Lot # 18: Extraordinary 1951 Mickey Mantle Signed “AUTOGRAPH BALL CORPORATION” Contract – Signed by Mantle on April 23, 1951 - 6 days after his MLB Debut! – Full JSA LOA

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(LOT 18)
Extraordinary 1951 Mickey Mantle Signed "AUTOGRAPH BALL CORPORATION" Contract – Signed by Mantle on April 23, 1951 - 6 days after his MLB Debut! – Full JSA LOA

This extraordinary 1951 contract for the AUTHOGRAHED BALL CORPORATION was signed by Mickey Mantle on April 23, 1951, only 6 days later his April 17, 1951 MLB debut! Obviously residing as one of the earliest Mickey Mantle "rookie" signatures extant, it relates to 'The Mick" providing his consent for the "Autographed Ball Company" of High Point, North Carolina to use his name and/or signature on souvenir baseballs sold to the general public. The contract has been professionally matted and framed with a classic #6 Mantle batting photo reproduction, and ironically, the only original Type 1 image of this photo is likewise being sold in this auction! Mickey Mantle's fairly bold blue ink script is situated near the lower right quadrant (signed on the second party line) and presents itself in conservative "7/8" strength. Simply stated, it is a near-impossible task to locate autographs of the Commerce Comet from his inaugural April, 1951 month in the major leagues, with only a handful of them known to exist. In the Spring of 1951, the "Big Apple" faithful basked in an unbridled excitement over the world-class prospect Mickey Charles Mantle, who made his MLB Yankee debut on April 17, 1951 wearing #6 on his Yankee pinstriped uniform.

Playing in front of 44,860 patrons at Yankee Stadium, Mantle would earn his inaugural major league hit, while knocking in and scoring a run in the Yankees 5-0 win against their arch-rival Red Sox. This incredibly powerful switch-hitting centerfielder was the "talk of the town", and while he had to start his highly anticipated career in right field due to Jolting' Joe DiMaggio still patrolling centerfield, his supernatural-like ability placed him on the tip of everyone's tongues. As it turned out, a horrific slump would force the Yankees to send Mickey down to their AAA Kansas City squad on July 14th (after a dismal July 13th 1-5 performance in which he struck out another three times). Fortunately for Mantle and baseball history, he would "tear-up" AAA to the tune of a .361 batting average that enable the Yankees to recall him to the "big leagues" on August 24th., now wearing uniform #7 (as opposed to his original #6 jersey). "The Mick" was now here to stay, with this powerful Oklahoma rookie ready to embark on one of the most iconic careers in MLB history via his Goliath-like power and tape measure homers that tested the furthest confines of any ballpark.

Other than Mantle's 1951 Yankees rookie contract, this museum worthy masterpiece stands as one of the earliest and most significant signed documents on the planet. It is no secret of the infectious infatuation hobbyists realize with regard to pursuing Mickey Mantle's earliest collectibles, spearheaded by his 1951 Bowman Rookie card that continues to soar in value. While there are a handful of 1951 Mantle scripts available for the taking, a majority of them are on team signed baseballs, cuts and GPC's. Although there are multiple vertical and horizontal mailing folds as well as some stray creases, no "ink portion" of the critical Mickey Mantle signature has been impeded by any of the folds, with one of the two vertical folds fortunately passing straight through the space between "Mickey" and "Mantle." The remaining portion of the matted and framed contract is in-tact with the likewise significant "April 23, 1951" date and "Commerce, Okla." (Mantle's hometown) blue ink inscriptions situated in the first paragraph. Interestingly enough, on April 23, 1951, the Yankees would best the Philadelphia Athletics by a 5-4 score at Yankee Stadium, with Mantle going 3-5 with a run scored and raising his early season average to a robust .320. Unquestionably, this "unique" offering's April 1951 origin places it as one of the most miraculous signed Mickey Mantle documents any collector could possibly dream of owning; effectively turning back the clock to an era when the Commerce Comet was about to turn the baseball world upside down via his seemingly infinite array of legendary feats! Additional shipping charges $50.00

MIN BID $1,000
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