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Extraordinary 1955 Mickey Mantle Game-Used Bat
Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $19,720.00
Auction Description Addendum: The printed catalog description includes two errors: 1) The printed catalog description identifies the bat as being graded by MEARS as A7.5. This is incorrect. The correct grade is A9. 2) The printed catalog description identifies this bat as dating from 1955. The bat may be from 1955, but factory records actually show that Mantle ordered this style bat in both 1954 and 1955 (August 17, 1954 and March 2, 1955).
This H&B signature model M110 Mickey Mantle bat originates directly from the personal collection of Mantle's teammate, former Yankee Irv Noren, and is accompanied by a handwritten LOA from him attesting to its provenance. Noren writes in part: "The bat that I sent you with Mickey Mantle's autograph [i.e. the facsimile signature stamped on the barrel] is one of his bats which he used during his Yankee days. I can't remember exactly what year, but it was either 1954 or 1955." Indeed, the H&B shipping records confirm Noren's recollection. Factory records document two shipments of this particular model bat (matching the offered bat's specifications) to Mantle, with those orders having been received in August 1954 and March 1955. The bat displays medium-to-heavy use including ball marks on the back of the barrel and blue "Yankee" bat rack marks on the front. The bat is not cracked; however, a half-inch chip in the knob has been reattached by means of glue. Mantle's facsimile signature on the barrel, as well as the other manufacturer's stampings, remain deep and bold. The 1955 season represented Mantle's "breakout" year. While no one ever doubted his abilities or criticized his production up to that time, DiMaggio's heir apparent had yet to post the "monster" numbers anticipated by most fans when he arrived four years earlier. They would wait no longer. In a foreshadowing of things to come, Mantle topped the 30 home run mark for the first time in his career, belting a League-leading 37 homers to go along with his 99 RBI and .306 batting average. He also led the League in triples (11), bases on balls (113), on-base percentage (.433) and slugging percentage (.611). The only thing Mantle lacked that season was a World Series Championship and an MVP title. They would both come the following season, as would the Triple Crown. Any Mantle bat from the 1950s is a prize, but it is particularly rare to find a Mantle gamer that can be definitively dated to a two-year window early in his career, or one with such a significant and ironclad provenance. Length: 34.5 inches. Weight: 34 ounces. Graded A9 by MEARS: Base grade of 5, 2.5 points added for use (2 points can be added for medium use, 3 points for heavy use; this bat has 2.5 points added for medium-to-heavy use). Two points have been added for first party povenance. One-half point has been deducted was deducted for the chip in the knob, although (as noted on the worksheet), if the knob were professionally repaired the point would most likely be restored when resubmitted for grading. LOAs from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS and John Taube & Vince Malta/PSA DNA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000/$15,000. SOLD FOR $19,720.00
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