1951 Mickey Mantle Rookie "Pre-Major League Debut" PSA Type 1 Encapsulated ACME NEWSPICTURES Measures Approx. 7-1/4" x 9" Incl. PSA Type 1 LOA
Presented here is one of the most extraordinary and earliest New York Yankee Mickey Mantle photos extant. This extremely momentous PSA Type 1 image was taken on April 15, 1951 at an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, two days before the Yankees would open their 1951 season against the Boston Red Sox. Most significantly, it reveals the "Commerce Comet" crossing home plate after belting a home run in the eight-inning of an eventually 7-6 loss to their cross-town rivals. Mantle is greeted by both the bat boy and on-deck hitter Cliff Mapes who is ironically wearing a #7 jersey! While we cannot see the back of "The Mick's" road gray flannels, Mantle is obviously donning his inaugural #6 jersey. Later that August after returning to the big leagues, Mickey would ultimately swap his #6 jersey for #7, with #7's availability secured via a Cliff Mapes trade to the St. Louis Browns early in the '51 campaign.
The 7" x 9" glossy photo itself has retained many of its original attributes, starting with the sparkling clarity and near-perfect contrast of the Cooperstown worthy illustration. Mantle is in the midst of shaking hands with the batboy and about to shake hands with Cliff Mapes (#7). Minor flaws include some newspaper written notations along the upper and lower borders, a few faint wrinkles and an upper left corner chip. The final exclamation points are the verso's ACME NEWSPICTURES credit stamp and the critical caption that details the events of this historic image. Who would have ever thought that when this innocent, yet powerful, 19-year-old rookie was called up to the Major Leagues in the Spring of 1951, it would be the advent of an unprecedented career for the ages.
The highly celebrated rookie would actually be sent back down to the minors on July 14th due to a horrific slump, being recalled to the Yankees on August 24th after tearing up the AAA league for the Yankees Kansas City club. As previously mentioned, Mantle's inaugural #6 uniform would be exchanged for #7 upon his return, justifying why original Type 1 images of "The Mick" donning a #6 jersey are few and far between, especially ones that pre-date opening day 1951. One of the earliest known photos of Mantle donning a Yankees uniform, its "one of a kind" status, undisputable pre-MLB debut standing with "The Mick" donning his #6 jersey, and the "Commerce Comet's" incomparable stature as baseball's sheer embodiment of a National-hero all combine to place this museum worthy masterpiece as a bona fide world-class memento!
MIN BID $1,000