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1949 Independence Yankees Team-Signed Yearbook With 17-Year-Old "Mick Mantle" Autograph - Full PSA/DNA

Lot Number 909

Quantity: Bid Starts: 11/02/2015 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 1500.00  Bid Ends: 11/12/2015 23:30:00 
Bid Count: Overtime: 30 Minutes
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A raw and unpolished talent at 17, Oklahoma native Mickey Mantle began his professional baseball career in impressive fashion, warranting a “can’t miss” billing from Casey Stengel. While his 7 home runs and .313 batting average were precursors for his often gaudy big league statistics, Mantle’s 1949 debut with the Independence Yankees was in so many ways a miniature version of seemingly all of his years in the Bronx. As he played before a capacity of 2,200 at Riverside Stadium and helped guide his club to the K-O-M circuit title, Mantle autographed this 1949 Independence Yankees souvenir yearbook. The 6x9 16-page guide features black-and-white photos and printed player biographies. On page 9, a youthful Mantle is pictured in his shortstop position. Just above, perhaps the earliest Mantle autograph known has been rendered in graphite pencil. Signed “Mick Mantle,” the scripting projects (“7-8”) potency. While Mantle's signature in any form remains one of the most coveted in American culture, the overwhelming majority appear as "Mickey," thus elevating the status of this "Mick" scripting to a rare and appealing version rendered by a 17-year-old with his boundless future still ahead. Elsewhere, Mantle’s fellow big league aspirants have signed their likenesses in graphite pencil (average “7-8” strength). Included are: Nick Ananias, Jim Bello, Harry Craft (manager), Joe Crowder, Al Long, Bob Newbill, Lou Skizas, Keith Speck, Len Weisner and Jack Whitaker. The team photo is signed by Cotton States League contemporary and Greenville Bucks pitcher Sammy Joyce. The guide features the earmarks of a stadium-issued publication, with a vertical compacting fold and instances of pages having separated from the spine. But all elements remain and the Mantle signature is, in all likelihood, the earliest example extant! Individual full photo LOAs from PSA/DNA and JSA.  

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