High-school yearbooks of celebrities have long been a popular field of collecting. The high-school yearbooks of the greatest American icons have an especially broad appeal. Presented here two of the most highly prized examples in the world of sports: Mickey Mantle's 1948 junior and 1949 senior yearbooks from Commerce High School, located in Commerce, Oklahoma. These yearbooks have a special significance to Mantle's career, as such an important part of the Mantle legend is the attention his ball playing received while he was still in high school, and his signing to the Yankees' minor-league team in Independence, Kansas, just weeks after graduating in 1949. Less than two years later, direct from the plains of Oklahoma and Commerce High School, Mickey Mantle conquered New York and the world both with his charisma and his playing. As far as celebrity yearbooks go, Mickey Mantle's is a classic, and it is also naturally rare, as Commerce was a very small school, with only forty-two students in the 1948 graduating class and forty-five students in the 1949 graduating class. (The entire student enrollment in for both years was approximately 200.) 1) 1948 Junior Yearbook.
Titled Bengal Tales
, the yearbook pictures Mantle three different times, most prominently as a member of his junior class. Mantle is also pictured as a member of the football team (group photo) and a member of the basketball team (group photo). The leather-bound book (8.5 x 11 inches) displays light-to-moderate wear. The name of the original owner is written in ink on the interior front cover. A number of the pages features student inscriptions. In Excellent condition overall. 2) 1949 Senior Yearbook.
Titled Bengal Tales
, the yearbook pictures Mantle eight different times, most prominently as a member of his senior class, where the caption alongside his photo reads, "They're great pals, he and his baseball jacket." Mantle is also pictured twice as a member of the football team (group photo and individually), as a member of the basketball team (group photo), twice as a member of the school paper (group photo and individually as "Asst. Editor"), as a member of the senior play (group photo), and lastly, in the "Who's Who" section where he was voted "Most Popular" (posing with his female counterpart). The leather-bound book (8.5 x 11 inches) displays moderate wear, including partial separation along the spine (the pages are all bound together, but they are, as a whole, nearly detached from the covers). Unlike most yearbooks, this example does not feature interior inscriptions to a particular classmate, and therefore has clean interior pages. In Good to Very Good condition overall. Total: 2 yearbooks. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000.
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