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1951 New York Yankees Signed Autograph Album Sheets with DiMaggio and Mantle (1951 Spring Training Mantle Signature!)
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $711.00
These two autograph album sheets, which date from 1951, feature the blue fountain-pen signatures of seven members of the New York Yankees, including Mantle and DiMaggio, plus team owner Del Webb. The rookie Mantle signature is all the more special as it is certainly one of the earliest autographs he could have possibly signed after his being called up to the Yankees, as it dates from spring training in 1951 before he had ever played a Major League game in pinstripes. The first sheet, which is cream colored, displays the signatures of Mickey Mantle (grading "9"), Vic Raschi, Phil Rizzuto, Clyde McCullough (Pirates catcher in 1951), and Hugh Casey (former Dodgers reliever). The signature of Del Webb appears on the reverse. The second sheet, which is pink, features the signatures of Joe DiMaggio ("8"), Cliff Mapes, Charlie Silvera, and Jim Turner (Yankees coach). The signatures all grade either "8" or "9." 1951, of course, was not only Mickey Mantle's rookie season, but also the only year in which DiMaggio and Mantle played together. Although we cannot state with certainty that these sheets were signed by the respective players at the very same time, it appears that the identical pen was used for all the signatures, making it a virtual certainty. Also, Hugh Casey, who retired in 1949 as a member of the Yankees, committed suicide on June 3, 1951. The Yankees trained in Arizona and California in 1951, the only year in which they trained out west. The Pirates also trained in California. The fact that McCullough's signature is on this sheet makes it all the more likely that all of these signatures were obtained at a 1951 spring-training game between the two clubs. Hugh Casey played for Pittsburgh in 1948 and the Yankees in 1949, making his appearance at a spring-training game between the two teams in 1951 certainly possible. The sheets (4 x 5.5 inches) each display a slightly wavy top border from having been excised from the album and are otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500++. SOLD FOR $711.00
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