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The Mick's final walk-off homer1967 Mickey Mantle 510th Home Run Baseball. These were dark days in the Bronx. Two weeks earlier the Bombers had dipped below the .500 mark and would never again come up for air in the 1967 season, finishing the season with only the lowly Kansas City Athletics between them and a last place American League finish. The Stadium had enjoyed the highest attendance in the League during the pennant-winning season of 1964, but by 1967 ticket sales to the House that Ruth Built had dropped to fifth place.
God only knows what they would have been without the club's blue-eyed drawing card. Though Mickey Mantle's personal struggles at the plate were a microcosm of the team's floundering, the Hall of Fame outfielder continued to lend credence to the maxim that power is the last thing to go. In the seventeenth season of his injury-plagued career, the Mick still went yard twenty-two times, good enough for his thirteenth and final top ten finish in the category.
Presented is the OAL (Cronin) sphere struck for the fourteenth long ball of Mantle's 1967 season, a lead-off solo shot in the ninth inning of a meeting with the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium that would give the Yanks a four to three walk-off victory. The game-winning ball exhibits excellent use from its journey into the cheap seats, and was presented to Mantle at the close of the contest for signing. On the side panel, entirely in the slugger's hand, is the inscription, "Best Wishes, Mickey Mantle, H.R. 510." The ink survives with 7/10 boldness. On the opposing panel, invisible upon display, is the signature of the fan who caught the blast with his handwritten "June 24, 1967" date.
Mantle's "facade ball" again made history in our February Platinum Night auction when it commanded $95,600 in spirited bidding, and while this home run sphere lacks the fame of that titanic blast, its positioning north of the 500 mark, and its status as the last of his thirteen career walk-off homers, should carry considerable weight among serious collectors. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas