1954 Mantle jersey; Wilt's car in Grey Flannel sale May 10 Two extraordinary Mickey Mantle items and a Wilt Chamberlain item that befits the grandeur of the legendary giant are among more than 972 items currently attracting bids on Grey Flannel Auction's curr
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - The first of many noteworthy Mantle items in the sale is a game-used Mickey Mantle home flannel from 1954. The red-stitching of Mantle's name would suggest that the jersey was worn during the World Series, as such differentiation was the custom for the Yanks. The McAuliffe brand jersey does show the wear of just a couple of games.
The second item is the Mick's 515th career home run ball. The ball came from the family of Mantle's long-time friend, former ABC news anchor Murphy Martin. Martin and his wife Joyce had a pair of cuff links made for the Yankee slugger with raised gold numerals that read “500” to signify the switch-hitting slugger's milestone achievement. Mantle so adored the cuff links that a few weeks later he presented Murphy with the Reach Cronin baseball that he hit into the Yankee Stadium stands on July 25, 1967. The solo shot versus the Minnesota Twins evened the score at one in the bottom of the ninth. Mantle signed the ball in black ink and added the notation, “Home Run #515, Left Field Bleachers, 1-1, New York & Minn.” It's also personalized, “To Murphy & Joyce, Thanks for the cuff links.”
Richard Russek, president of Grey Flannel Auctions, said, “Such are the stories that drive special collectors to purchase these special pieces of history. And there's no shortage of these examples in this sale.”
Another such item is the 1937 World Series ring by the only New York Yankee ever to wear No. 3 other than Babe Ruth. George Selkirk was called up to replace Ruth in right field. He played for five World Champion Yankees teams and batted over .300 in his first six seasons with the Yanks.
“This isn't just another piece of vintage World Series jewelry,” Russek said. “While Selkirk was clearly a respectable player, his relationship to the most famous of numbers in Yankee history makes this item something to cherish.”
And speaking of Number 3, there is an actual trunk found in the catacombs of Yankee Stadium. It bears the number 3. “We cannot prove that the Babe has anything to do with this trunk,” Russek said, “But I can think of no better place for a Yankees collector to keep and display Yankees items.”
While the auction, like other recent Grey Flannel Auction sales, punctuates the giant status of the Yankees in the world of memorabilia, the May 10-ending sale features an item that comes from another larger-than-life personality - Wilt Chamberlain.
Wilt's custom-made “Searcher 1” car has been consigned to the sale from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., and the proceeds will benefit the hoops shrine to purchase other great exhibits.
Chamberlain got Peter Bohanna, known for engineering vehicles for James Bond films, to enhance Wilt's own design with an eye-popping vehicle that would fit nicely into Donald Trump's fleet and fit into the lineup at LeMans, France, with an engine that's been tested at 467 horsepower.