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1986 Mickey Mantle Bat Signed and Personalized to Bill Hughes!
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,763
Mickey Mantle signed bats are extremely desirable and are naturally rare, in part because in his era of signing at shows, bats were treated very differently than other items, and a huge premium was charged if they would be signed at all. No history of collecting could ever be complete without reference to Bill Hughes or without reference to Mickey Mantle. Presented is an item involving both of these collecting legends: a bat signed and presented by Mantle to Bill Hughes when he was Bill's personal guest at a baseball-card and sports-memorabilia show held at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel in April 1986. Hughes was one of the promoters of the show, along with Bill Heitman, and in addition to Mantle, they also signed Lefty Gomez and Ernie Banks to appear as special guests. Today, that show is looked upon as a particularly historic hobby event in that it represented Mantle's first West Coast signing show (back in the days when Tom Catal was his agent for signings before Greer Johnson). After the show was over, Mantle personally presented this bat to Hughes as a token of his appreciation. The Mickey Mantle signature-model commemorative bat, which was one of only twelve examples specially produced by Louisville Slugger for the show, has been inscribed by Mantle in blue fine-point Sharpie (grading "9") just below the barrel stamping: "To Bill/Best Wishes/Mickey Mantle." Very few Mantle signed bats exist with a more interesting, ironclad, or significant provenance relating to the hobby than that offered by this exceptional example. The bat (34 inches in length) has been carefully stored in a long sock for protection for the past twenty-five years, rarely seeing the light of day, and is in spectacular Near Mint condition. Together with a very amusing letter of provenance from Hughes in which he recalls "sharing a few beers with THE MICK in a hotel suite while he signs 1000 baseballs, 1000 photos, a dozen bats and 300 limited edition lithographs" and details the history of the show and the bat. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,763
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