By James Friedman aka JFried1029

I need to begin by saying that when I was a kid, my family never had a dog. I suppose this was largely due to my brother’s allergies, but I don’t think this was necessarily the only reason. I don’t think my parents were big into pets.

My first wife was a big dog lover, but she realized that my obsessive-compulsiveness would never allow me to have dogs in the house and be at peace.

When I married my second wife, the kids wanted dogs and we went through four who either died, ran off, or were given back to the person who gave them to us for one reason or another.

When our house was broken into shortly after my father died, my wife decided that because I travel for work she wanted to have a dog in the house for protection. She went to the pet store looking for one type or another of dog and came home with a Shih-Tzu puppy my daughter named Peaches.

While the dog was really my wife’s dog, somehow he became attached to me. He shared my pillow and always barked at me when he needed to go out. Over the years he seemed to gravitate to me.

Once I found he was born the day my father died, I became convinced the dog was actually my father reincarnated. Peaches shares my father’s personality (stubborn and impatient to the maximum) and even physical features (he has an under-bite).

At times, Peaches can be annoying and I have threatened him that I was going to trade him for a turtle or even a possum, as they are much less effort.

Which leads me to how all of this relates to our hobby. One day the thought occurred to me: instead of trading Peaches for another animal, how great would it be if I could trade him for a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle PSA 10? I know at least one exists.

A Mantle rookie in Gem Mint condition is beyond the realm of collecting reality for most of us. But what a thought! Then as with all potential trades, I started to think about the pros and cons of both sides of this deal.

Economically, the trade is not close. The last I saw; a graded gem mint Mantle rookie card goes for $100,000 or more. I’m not sure what pure-bred Shih-Tzus go for on the market these days (does Beckett have a price guide for dogs?), but I doubt a spoiled seven year old would be worth more than a few hundred dollars maximum.

But we also have to look beyond pure economics.

I pride myself on being an honest trader, so I do have to disclose some condition issues: while Peaches has not been bleached or trimmed, like many vintage cards have been, he would probably benefit from either or both.

He is definitely not in Mint condition; in fact he is dog-eared (sorry). I don’t know if his corners are sharp, but his teeth are, if that counts for something.

One the one hand, a Mantle rookie card will never jump on me to share my food or wake me up at six in the morning. The Mantle card will never fight with the other dogs in the house. Most certainly the Mantle card will never pee on the floor. A Mantle card will never cost me money for tags or veterinarian visits.

On the other hand, a Mantle rookie card will not lick me awake in the morning or jump on me excitedly when I return home every weekend from another week on the road. A Mantle rookie card also will not share my love for cookies every night.

The reality is that Peaches has given me more over the last seven plus years than I have given to him (and that’s saying something!). He has helped me with my obsessive-compulsive behavior in ways I could never have thought imaginable. And I love him.

I don’t expect to ever have to wonder how I would deal with the opportunity to make this trade because I obviously would never expect in my lifetime for someone to propose this offer to me.

After careful analysis I have decided the following:

If the Mantle rookie card was graded a six or lower I am 100% sure would not make the trade.

If the Mantle Rookie card was graded a seven, I would consider trading my son’s American Bulldog Nina for it (she’s another story).

If the card was graded an eight, I would probably ask for something else to be thrown in, like a Mays rookie card, to sweeten the deal.

If the Mantle card was graded a nine, I might be convinced to make the trade, but it would have to be a high-end nine

And if the card was graded a ten? While I consider this to be an event that is completely beyond all plausibility, one thing is for sure:

Peaches should be thankful that he will never get to find out for sure just what I would do.