Mickey Mantle’s First Yankees Bat May Draw $200,000 at Auction

A Mickey Mantle signature model bat that might be the first one he used in Major League Baseball is going up for auction, with an expected selling price of about $200,000.

The minimum bid for the bat in next month’s online sale by SCP Auctions Inc. is $30,000. Several of Mantle’s items will be auctioned, almost 20 years after the Hall of Fame New York Yankees outfielder died at age 63 in August 1995.

The bat is one of two made by Hillerich & Bradsby Co. with Mantle’s script signature branded on the barrel, which he ordered upon his call-up in September 1950. Mantle didn’t make his major league debut until April 17, 1951. He ordered more bats three days later.

“It’s certainly one of the most important Mickey Mantle bats in existence,” Dan Imler, vice president of Laguna Niguel, California-based SCP, said Monday in a telephone interview. “It’s safe to call it his first professional bat.”

The whereabouts of the other bat from Mantle’s first order are unknown.

“Imagine him coming into New York, under the conditions and expectations and all that; getting your first bat, with your name, there it is -- Mickey Mantle -- in script,” said Imler. “Those types of notions are part of the allure of this bat.”

Rare Jersey

Another Mantle item up for auction is a 1952 season game-worn home pinstripe jersey, which Imler estimated in the $200,000-$300,000 range.

“It’s one of, if not the earliest, Mantle jerseys that we’re aware of,” Imler said.

Mantle, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, was a switch-hitting center fielder who played his entire 18-year career for the Yankees. The three-time American League Most Valuable Player won the 1956 Triple Crown and finished his career with seven World Series titles, a .298 batting average, 536 home runs and 1,509 runs batted in.

Mantle is a “cornerstone figure in the sports memorabilia market,” Imler said.

SCP also is auctioning Mantle’s 1956 Player of the Year Plaque from the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The auction runs from April 8-25.

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