Incredible Mickey Mantle 1947 Sophomore Commerce High School Yearbook Signed by "Mick" to a School Friend – One of the Earlest Known Mantle Signatures! – Full PSA/DNA LOA
Have you ever sat back and thought about how the immortal Mickey Mantle attained his ultra-popular "Commerce Comet" nickname? Mantle was raised in Commerce, Oklahoma by a hard working coal-miner named Mutt Mantle, and due to his "Secretariat-like" blinding speed and Commerce High School origin, was appropriately dubbed the "Commerce Comet".
Simply stated, the phrase "fit", with his esteemed reputation spreading like a wildfire that a virtually "godly" like budding superstar from Commerce, Oklahoma named Mickey Charles Mantle was about to embark on an unparalleled baseball career. Signed by prominent Yankees scout Tom Greenwade after his High School graduation in 1949, Greenwade first saw Mantle play in a Baxter Springs, Kansas game as a member of the semi-pro "Whiz Kids" whereby he hit a staggering three home runs.
Greenwade would never forget the awesome power displayed by this powerful young slugger and after being signed and playing several years with the minor league Class-D Independence Yankees and Class-C Joplin Miners, the star shortstop turned outfielder was called up to the "Big Show" to start the 1951 season. DiMaggio called Mantle the greatest prospect he ever saw, and although Mantle had to be sent back to the minors for a brief period due to a serious batting slump, after an ultra-stern "pep talk" from his father, he eventually returned to the Yanks for good to become one of our National Pastime's all-time icons.
Presented here just happens to be one of Mickey Mantle's most miraculous hobby artifacts, a 1947 Sophomore Commerce High School yearbook signed by "Mick" to a dear school friend. Mantle's extremely youthful sophomore class image is pictured on the far lower right page and he has boldly written to a friend: "If you wouldn't throw them so far out in center, you could see me" – "Mick"! While we may never know the exact details and "inside" story of that rather vague salutation, most significantly, it truly stands as one of the earliest known Mickey Mantle scripts, and we cannot even begin to estimate its immense potential value. Scripted in bold fountain pen, it conservatively portrays "NM/MT 8" aesthetics, and more critically, turns back the clock some 72 years to a time when the legendary "Mick" was only begging to realize how his supernatural skill sets could lead him on an unparalleled path to become one of our "National Pastime's" all-time sluggers.
Two additional photos of Mantle are included in this "unique-like" offering, depicting the great Mantle playing both football and basketball. It is no secret that Mantle was a great football halfback, and he was even offered a scholarship to play football at the renowned University of Oklahoma, a perennial "Top 10" college program. Fortunately for America's favorite pastime, Mantle turned down this prestigious offer, opting to pursue a baseball future. Ironically, it was high school football that nearly ended 'The Mick's" athletic career when he was kicked in the shin during a meaningless practice game. Mantle developed an incurable bone disease called Osteomyelitis in his left ankle, and had he not been quickly treated with penicillin, his left leg might have succumbed to amputation.
Regarding the 1947 yearbook, the sky-blue hued front and back covers have eluded any obtrusive flaws (other than some standard wear/wrinkles), with the obverse side including a bold white "BENGAL TALES" caption near the lower edge as well as a "1946 –'47" vertical inscription along the left edge. The spine is relatively intact and other than the typical number of notes/salutations scripted by the high school attendees (including Mantle's momentous note), the pages still reflect fine aesthetics. A truly unfathomable Mickey Mantle keepsake, it transcends time to an era long before this seemingly supernatural icon would establish himself as baseball's foremost "Goliath-like" slugger via his tape-measure home runs that consistently tested the furthest confines of any ballpark! - Full PSA/DNA LOA
MIN BID $1,250