those wonderful Yogisms, Yogi Berra left an indelible mark on the game of baseball in so many ways. And I bet he's up in heaven right now telling St. Peter that Jackie was out... ;)

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited January 18, 2018 3:43PM

    Sometimes I think If I had the same body and the same natural ability and someone else's brain, who knows how good a player I might have been?
    -Mickey Charles Mantle

    I wouldn't worry too much about it, Mick.

    You were the best there ever was and the best there ever will be.

    Roy Hobbs, incarnate.

  • countdouglascountdouglas Posts: 183 ✭✭✭

    I've read through your threads on both boards over a period of weeks since you first started posting about this. This Wheaties issue is all new to me. Great stuff and thanks for sharing.

    I do have a question though. Perhaps my reading comprehension is a little lacking, but what exactly are you trying to say about the various Mantle photographs? The ones you show with stamps on the back all depict him in the road uniform. The photo used for the slabbed issue uses a photo of him in the pinstripe uniform. Maybe I'm a little slow, but they do not appear to be the same image to me, if that's what you're saying. Feel free to slap me up side the head if I've totally misunderstood something.

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited January 18, 2018 4:44PM


    No problem - I'll explain. I'll be referring to the PSA photo, as a guide, since it has been authenticated, and comparing it to the WPP.

    Imagine if the pinstripes were added to it and the background removed from the photograph, and you'll see it could be argued that it's the same exact image of Mickey Mantle on the Wheaties Premium and its just been 'edited'. They're pretty close to identical - I've stared quite a bit. Think photoshop but with an actual paintbrush in the 1950s - the pintripes really do look painted on. There's a conspiracy theory out there that this is the case - that they're not two different shots but one and the same. So, if the original PSA photograph was specifically dated to 1952 (which it isn't, at least not by PSA), then they cant really be the 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos. Like I said, I looked into it quite a bit using multiple sources.

    Again, you must remember that this was the middle of the wildcat era of issuance at it's best; so many issues coming out and not everyone had the right permission so sometimes the uniforms have the logo missing or added or players are excluded from final set printing for many early sets, regional issues and Topps test sets from 1900 thru the 1960s and even into today, though much seems to be manufactured variation scarcity at this point and not actual error. Research the Topps Plaks for another fun rare set that's near impossible to complete. There are plenty. I think there's collecting and then there's collecting. I like collecting all kinds of stuff but this is one of those tangent sets that hooked me. Again, the makeup of the set and the outright beauty are what I enjoy most. If it ever came to light that these were definitively from a later year, I'd be fine. It's not like I am worried about it as an 'investment' in that sense - I just like the cards. Let's be honest - it would be quite foolish to ask these questions if I didn't want the answers if I cared about 'value'. And as previously mentioned, its Mickey Mantle who has the highest value since it's part of the Master Set. And again, the point is really moot - nobody is going to change all the slabs or re-catalog the set at this point. But it does add to the intrigue of this set. Now, I don't really know how many people collect them and the pop count is quite low on them. And like I said, I believe I maintained objectivity throughout the process here - I'm just the curious type. I'd love more actual and credible evidence to come to light...

    ...we'll see if any does.

    (PS - Something ate my old Richie Ashburn post!)

  • countdouglascountdouglas Posts: 183 ✭✭✭

    I see... it's hard for me to discern the small details on my phone screen and the fact I'm not comparing side by side.

    Here's a couple more questions that you may have already investigated, and if not, may send you down some new rabbit holes..

    In the 1950s, what would it cost, in general, to doctor photos using the primitive technology of the day? Would it be cheaper than just paying for a photo shoot or acquiring previous photos?

    Also, while I can see how the pinstripes appear to be a little sketchy, like painted on, have you ever considered the opposite? What if the original photo was in pinstripes against a neutral background, and the doctoring came by adding the stadium background and then turning the uniform gray? The shadows on the road photo look a bit off to me.

    I'm just curious and interested in whether these have been looked into. I know from my own obsessions how you can spend unfathomable ammounts of time on the minutiae.

  • Yes, I've given some thought to that angle too - I agree that he looks almost superimposed in the Wingfield photo. It starts to become chicken and the egg stuff and ultimately unproductive to the end I'm seeking. However, I guess I'll say it better this way - the Wheaties Photo carries a date of 1951 and the other carries no date. Attempts to conclusively date both items (by myself) have proven fruitless. As a result, I tend to stick with the assessment of those who cataloged the set - whoever, wherever and whenever they were.

  • mrpeanut39mrpeanut39 Posts: 691 ✭✭✭

    A couple things came to mind while looking at the original Wingfield photo:

    • Can you identify anybody in the background of the photo?
    • The bunting hanging from the upper deck says World Series to me although I'm sure they had bunting on Opening Day too. (not so sure about the exhibition games though)
    • Any idea what the weather was like on the dates in question? I don't think the shirt sleeves are an indication either way as the weather in the Northeast in early April and early October can swing from balmy to frigid.
    "I think the guy must be practicing voodoo or something. Check out his eyes. Rico's crazier than a peach orchard sow." -- Whitey Herzog, Spring Training 1973
  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited January 19, 2018 1:48AM

    @mrpeanut39 said:
    A couple things came to mind while looking at the original Wingfield photo:

    • Can you identify anybody in the background of the photo?
    • The bunting hanging from the upper deck says World Series to me although I'm sure they had bunting on Opening Day too. (not so sure about the exhibition games though)
    • Any idea what the weather was like on the dates in question? I don't think the shirt sleeves are an indication either way as the weather in the Northeast in early April and early October can swing from balmy to frigid.
    1. I haven't been able to, no. With Mantle in such deep focus, the background is too blurry.
    2. The bunting and long sign (a local union sign) were there on and off for years and not exclusive to the World Series from what I have read and heard.
    3. The temperature on October 6, 1952 was 66 degrees. For what its worth, this is a shot of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle that is from the Spring of 1951 at Ebbets Field together:

    Both patch and sleeves are noteworthy. And I suppose if pinstripes could be added, a patch could be removed. Like I said, it becomes very chicken and egg.

  • And yes, he did have the sleeves in the 1952 World Series, too.


  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited January 27, 2018 2:34PM

    Betty Schalow

    It's hard to come up with much personal information about Ms. Schalow. She was described repeatedly as 'the green eyed, blonde haired beauty' and she certainly seems worthy of such a title. She was a junior pairs figure skating champion in the US before turning pro to join the Ice Follies touring company in 1945. She would go on to be be pictured in Life magazine the following year and Betty, based on the programs, seems to have been depicted on the cover for the first time in 1951. As I said, information is scant on Ms. Schalow but you can check out the Ice Follies covers for yourself here:


    Her inclusion in this set seems to have been a nod to both the regional nature of the issuance (records indicate the Ice Follies shows were particularly popular with Midwestern audiences, where General Mills was headquartered) and the fact that Wheaties would target young "champions" - boys and girls - for years to come. The 1952 Wheaties On Box Set Checklist did go on to feature eight cards of four female athletes - golfers Patty Berg, Alice Bauer, Marlene Bauer and skiing champion Gretchen Fraser. Lest we forget Wheaties had also included female athletes in prior 1930-1940 issuance, including Babe Didrikson and pilot Elinor Smith. Perhaps most famously, Mary Lou Retton would be the first woman to grace the front cover of the Wheaties Box in 1984 after winning five gold medals at the Summer Olympic games that year.

  • RobbyRobby Posts: 524 ✭✭✭

    Nice scans and very informative write-ups ! You have a Super Nice Set !

    Collect 1964 Topps Baseball
    1963 Fleer
    Lou Brock Master Set
  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited January 27, 2018 2:32PM

    As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.
    - Ben Hogan

    One of the greatest golfers to ever play the game - and perhaps it's best ball striker, period - The Hawk came from humble beginnings and rose to new heights of fame and fortune in the process raising the profile of golf in America in ways only duplicated by the likes of Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. William Ben Hogan grew up near Fort Worth, Texas and had to grow up fast when the family had to deal with the tragedy of his fathers suicide. The family rallied together with Ben taking on the jobs of paperboy and caddy at the nearby country club. After fooling around with one old lefty club for while, Hogan developed a love of the game quickly and practiced relentlessly. It is always amazing to find that great athletes share a history and so it was a nice surprise to find out that Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan first competed against one another at the age of 15 with a caddy scholarship on the line at this same Glen Garden Country Club, (well before the famed Noonan-DiNunzio match of 1980 at Bushwood). After a 9 hole playoff, Nelson won the match and the scholarship and Ben, too old by rule to caddy any longer, lugged clubs at nearby courses until dropping out of high school to turn pro at age 17 in 1930. It would be ten years until he won his first tournament and nearly another ten years after that when fate would change his life considerably. Early in the morning, east of Van Horn, Texas on February 2, 1949, Ben Hogan and his wife, Valerie, survived a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus on a fog-shrouded bridge. Hogan instinctively threw himself across the love of his life in order to protect her, and almost certainly would have been killed had he not done this, as the steering column punctured the driver's seat. This accident left Hogan, age 36, with a double-fracture of the pelvis, a fractured collar bone, a left ankle fracture, a chipped rib, and near-fatal blood clots; his doctors said he might never walk again, let alone play golf competitively. While in the hospital, Hogan's life was endangered yet again by a severe blood clot problem, leading doctors to tie off the vena cava. Hogan left the hospital on April 1, 59 days after the accident - determined not only to walk again but to play golf again, too. He stunned the world when he returned to play in 1950 and would complete the comeback later that year by winning the 1950 US Open and subsequent PGA Player of the Year honors. A massive surge in popularity occurred as fans rallied around Bantam Ben in ways they had never before and he would successfully defend both titles in 1951 and add the first Masters green jacket to his closet in 1951, as well. What is perhaps his greatest on course feat is the famed Hogan Slam of 1953, when he won the US Open, Masters and The Open (aka the British Open) in his one career appearance there, receiving a ticker tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes in downtown Manhattan upon his return. The feat of three majors in one calendar year is perhaps even more deserving of praise since he only 'lost' the PGA that year because it was at the exact same time as the British Open! He retired in 1971 with 64 PGA tour wins and 9 major championships including a career Grand Slam. Additionally, many supporters of Hogan and some golf historians feel that his victory at the Hale America Open in 1942 should be counted as his fifth U.S. Open and 10th major championship, since the tournament was to be a substitute for the Open after its cancellation by the USGA. The Hale America Open was held in the same time slot and was run like the U.S. Open with more than 1,500 entries, local qualifying at 69 sites and sectional qualifying at most major cities. The top players, who were not off fighting in World War II, participated and the largest purse of the year was awarded. His off the course contributions to golf included Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf, a book which is still one of the definitive books on how to strike a golf ball and play the game of golf. Ben Hogan was inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited January 27, 2018 2:52PM

    An interesting corollary to the 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos Mickey Mantle G card, the Don Wingfield image and a 'newly discovered' card which has been dubbed by Beckett as 'c1950s'. For your consumption and consideration:



  • Card number 13? The Bob Cousy mystery...

    I'm posting the two photos I have of it and you can draw your own conclusions. I will include my thoughts on it below the photos.

    Full card

    Closeup of Alphanumeric identifier (A10092)

    Simply put, I do not believe this card to be part of this set. While it certainly has many features in common with the 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos, I see three key differences that cause me to form this opinion:

    1. The alphanumeric identifier does not fit the pattern. The 12 cards that are in the set have the same first 5 characters (A8491) followed by a letter from A-L. This one does not.
    2. The alphanumeric identifier is in the wrong location. The 12 cards that are in the set have theirs in the lower right hand corner. This one does not.
    3. The alphanumeric identifier is in a different, larger font.
  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited February 5, 2018 5:55PM

    As of February 2, 2018 I own the highest rated most complete set and have moved into first place on the registry.

    So if somehow I end up living today over and over (and over), I've got that going for me. Which is nice.

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited February 5, 2018 3:55PM

    PSA Pop Report for 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos

  • The two most important things in life are good friends and a strong bullpen.
    -Bob Lemon

    In case you've missed the pattern, the second World War and the Korean War changed the fortunes of many a ball player and Robert Granville Lemon may be one of the better examples. You see, Lemon began his career as an outfielder. He was smart, had pretty good speed, could take an angle and had a strong and accurate arm. He played mostly outfield in the minors and early majors and while he showed flashes at the plate, he never proved an ability to hit consistently and so it seemed he be a defensive replacement at best or perhaps more likely a career minor leaguer. But again, the war had a way of changing things when he went off in 1941. While in the US Navy, he found his way to the diamond and playing against established major leaguers. However, since there wasn't always an abundance of talent, some of the better players were out of position because they were just the only guy who could really play there. So, MLB outfielder Bob Lemon became US Naval pitcher Bob Lemon and the results were enough to give him an unexpected career path when he left the Navy in 1946. And some of those same major league Navy men - guys like Johnny Pesky and Bill Dickey - would advocate the change in position to Indians manager Lou Boudreau. Bob Lemon was certain he'd make it of given more time to hit and was only convinced to make the move when he was told how much more money he could make if he could stick as a pitcher. So he began and by 1948, he was a part of the rotation that would win the World Series that very same year and his personal best season would likely be 1950 when he led the AL in wins and strikeouts and was named AL Pitcher of the Year, an award he had won before in 1948 and would win again in 1954. This seven time all star would finish his career with a record of 207-128 and a career ERA of 3.23, earning him a place in Cooperstown in 1972. He would continue to be a part of baseball for year to come by managing the Royals, White Sox and perhaps most famously the Yankees. He took over for Billy Martin in 1978 around the All Star break and managed that Yankee team to a World Series win over the Dodgers. The calm after the storm, so to speak, helped the Yankees in and out of the dugout for a few more years with professionalism and his dry humor and wit that became his trademark. He once famously quipped, "I had bad days on the field. But I didn't take them home with me. I left them in a bar along the way home."

  • Here's a blog entry from January 5th, 2014. It basically summarizes the net54 thread I included above and it is by hobbyist Rich Mueller. As I have previously mentioned, I don't agree with the conclusions drawn but I do want this thread to have as much information about the 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos as possible. One piece of information gleaned from the blog entry that I found particularly interesting is that the PSA population has grown considerably in just 4 years, from 37 to the current 73 Mickey Mantle cards, and in the last year alone around 25 cards from the set were added. Additionally, the highest graded Mantle then was a lone 7 that has since been surpassed by two 9s and a 10. A link to blog is below:


  • Great thread, I've been meaning to update mine! Please remind us of the size and if they are blank backed? Also, are they confused with the Jay photos often?

    Picking on my username is much like picking your nose, everyone does it, but it is STILL kind of childish.
    Cu member Robb took coins in trade and never responded or sent his portion
  • @RipublicaninMass said:
    Great thread, I've been meaning to update mine! Please remind us of the size and if they are blank backed? Also, are they confused with the Jay photos often?

    Sorry, I know I repeat myself...
    5x7, blank backed.

    They look like Jay (5x7 size, black and white) but feel nothing like the paper thin Jay photo. The 1951 WPP is, to me, a card.

  • JBrulesJBrules Posts: 1,138 ✭✭✭

    Great write-up about Bob Lemon. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great thread. Found this thread while looking for other Mantle wheaties similar photos.

  • Inclusion of Mickey Mantle in the Set

    I have heard people question why Wheaties would have included Mickey Mantle in this set. After all, he was only a rookie and everyone else was much more well heeled and established. However, I think it is important to point out that this was the 1950s, not the 1850s. Information spread quickly and people who followed baseball were aware of the top baseball prospects; just as they are today. If you are that good, people start talking and before you know it, you are nearly a household name before ever stepping foot on the field in the big leagues. Plus, the 1950 Joplin Miners squad finished first in the Western Association League with a record of 90-46, with an 18-year-old shortstop named Mickey Mantle winning the MVP by hitting .383 with 199 hits, 30 doubles, 12 triples and 26 homers for the Yankee minor league affiliate. The league and it's MVP would have had to be on the radar of a company located just north of the league in Minneapolis that already had sports as part of it's marketing and was planning on jumping back into the professional athletes on the box angle after about a ten year absence. There are plenty of examples from both before and after Mickey Mantle of how a phenom becomes a phenom and player 'marketing' (for lack of a better term) ALWAYS plays a part. And we're not just talking about in obscure sports publications, either. Here's a couple of blurbs pulled from the archives of the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune:

    On September 17, 1950, the New York Times reported:
    “The highly touted Mickey Mantle, brilliant 18-year-old shortstop prospect, also will join the Yanks on this jaunt (road trip).
    “‘Nothing like giving these kids first-hand demonstration of what it’s like on a ball club shooting for a pennant,’ says Casey (Stengel). Mantle, a switch-hitter, batted at a .390 clip for Joplin during the past season.” Mantle was on hand as only an observer for the conclusion of the Yankees’ 1950 season.

    On January 6, 1951, the New York Times wrote, “Mantle is a shortstop on the Binghamton roster but, in the opinion of Tom Greenwade, veteran scout, ‘might be a great center fielder.’ This means that the Yankees are looking to the day when DiMaggio hangs up his glove.”

    Here's the actual article from the Chicago Tribune on March 23, 1951, where the normally gruff Bill Dickey gushes over Mickey Mantle:

    Here's the actual NYT article from Spring Training April 13, 1951:

    The 1951 Major League Baseball season began for the New York Yankees on April 17, 1951 with Mickey Mantle making his debut in right field against the Boston Red Sox and the above mentioned/pictured articles all predate his debut - and there are plenty more. This wasn't some unheralded kid who might make good; it was more a question of just how great he would be. It was also not really new territory for Wheaties, who had made similar overtures to Joe DiMaggio during his rookie year of 1936, ultimately signing him to a contract and producing 4 separate cards of the Yankee Clipper in 1937 alone.

    And lastly, it seems that Wheaties did eventually get everyone from this set into their 'stable' of spokesmen for either a print ad or on box card by 1954, except Betty Schalow which I imagine was due more to the waning national appeal of the Ice Follies as the 1950s wore on.

    While this doesn't prove anything (at all), it at least offers actual, credible evidence that Mickey Mantle was not a run of the mill rookie but rather a hyped and heralded prospect from the most popular organization in sports who would be more than worthy of inclusion in a 1951 set.

  • @bswhiten and @JBrules

    Thank you kindly, the both of you. Happy to share...

  • mrpeanut39mrpeanut39 Posts: 691 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for posting the articles. You can really get a sense of what's going on at the time as opposed to the history books reporting what happened in hindsight. It's amusing that the Indians reluctantly agreed that Harry Simpson was not as good of a prospect.

    "I think the guy must be practicing voodoo or something. Check out his eyes. Rico's crazier than a peach orchard sow." -- Whitey Herzog, Spring Training 1973
  • @mrpeanut39

    No problem! Like I said originally, I am hoping for more information - whatever it may be - but I have some more stuff to add and I'm still looking for Jack Kramer so I will continue to post anything relevant I come across.

  • Since I have nothing to do with either, I hope it's ok to mention that a partial baseball set (7/9) went for around 2300 in the 2/18 Goldin and that a higher end set of all 9 baseball popped up on eBay...

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited March 12, 2018 8:00PM

    A few other classic Yankees Wheaties cards from the collection, including the 1937s referenced above...

    1936 Wheaties Series 1 - Lou Gehrig

    1937 Wheaties Series 4 - Lou Gehrig

    1937 Wheaties Series 6 - Joe DiMaggio

    1937 Wheaties Series 7 - Joe DiMaggio

    1937 Wheaties Series 8 - Joe DiMaggio

    1937 Wheaties Series 9 - Joe DiMaggio

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited March 14, 2018 2:20PM

    I never want to quit playing ball; they'll have to cut this uniform off me to get me out of it.
    Roy Campanella

    Perhaps the most fun part of collecting for me is the stories you collect along the way. And Roy Campanella's story is quite a tale. Being born in Philadelphia to an Italian father and an African american mother at a time in American history when the Majors wasn't an option because integration had not yet occurred wasn't enough to stop one of the greatest catchers of all time from pursuing his dream of playing pro ball. He dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to catch for the Washington Elite Giants and quickly became one of their better players and soon after one of the better players in the league in general. A bright future turned into stardom rather quickly thereafter in both the Negro and Mexican leagues. He was allegedly in the small group of players considered by the Dodgers to break the color barrier in baseball before Walter O'Malley ultimately selected Jackie Robinson and assigned him to the Montreal Royals. Still, the Dodgers thought enough to sign him and assign him to the Nashua Giants where he (along with Don Newcombe) would be the first players to play on an integrated roster in a professional game in the United States in 1946. In one game that same season, Campanella assumed the managerial duties after manager Walter Alston was ejected. This made Campanella the first African-American to manage Caucasian players of an organized professional baseball team. Nashua was three runs down at the time Campanella took over. They came back to win, in part due to Campanella's decision to use Newcombe as a pinch hitter during the seventh inning; Newcombe hit a game-tying two-run home run. After Robinson and the Dodgers broke the MLB color barrier in 1947, Roy got the call in 1948 and delivered nothing but excellence and records, some of which still stand - including throwing out 57% of runner against for a career. In 1951, Campanella won the National League Most Valuable Player Award while hitting .325 with 33 home runs and 108 RBI. He won his second MVP in 1953 while driving in a then record 142 runs as a catcher, then grabbed a third MVP award in 1955 while leading the Dodgers to their first World Series title. Tragically, his career was cut short when he was paralyzed in an automobile accident just before the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to LA. While he never played a game for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Roy worked closely with the Dodgers as a scout and community relations figure for years after and was deservedly inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited March 14, 2018 2:26PM

    1951 Wheaties Premium Photos - Full Checklist

    A - Stan Musial
    B - Phil Rizzuto
    C - Richie Ashburn
    D - Bob Feller
    E - Al Rosen
    F - Larry 'Yogi' Berra
    G - Mickey Mantle
    H - Betty Schalow
    I - Ben Hogan
    J - Bob Lemon
    K - Roy Campanella
    L - Jack Kramer

  • 1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
    edited March 16, 2018 8:02PM

    Here's another thought as it relates to the checklist and the conspiracy theory about later issuance':

    I really can't ever see any year where Phil Rizzuto would be listed 'ahead' of Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra other than when he was coming off his 1950 MVP season. I know set order is often meaningless but I couldn't help thinking that it at least seemed ordered with the bigger stars up front. Mantle as the last listed Yankee of the three in the set is perhaps completely random and meaningless - I acknowledge that - but just something that crossed my mind over the years. That would mean the Wingfield photo would have to be from Spring Training of 1951 and it stands to reason that being one of the earliest photos, it would have fewer competing photos for selection to copy, alter and print (as was seemingly tradition). And I would say - as would anyone who collects Mickey's cards and collectibles from the early 50s - that these two specific images pop up very often on a lot of 'stuff':

    My 1955-57 NY Yankee Team Issue (SGC 7)

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