Earliest known Mickey Mantle game-worn signed home jersey in Grey Flannel auction Grey Flannel's April 6-29 phone/Internet auction features 850 prized lots led by the earliest known game-worn, autographed Mickey Mantle N.Y. Yankees home jersey; and a 1926-Babe Ruth 11-notch bat.
News-Antique.com - Mar 30,2009 - WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. – Grey Flannel Auctions’ phone and Internet auction running from April 6 to April 29 features an 850-lot selection of vintage blue-chip sports memorabilia with impeccable provenance. Leading the lineup is a highly important item of baseball apparel that was game-worn and very clearly autographed by one of the greatest players ever to wear the New York Yankees pinstripes: Mickey Mantle.
The auction’s headliner, the 1952 Mantle jersey is the earliest known home jersey worn by the strapping young Oklahoman in his first year as centerfielder for the Yankees. Not only did “The Mick” wear the flannel jersey with the number “7” on its back during play in 1952, he also signed it on the lower left-front shirttail in a broad hand with a black marker.
According to Grey Flannel Auctions’ president, Richard E. Russek, the autograph – in and of itself – is rare because of its vintage and because it is so large. The autograph has been authenticated by JSA Spence Authentication, and the jersey has been authenticated by MEARS. Written documentation (JSA Spence COA and MEARS LOA) from both companies will be included with the auction lot, which has been photo-matched for positive I.D.
As further provenance, the inside collar of the Mantle jersey has a Spalding & Bros. manufacturer’s tag and a white felt strip tag chain-stitched in blue with the words “M. Mantle 52.” A Yankees 1903-1952 50th Year patch is sewn onto the jersey’s left sleeve.
“This is the finest Mickey Mantle game-used jersey Grey Flannel has ever had the honor of presenting at auction,” said Rich Russek. “We actually sold this jersey 10 years ago, and we were thrilled to be given the opportunity to auction it a second time. It’s not often that an item of such historical importance passes through the same hands twice.”
Another Yankees legend represented within the auction’s Premier lots is Babe Ruth. In the mid to late 1920s, the home-run king would carve a notch into his bat each time he knocked a pitch out of the park. Grey Flannel is offering a factory side-written bat Ruth used between 1926 and 1929, and into which he carved 11 home-run notches. While it isn’t possible to prove one way or the other, the timeframe suggests this bat may have been used by Ruth to blast one of 60 home-run balls over the wall in 1927. Of utmost importance in the annals of baseball history, this Babe Ruth bat is PSA/DNA graded ‘9.’
“Any authentic Babe Ruth bat is a collector’s dream,” Rich Russek remarked. “Ruth fans should read the extensive catalog description for this lot online. Absolutely no stone was left unturned in piecing together the fascinating provenance for this baseball treasure.”
Among the many other unique articles in the auction are:
Jackie Robinson’s 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers National League MVP Award, engraved, near-mint condition
Willis Reed’s 1973-1974 New York Knicks game-used knit home jersey, accompanied by letter from Knicks coach Red Holzman’s former assistant, MEARS