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    Photo matched to Games Six and Seven, the Mick’s 17th and 18th World Series home runs!

    1964 Mickey Mantle World Series Home Run Record-Setting Game Worn New York Yankees Jersey, MEARS A9.
    One of the innumerable ways in which the sport of baseball has earned its distinction as our national pastime is its history of remaining faithful to bedrock principle while allowing for the latitude to change with the times. In nearly every regard, the sport has charted a parallel path beside the nation itself, meeting similar challenges in the form of race, of enterprise, of the ever-changing hardships and opportunities of modernization.

    In terms of individual achievement, baseball is particularly unique among the four major sports for the immortalization of certain records due to the fundamental changes in which the game is played. "Platoon" pitching assures that Cy Young's record of 511 victories could never be broken, and while its already been nearly eight decades since the last .400 season, Hugh Duffy's record .440 in 1894 is likewise truly profound in its impossibility today.

    Just months after man first walked on the Moon, and the year after Mickey Mantle surrendered his baseball career to Father Time, Major League Baseball debuted a postseason playoff format that would forever enshrine a dazzling record celebrated upon the Mick's forthcoming Hall of Fame plaque. The League Championship Series was born, requiring a seven-game battle for the pennant. Twenty-five years later, the Divisional round would further complicate the path to the Fall Classic. Since Mickey Mantle played the last of his sixty-five games in October, fellow Yankees legend Derek Jeter has seen the most World Series action, with thirty-eight appearances.

    Mantle's record eighteen World Series home runs were the result of 230 at-bats, a rate of one home run per every 12.77, a scorching pace superior to even his one to 15.12 regular season standard. In the highly unlikely event that any player might match Derek Jeter's career tally of World Series appearances, it would require a home run every 8.67 at bats, a rate unseen in the full history of Major League Baseball outside the pharmaceutically-tainted era between 1998 and 2004.

    It also should be stated emphatically that the record for World Series home runs is gilded by its very nature, celebrating elite performance under the sport's brightest spotlight, and the enduring dominance required to step beneath it time and again. Add to that consideration the fact that Mantle entered most Octobers with his knees held together by athletic tape and his liver swollen by a season's carousing, and the climb past the legendary Babe Ruth becomes all the more impressive.

    The 1911 Boston Rustlers jersey in which Young recorded his final pitching victory is long buried beneath the sands of time, as is Duffy's 1894 Beaneaters shirt. But this elite historical relic survives to commemorate one of the sport's most unbreakable records, definitively matched to photography of Games Six and Seven of the 1964 World Series when Mickey Mantle recorded the seventeenth and eighteenth Fall Classic home runs of his Hall of Fame career.

    Collectors of vintage New York Yankees uniforms are aware that the perpetual pennant-winners would typically order new uniforms for World Series use and then carry them over to the subsequent regular season, wanting to look as sharp as possible beneath the game's brightest spotlight. Such is the case with this classic grey flannel roadster, labeled "Mantle-'65-1-42" in collar embroidery and again marked "65" upon the "Wilson [size] 42" lower left tail tagging (and just above on the jersey body). The positioning of the "New York" on the chest, and the atypical "stemmed" format of the number "7" on verso, are certain matches to the final two of the tense seven-game 1964 World Series.

    The MEARS letter of authenticity is one of the most detailed we have encountered, and we encourage serious bidders to examine the documents online, as they provide a far more painstaking examination than any catalog text could provide. Beyond a wide array of photography that clads the elite designation in iron, the text traces the garment's entry to the collecting hobby through the Binghamton Triplets farm club of the Yankees franchise, and while the original letter of provenance has been lost, the document is reproduced in the MEARS paperwork.

    While many, if not most, of the Major League jerseys repurposed for secondary wear were altered at the farm club level, this stands as a most welcome exception to that standard, the garment surviving in 100% original and unaltered condition, losing its sole point in the MEARS grade for a cracked button and minor soiling/staining.

    Certainly it goes without saying that any Mickey Mantle game worn jersey is a treasure of American sports history, but this remarkable example distinguishes itself within that rare and coveted breed for its link to the only surviving record from the Mick's Hall of Fame resume, one that will endure as long as the bronze Cooperstown plaque that heralds the achievement. LOA from MEARS, A9. LOA from Heritage Auctions.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2018
    18th-19th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 38
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,367

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