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    Description

    The Yanks pull off an October miracle!

    1958 Mickey Mantle World Series Game Used & Signed Bat, PSA/DNA GU 10.

    UPDATE: This lot is accompanied by a full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph).

    Part immortal, part cautionary tale, Mickey Mantle strode the same path charted by Babe Ruth before him, a man whose appetite for success on the field was matched only by his appetite for debauchery off of it. In the final days of his life, the Mick delivered a heartfelt and heartbreaking speech lamenting the choices he had made in through the years, that his hard-drinking existence had slowly dulled the instrument of his fame and ultimately cost him his life.

    But in 1958, the twenty-seven year old slugger was still riding high on the wave of his genetic gifts, leading all American Leaguers in home runs (42), runs scored (127) and total bases (307). That October he would successfully avenge the Yanks' previous season's Fall Classic loss to the fearsome Milwaukee Braves, nearly "three-peating" as the Junior Circuit's Most Valuable Player in the process. This was a Mickey Mantle at the peak of his powers.

    Certainly it goes without saying that any game used gear dating to this thrilling era in the joint histories of Mickey Mantle and the New York Yankees carries enormous collecting intrigue, but this remarkable relic ups the ante considerably, decisively matched to photography of the Commerce Comet in Fall Classic action. The markings and grain patterns of the provided Hillerich & Bradsby signature model T89 lead PSA/DNA bat expert John Taube to opine in his letter of authenticity that the bat is a photo match to Getty Image #514977500 as Mantle attempts to lay down a bunt in Game Five of the 1958 World Series.

    We should take a moment to remember the precarious position in which the pinstripers found themselves on this date, October 6, 1958. While 1956 World Series hero Don Larsen had delivered a shutout victory for the Yanks in Game Three, the other three contests had gone the way of the mighty Milwaukee Braves, leaving the Yankees' coffin with only a single nail left to drive home. Games Five, Six and Seven were each elimination matches for the American League Champs, and it would take a miracle to string together three straight victories against Spahn, Aaron and Mathews.

    But a miracle was what the Bronx Bombers would ultimately deliver to anxious Big Apple fans, serving up revenge in its most delectable recipe against a Milwaukee Braves team that had toppled the Yanks in the previous Fall Classic. Even the immortal Ty Cobb was impressed by the unlikely comeback in the 1958 World Series, writing to manager Casey Stengel in a letter sold in a 2005 Heritage auction, "...to me you really did something in the Series, that has to be your high water mark in your very wonderful career, your team in the short series of 4 games deciding was flat on their backs, down 3 to 1 and boy you pulled them up, shook them together and came through so grandly. I caught you on the bench at times T.V. once when Larsen was staggering, I saw the old boy fighting, shaking his fists, advising, encouraging, etc. Casey I like that kind of fight & spirit."

    Of course, Mickey Mantle was instrumental in the World Championship realization, narrowly trailing only a red-hot Hank Bauer in On-Base Plus Slugging among seven-game starters, and adding two home runs to his ultimate and likely immortal record of eighteen for World Series play. While the offered bat has only been definitively attributed to Game Five action, it is somewhere between possible and probable that this lumber saw multiple games of action, potentially including that Game Two that saw the Mick record a pair of round-trippers. The vast majority of 1958 World Series photography lacks the necessary clarity that allows photo matching to a bat-the Getty Image that does is a distinct and welcome outlier.

    The fact that the bat is not cracked even more strongly suggests that its use continued on beyond Game Five to the sixth and seventh contests, as does the PSA/DNA characterization of game use as "outstanding." Heavy ball marks and stitch impressions on both sides of the barrel speaks to Mantle's switch-hitting power. Blue streaks remain from the bat rack, and number "7" appears in vintage marker on the knob. Length of thirty-five inches (35") and weight of thirty-one ounces (30.5 oz.) perfectly match the Louisville Slugger ordering records for two T89's shipped to Mantle on September 22, 1958 for World Series use. A bold blue sharpie signature on the lower barrel, applied during the bat's reunion with its original owner some decades later, is the cherry on top.

    In short, this is a bat that has it all-a giant of the sport in his prime, photographic documentation to a thrilling World Series, massive game use, and even an autograph. Unquestionably one of the most important post-war bats that Heritage has had the privilege to present to the collecting community. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 10. Photo match to Getty Image #514977500. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Pre-certified by PSA/DNA (autograph).


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    29th-30th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 30
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,079

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