Outstanding Mickey Mantle H&B signature-model ("D113") bat dating precisely from the 1964 season. Graded GU9 by PSA/DNA. This is an extraordinary Mickey Mantle game-used bat in that not only can it be pinpointed to a specific season, but it also comes with impeccable provenance. This bat was originally obtained by Anthony Florio, who was a batboy for the New York Yankees in 1963 and 1964, and is accompanied by a notarized one-page typed-signed letter from Florio in which he details the bat's history. In full: "To Whom It May Concern: I , Tony Florio, was bat boy for the N.Y. Yankees in the years 1963-1964. This bat is an actual game-used bat used by Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle. I took it out of the Yankee bat rack and kept it as a souvenir of my experiences with the N.Y. Yankees. This was either in 1963 or 1964. I have kept it ever since and I guarantee the bat to be 100% authentic."
While Florio was unsure whether the year he obtained it was 1963 or 1964, PSA, as noted in its accompanying LOA, has no doubt that it was 1964. The offered bat measures 34 inches, and that length, combined with knowledge of Mantle's bat orders with H&B, has allowed for a precise dating:The 34 inch length of this Mickey Mantle professional model bat enables us to pinpoint the bat's date of manufacture to April 3rd 1964. Thirty-four inch bats were ordered by Mantle on four times during Mantle's 18 year major league career. It is widely accepted that the shorter bats ordered by Mantle during his career were used by him when batting left handed.
The bat, which is not cracked, displays evidence of outstanding use along its entire length, including several ball marks and stitch marks on the right and left barrel, blue bat rack streaks, and a light coat of pine tar on the midhandle (which PSA/DNA considers to be "an outstanding Mantle use characteristic"). The number "32" (which denotes the bat's original factory weight) is written in pencil on the knob. The stained finish has been restored. Since this bat was ordered by Mantle on April 3, 1964, which was thirteen days prior to the start of the season, and is not cracked, it may have seen extensive use by Mantle that year. 1964 marked Mantle's last great season in pinstripes. "The Mick" finished the year with 35 home runs, 111 RBI, a .303 batting average, and a league-leading .426 OBP. Following the 1964 campaign, both age and injuries began to take their toll, and Mantle never again reached seasonal totals of 30 or more home runs, 100 or more RBI, or a .300 batting average. This is an extraordinary Mantle bat in all respects, especially with regard to dating, use, and provenance, and one that would be a welcome addition to any advanced Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees, or Hall of Fame bat collection. Length: 34 inches. Weight: 32 ounces. LOA from John Taube of PSA/DNA. Reserve $10,000. Estimate $25,000++.
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