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Circa 1960s Mickey Mantle Single-Signed Ball
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,778
Official American League (Cronin) ball inscribed "Best Wishes/Mickey Mantle" in blue ink (grading "9") across the sweet spot. This ball dates from the 1960-1973 manufacturing period; therefore, there is a greater probability that it was signed by "The Mick" during the second half of his playing career (1951-1968) or very shortly after as opposed to during his retirement years. In fact, we suspect (though we have no way to prove) that it is very likely the signing of this ball dates from 1968. We say this because we know its provenance, and it was originally accompanied by an authentic Mickey Mantle cap (sold long ago) that was personally given as a gift by Mantle in 1968. The exact date of its signing notwithstanding, it is clearly an early Mantle single-signed ball and one that stands in stark contrast to the many thousands signed by Mantle during the 1980s "signing-show boom" that now proliferate in the hobby. While not quite as rare as Mantle single-signed balls from the 1950s, those dating from the 1960s and early 1970s are far rarer than most people realize and are highly prized by advanced collectors today. The ball displays a few minor surface blemishes. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain clearly legible. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $1,778
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