July/August 2021 Auction
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What if you believed you were looking at a unicorn? You may actually be correct. The featured 1962 Topps #200 Mickey Mantle PSA 9 hails as being one of just 16 copies that have been graded MINT 9 with just a sole example having been graded GEM MINT 10 out of 4716 examples of this card that have been graded by the difficult yet astute graders at PSA! To be exact the featured card resides in the top .0036% of all graded copies! During the summer of their famous 1961 home-run chase, Mickey Mantle was the media favorite to win the race, the one most New York sportswriters considered the “Real Yankee,” a player who was worthy of the record. Maris, often portrayed by the media as sullen and surly, was seen as an outsider, an interloper who was trying to steal the crown from the rightful heir-apparent to the Babe. The two ran neck-and-neck all season, and on September 10, with 18 games remaining, Maris had 56 home runs and Mantle had 53. But the anticipated final stretch race was not to be. Mantle had been suffering from severe muscle stiffness and soreness for weeks, and then he developed a bad cold, which sapped his energy and knocked him out of four games from September 19 to September 22. He returned to action in Boston on September 23, and in his first at-bat against Don Schwall, he belted home run number 54. But the next day, Mickey went 0-for-3 before being removed in the sixth inning because of his illness. Knowing that the home run-race was over for him, Mantle now feared that his lingering ailment would knock him out of the upcoming World Series. On the advice of a friend he went to see a doctor who injected him with what Mantle called a vitamin shot. The next morning when he awoke, Mantle felt as though a “hot poker” had been jammed into him. He was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, where doctors lanced and drained the infected wound. Mantle later said that the removal and drainage of the infection left a hole in his hip “the size of a golf ball.” Overall, Mantle missed ten of the Yankees’ final 12 games. He finished the season with 54 home runs, and as with many of Mantle’s accomplishments, there remained the question of what could have been. Would he have hit six or seven more if he had been healthy over the last two weeks of the season? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Roger Maris, on the other hand, did reach 61, his final shot coming in the Yankees’ last game of the season as Mantle watched from his hospital bed. Doctors finally released Mantle from the hospital on October 2, but he played in only two games in the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. It didn’t hurt the team, though. The Yankees took the Series in five games. Although Mantle missed 39 games in the 1962 season, he still managed 30 home runs and 89 RBIs. He finished second in batting average (.321), and won his third MVP award. The Yankees won the World Series against the San Francisco Giants in seven games. That winter, the Yankees reached deep into their pockets and gave Mantle a $100,000 contract. It made him only the fifth player in history to earn a six-figure deal, joining Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, and Willie Mays. The featured card was issued in the Spring of 1962 after the amazing Home Run race between Mantle and Maris, and from its appearance, it was absolutely never befallen into the rigors of many other cards and has enjoyed an exalted existence since its first presentation from its original wax pack confinement.
1962 Topps #200 Mickey Mantle PSA 9 MINT
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Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Current Bid: $85,444.00
Number Bids: 31
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