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    One of the hobby's most iconic images

    1951 Mickey Mantle Original News Photograph Used for 1951 Bowman Rookie Card, PSA/DNA Type 1. It's often said that the devil is in the details, but you'll sometimes find angels there as well. Note the rolled sleeve--the Mick would be able to dictate tailoring modifications in future seasons, but not as an untested rookie at Arizona spring training. The bat he cocks over his right shoulder belongs to first baseman Joe Collins, as the future Triple Crown winner had yet to sign a deal with Hillerich & Bradsby for his own. And we can see just enough of the number on the back of the Mick's back to identify it as a six rather than a seven, a digit he'd wear only during the unsteady start to his rookie campaign.

    These fascinating idiosyncrasies are lost in the applications that establish this as one of the most recognizable Mantle images ever rendered, a fact that makes this exceedingly rare original photo all the more desirable. The essential 1951 Bowman rookie card files down some of the subtleties to create its classic "posterized" aesthetic, and the 1953 Topps opts for a tight focus on the youngster's boyish features. Only here is the full story told.

    Leading sports photography expert Henry Yee is aware of only two original examples of this image, issued to the media by the New York Yankees and almost certainly shot by team photographer Bob Olen. It would be difficult to imagine the other representation is as fine as this one, which is flawlessly developed and presents without any distractions that extend more than a centimeter into the wide white borders. Adhesive removal is apparent along one edge on verso, causing no harm, and handwritten notations join team stamping, the former reporting the subject's name and the Bowman rookie application. Size is 8x10".

    Elite baseball photography is a subgenre on the rise, and there's every reason to believe we still find ourselves in the dawn of that bull market. A recent auction result of $60,000 for the most direct equivalent, the photo used to create Mantle's 1952 Topps rookie, is clear evidence of the trajectory. LOA from PSA/DNA, Type 1.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2015
    30th-31st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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