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1955 Mickey Mantle Pro-Model Bat
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $17,625
Mickey Mantle H&B signature model "K55" bat dating from the 1955 season. Graded A9 by MEARS, one of four graded at this level (out of fifty-six), with only twelve graded higher. Although the barrel stamping dates this bat to the 1950-1960 manufacturing period, this is a particularly special Mantle bat as it can be dated precisely to the year 1955 based upon the H&B factory records. It is rare and especially desirable to be able to pinpoint the exact year of a Mantle bat. The “K55” model was the first H&B bat ever ordered by Mantle. The records show that he ordered “K55” model bats in 1950 (prior to his Major League debut), 1953 and 1955. However, this bat, which measures 35 inches in length and weighs 31.4 ounces, is consistent only to an order shipped to Mantle on precisely 9/8/55. On that date he received twelve bats, all of which measured 35 inches and weighed “30/31” ounces. The bat displays heavy use along the barrel, including numerous ball marks on both sides (indicative of use by a switch hitter), a cleat mark, grain swelling, and an eight-inch area of deadwood above the barrel stamping. The initials “TP” are carved in the knob (meaning unknown). Mantle enjoyed an outstanding season in 1955 as he led the Yankees to their sixth pennant in seven years. In addition to leading the League in home runs (37) for the first time in his career, Mantle also posted League-high totals in triples (11), bases on balls (113), on-base percentage (.433), and slugging percentage (.611). He finished the year with a .306 average and 99 RBI. Graded A9 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 3 points for use, plus 1 point for the evidence of use by a switch hitter, and another half point for the pinpointed factory records, but minus a half point for the carved initials in the knob). A Mickey Mantle pro-model bat is one of the holy grails for an advanced bat, Mickey Mantle, Yankee memorabilia, or general historical baseball collection. For general collectors, a Mantle (or Ruth) bat is the ultimate Hall of Fame caliber baseball item, one that can be held and that provides a connection to the player in a way that all can appreciate, and one that transcends the world of sports collecting. This is an exceptional Mantle bat. The offered bat is not only a high-grade example, but one of the few Mantle bats that can be pinpointed to a specific year. This bat has been consigned to this auction directly from the personal collection/inventory of world-renowned bat and jersey authenticator Troy Kinunen. LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000+. SOLD FOR $17,625
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