January 2020 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/24/2020

In the 150 years of professional baseball's existence, there are only a handful of seasonal performances that have withstood the test of time in the hearts and minds of baseball historians; Babe Ruth's 60 home runs for the "Murderer's Row" 1927 Yankees and Roger Maris' besting of Ruth's mark in 1961, Ted Williams batting .406 in 1941 and finishing 2nd in the AL MVP voting to Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle's heroic Triple Crown season of 1956 among them. Entering the 1956 season, the New York Yankees found themselves in the unenviable position of being also-rans, having been defeated by the Dodgers for the first time after manhandling the "Bums from Brooklyn" in five previous championships. The Brooklyn chant of "Wait 'til next year" no longer applied and the Mick was none too happy about it. Mantle was injured during the '55 World Series with a pulled thigh muscle and appeared in just three games, hitting a solo home run as one of his two hits in just 10 at-bats. With a huge chip on his shoulder and an unwavering will to even the score, the 24-year old responded with one of the greatest individual efforts in baseball history, leading the Yankees to a rematch and ultimate revenge victory over the Dodgers. Holding a slight lead atop the AL standings in late June, the Yankees won 18 of their next 20 contests to effectively lock up the AL pennant by mid-July, and Mantle was becoming unstoppable. He would finish the season with a league-leading 52 home runs (20 ahead of the next highest total by Vic Wertz), 130 RBI (edging Al Kaline by two), and a .353 batting average (beating Ted Williams' .345) and was the unanimous choice for American League Most Valuable Player, the first of two consecutive MVP nods. The featured game-used jersey is a testament to one of the single greatest seasonal performances in baseball history, issued to Mickey Mantle and worn during the first half of that unforgettable 1956 campaign. Though the jersey has "Mantle 55 - 7" appearing in stitched cursive blue lettering on the front left tail, extensive evidence through photo-matching ties the jersey to use exclusively during that 1956 Triple Crown year. The placement of the 14 points in the "NY" logo on the front makes the New York Yankees home jersey easier to photo match than others that require more unique features, such as particular areas of wear or staining. Even a slight deviation of the identifiers by just a fraction of an inch will disqualify a Yankees jersey from consideration but in this case, the jersey is confirmed at least 50 times over, not just in snapshots but from various Sports Illustrated and Life magazine covers and advertising displays from 1956. This particular jersey has dozens of matches to photos from 1956, confirmed by either the placement of the logo against the pinstripes or the configuration of the stripes where the body meets the sleeve. In fact, MEARS has included conclusive photo matches in their authentication of the jersey from March of 1956 and the 1956 All-Star game, which is thought to be the last time Mantle wore the jersey. Without any evidence of Mantle wearing this jersey in 1955, and no photos known to show Mantle wearing any other home jersey in the first half of 1956, the conclusion is that Mickey Mantle wore this one exclusively in 1956 and for all home games up to and including the All-Star game, hitting a whopping 17 bombs at Yankees Stadium to that point. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE MEARS LOA. A famed snapshot taken in 1956 of Mantle granting an interview to Nicholas Baehr, who was writing a dramatization of the legendary star to be premiered on NBC for opening day of the 1956 World Series, shows this jersey hanging in Mantle's locker, the blue stitching on the tail clearly visible and aligned exactly against the pinstripes. The Spalding label and size 44 tag are original and stitched into the collar with washing instructions and "Set 1 1955" tag appearing inside the front left tail, although as stated earlier, all evidence suggests that the jersey was used exclusively during the first half of the 1956 season. Moderate wear consistent with a half-season of use is exhibited with a solid blue sharpie signature of Mantle (JSA authenticated) appearing under the chain stitching on the front left tail. Nearly perfect to when the jersey was used by Mantle during the '56 season, the only alteration is an expertly vintage replaced "7" on the back, a common practice of clubhouse managers who were instructed to re-purpose jerseys to be used by minor league affiliates. Very few jerseys from this time period have survived without this alteration and only one unadulterated Mantle jersey from the 1950s is known to exist out of at least a half-dozen that have surfaced over the years. An incredible collectible with rock-solid provenance through countless photo matches, this incredible garment originates from Mickey Mantle's virtually perfect 1956 Triple Crown season. CLICK HERE TO VIEW ADDITIONAL PHOTOMATCHES LOA from Dave Grob/Troy Kinunen/MEARS for the jersey and JSA for the signature. LOA and Photomatch Sports Investors Authentication.

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $150,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $636,000.00
Number Bids: 24
Auction closed on Friday, January 24, 2020.
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