Youthful Doodles Costly for Sports Collectors

Innocently defacing cards, balls, comics makes items nearly worthless to collectors
By Doug Sweeney,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2008 5:40 PM CDT
The Postmaster General unveils the new commemorative stamps with Roy Campanella, Hank Greenberg, Mel Ott and Mickey Mantle.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Mickey Mantle never wore a beard, but that didn’t stop an 8-year-old Mets fan from giving him one, scrawling the words “You Stink,” on his 1968 Topps card. While such youthful indiscretions are fairly common, collectibles that could be worth hundreds, even thousands, of dollars are rendered worthless by childhood doodles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“You see baseball cards, you see comic books and toys defaced all the time,” one sports-collectibles expert says. “Kids will use crayons, they'll chew on them.” As for the now-grown-up Mets fan, he’s fine with his Mantle, worth $1,500 without beard but $1.25 with: “I really don't care that I defaced it,” he says. “I really don't like this guy.”