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    Description

    "I never knew how someone dying could say he was the luckiest man in the world. But now I understand."

    1969 Mickey Mantle Presentational Bat from New York Yankees Jersey Retirement Ceremony. The moon landing. The Manson killings. The Woodstock Music Festival. An American historian would be hard-pressed to identify a short span of months as densely packed with paradigm-shifting events as the Summer of 1969. For those who would include our National Pastime in the consideration, we can add to the list the official farewell of the game's most beloved post-war icon, who stood on the same infield as the noble Iron Horse three decades later to deliver his own tear-jerking goodbyes to a populace who had come to love him as family. Many Baby Boomers would consider the retirement of that pinstriped Number Seven jersey as the final day of their youth.

    Here we present what is arguably the most significant artifact from that both celebratory and melancholy event ever to surface in the collecting hobby, a black Hillerich & Bradsby bat thanking the Commerce Comet for his eighteen seasons of baseball brilliance. The look of the lumber is quite similar to the highly collectible "black bats" historically issued to pennant and World Championship-winning teams, and it's safe to assume this was indeed the template. But while the center Hillerich & Bradsby trademark stamping matches "black bat" specs, the typical imprints of names and autographs are replaced by an affixed brass plaque engraved with the words, "Mickey Mantle, 'A Day to Remember,' Sunday June 8, 1969, Yankee Stadium Ceremonies Marking Retirement of Uniform 'No. 7.'" The bat is neatly sawed in half just to the left of the center brand with a metal tube at center which locks the two halves together, and was intended to hold a small American flag which has been lost over the ensuing four decades. Please note: flag has been located. Length 35". Fine condition.

    The bat is consigned to this Platinum Night auction by the long-time friend of Mantle who personally received it as a gift from the retiring legend. Along with his personal letter of provenance detailing the events of that memorable day, he supplies the following:

    1) A 1994 letter from a Hillerich & Bradsby executive who writes, "Although I was not personally involved in this, it is consistent to what has transpired in the past and in the present. I would say yes, this was made by H&B."

    2) Original snapshot photographs of himself with Mantle in the early 1990's, and with Frank Sinatra in the 1970's.

    While programs and pinbacks from this historic date at Yankee Stadium surface regularly in the collecting hobby, this personally owned keepsake represents the rarest of opportunities for the advanced collector. A royal scepter, to be sure. Letter of provenance from consignor. Letter of provenance from Hillerich & Bradsby.






    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2012
    2nd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,377

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