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    The Mick gets his first Midsummer Classic start

    1953 Mickey Mantle All-Star Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 8, Signed. Twenty years had passed since the Babe christened the inaugural edition of the All-Star Game with the first long ball of the popular exhibition, and as the name Mickey Mantle was penned into the number four spot of the American League batting order on July 14, 1953, the young Oklahoman could begin to sense his position in that continuum of pinstriped greatness. In an assembly of the game's top talent, the Mick was batting clean-up. Could there be any higher honor for a professional hitter?

    Here we present one of the most significant Mantle artifacts to reach the public auction block, the very bat issued to the budding legend as he earned his first starting role in an All-Star Game. Bearing the light use expected of three plate appearances in the Crosley Field contest, the bat survives as a prominent mile marker on Mantle's path to immortality. Bat collectors have long been conditioned, properly, to attach a premium to rare bats of the Classics (Midsummer and Fall), but we'd posit that the former is even sweeter, as it demands individual rather than team greatness to earn one.

    The signature model Hillerich & Bradsby K55 is identical to those utilized during Mantle's World Championship regular season but for the block lettered "All Star Game Cincinnati 1953" that frames his facsimile signature on the barrel. Length of thirty-five inches and weight of thirty-three and a half ounces are correct for his preferred specs, and match the July 10th entry in Hillerich & Bradsby's ordering records. A few ball marks and stitch impressions are visible on right and left barrel beneath a light wax coating that gives the ash a golden patina. Here we also find a 9/10 blue sharpie signature, applied as Mantle was reunited with his bat decades later. The bat is uncracked.

    Leading expert John Taube assigns a grade of PSA/DNA GU 8 for this special relic, but the significance of the piece could never be factored on a simple numerical scale. As the key relic of what was essentially Mickey Mantle's coronation as the game's leading slugger, this is a relic that defies standard measurement. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 8. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph). Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2016
    20th-21st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,236

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