1948-49 Mickey Mantle Period-Signed Baxter Springs (KS) Wh...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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Description1948-49 Mickey Mantle Period-Signed Baxter Springs (KS) Whiz Kids Panoramic Photograph, PSA/DNA Type 1. "Now I know how Paul Krichell felt," explained New York Yankees scout Tom Greenwade, speaking of his predecessor who had discovered the great Lou Gehrig a quarter century earlier. The coal mines of northeastern Oklahoma had produced a diamond unlike any that professional baseball had previously unearthed, a raw talent more multi-faceted than even the greatest residents of the Yankee pantheon that had preceded him. Thunderous home run power from both sides of the plate. The foot speed of an Olympic sprinter. A rocket throwing arm.
The offered photograph pictures the rickety grandstands from which Greenwade watched a teenaged Mickey Mantle in May 1949 before signing him to a contract that would begin a nearly twenty-year partnership with the New York Yankees organization. That's Mickey at dead center of the shot, one of the earliest known examples of his autograph emblazoned across his chest.
In order to place the rarity of this piece in its proper context, we report that fewer than ten examples of this photo in unsigned format have ever been presented in a major sports collectibles auction. This is the only period-signed example. The experts at PSA/DNA stipulate that the autograph was partially traced in Mantle's hand, a factor that in no way minimizes the relic's singular appeal. His blue ink remains fully and readily legible, while the 8x24" image exhibits a degree of handling and storage wear commensurate with its advanced age, but no faults that significantly impair the strong aesthetics. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. LOA from PSA/DNA, Type 1.
Guide Value or Estimate: $8,000 - up.
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