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    One of the earliest Mantle gamers known!

    1954 Mickey Mantle Game Worn New York Yankees Jersey, MEARS A9. It was Groundhog's Day, 1954. While an expectant nation awaited the forecast on the arrival of Spring from a rodent in Pennsylvania, Mickey Mantle was making his own preparations for the coming thaw, hoping that the operation to remove a cyst from behind his right knee might do something to lessen the pain that had plagued him since his injury in Game Two of the 1951 World Series. The Yankees had posted their fifth consecutive World Series victory four months earlier and there seemed to be no end in sight for the team's winning ways. But the twenty-two year old Mick knew he was instrumental to his ballclub's chances, and if he could finally get that knee working the way it was supposed to, there would be no stopping the Yankees.

    In the end, the surgery ended up being a limited success, but Mantle was of tough Midwestern stock and fought through the pain bravely, as he would continue to do for his entire career. And the Hall of Fame numbers continued to mount. In 1954, Mickey improved upon all of his batting stats from the previous season, posting an even .300 average with twenty-seven home runs. His 102 runs batted in marked the first season in which he would reach the triple-digit mark, a feat he would accomplish just four times in his storied career. And his 129 runs scored led the league by a considerable margin, with Minnie Minoso taking the silver with ten fewer. Injured or not, Mantle was still one of the game's biggest stars in 1954.

    This historic road grey flannel represents one of the very few Mantle jerseys still available for public sale, and one of the earliest known to exist. We instruct those who idolize Mickey but may not be schooled in the collecting hobby that players at this time were issued only two home and two road jerseys per season, and the fine wear is appropriate for an estimated forty games of use. Pick any road event from the 1954 season, and there's a 50/50 chance that Mickey was sporting this very jersey--those are the odds, for example, that this is the shirt he's wearing on the front of his 1955 Bowman baseball card.

    Addressing the specifics of the jersey itself, we encounter the time-tested New York Yankees road fashion, with bold navy block lettering spelling "New York" across the chest, and that historic number "7" taking up the rear. A sweat-stained swatch inside the collar offers an embroidered "Mantle M," while "1954" is stitched below the "Wilson [size] 44" and washing instructions tagging in the tail. It is noteworthy that the curling of the right side of the number "9" in "1954" is consistent with three other Yankee jerseys from this season encountered by MEARS. The jersey shows heavy game wear and is all-original, properly tagged, and has received an A9 grade from the hobby's most respected uniform authentication service. "Soiling/staining around number" accounts for the sole point deduction. A final bit of appeal comes with the application of a perfect blue sharpie signature inside the collar from the man himself.

    As the very few surviving flannels from top-tier Hall of Famers find their way into permanent collections, or fall under the knife to be born again as insert cards, we anticipate that the opportunities to own such a monumental piece as this 1954 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees jersey will become increasingly scarce. And such factors further ensure that the market can go nowhere but up, meaning that the winning bidder will almost certainly find, when he sells the jersey five or ten years from now, that he has earned quite a healthy annual paycheck just for holding the piece in his trophy room. LOA from MEARS, A9. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from SGC Authentic. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,880

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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