Now Open - Mastro Auctions December 2008 Catalog Event - Featuring Mickey
Mantle 1952 Game Used Bat Graded GU-9!
Just a reminder that bidding is now open in our current Premier Catalog
sale! Here's one of the most prominent highlights in this much-anticipated
987) Incredible Early Mickey Mantle 1952 H&B
Signed Game Used Bat - Graded GU-9!
As the New York Yankees plotted proper maintenance of their well-oiled machine,
their "best-laid schemes" did not meet the demise predicted in Robert
Burns' literary work. The Pinstripers' plans, however, were subject to inadvertent
twists. As scout Tom Greenwade made the trek to Kansas to evaluate one Billy
Johnson in the summer of 1948, he witnessed the Baxter Springs Whiz Kids third
baseman, alright, but was more drawn to the club's 17-year-old switch-hitter—who
launched tape-measure home runs from both sides of the plate that day. His name
was Mickey Mantle. Signed the following spring on the night of his high school
commencement (which Mantle skipped in favor of a baseball game), this gifted
athlete polished his skills in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League—and
then polished off opposing pitchers for two glorious decades in the Bronx.
Here offered is priceless game-wielded ash: an autographed Hillerich & Bradsby "M110" signature
model bat ably employed by Mickey Mantle during his first full season (1952)
in the major leagues.
Originally summoned to the professional level as a shortstop, Mantle proved unsteady
at the position, his defensive woes likely taxing his concentration at the plate,
as well. Already sold on his "can't-miss" phenom, Yankee pilot Casey
Stengel decided to groom Mantle as the successor to Joe DiMaggio, who was to
depart after the 1951 season. Alongside DiMaggio in the outfield to start that
'51 season, Mantle fared adequately—save for the flaw in his swing, as
he logged 52 strikeouts in 246 at-bats by June 15, prompting his re-assignment
to the minor leagues. While Mantle was to return to the parent club by August
of that year (and perform in the World Series), he was up for keeps in 1952—as
a force to be reckoned with from then on out.
As he manned centerfield in the sizable shadow of the "Yankee Clipper," Mantle
settled in, his defensive gaffes in the infield no longer an issue. (Interestingly,
during seven career games at shortstop—all by 1955—Mantle handled
fourteen chances without a miscue.) Inserted daily in the leadoff spot, Mantle
was true to his billing as a speed merchant and frequent baserunner (he hit .311
that season). But his power numbers set a precedent for what was to follow. Remarkably
consistent, Mantle hit twelve round-trippers from the right side of the plate,
and eleven from the left; twelve at Yankee Stadium, and eleven on the road. Included,
as well, were his first two grand slams. Establishing himself, the "Commerce
Comet" used this 35", 33-1/2-oz. white ash example. Turned during 1952
(as factory records attest), this uncracked game used heirloom showcases Mantle's
bold, black marker signature, which resonates "9-10" quality just below
the barrel stampings. Outstanding game use is evident in the form of ball and
deeply embedded stitch marks about the hitting surface. From Mantle's earliest
arsenal, this hitting treasure represents the beginning of yet another proud
segment of New York Yankee history. LOAs from PSA DNA & Graded GU-9.
LOA from JSA.
Please Note: This bat is Graded GU-9.