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1951 Mickey Mantle Joplin Minor League Award
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $4,312.50
This extraordinary and very early Mantle award originates from the Mantle family collection. It was sold in the famous Mickey Mantle auction of 2003, and has been consigned to this sale directly from the original purchaser. This was the earliest baseball award in the sale. Mickey Mantle made it a point to save this award for 45 years, from the day he received it as a minor leaguer in 1951, until his passing in 1995. There is no doubt that this early, and for a minor leaguer, very prestigious award, had great personal meaning to Mantle. The "Tulsa Chapter Old Timers Baseball Association of Oklahoma" presented this award to Mickey Mantle on February 7, 1951. The wood plaque (12.5 x 8.5 inches) has two metal plates at the top, which read "First Annual, Oklahoma Old Timers Minor League Award, Presented To, Mickey Mantle, Joplin Miners - Western Assn., Oklahoma's Outstanding Minor Leaguer of 1950" and "By, Tulsa Chapter, Old Timers Baseball Association of Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 1951." Below the metal plates is a silver-plated figural baseball player mounted on a small shelf at the front of the plaque. The figural player is not original to the award. The original has been lost, and this has been added as a replacement. The award is in Excellent condition. This is one of the last awards Mantle received as a minor league player. It was in February 1951 that the Yankees assembled a camp of some 25 rookies for an instructional school in Phoenix, Ariz. Mantle's impressive showing quickly became the focus of manager Casey Stengel's attention. Later that year he joined the Yankees at spring training, embarking on his glorious Major League career. Accompanied with a COA signed by the Mantle family, and a non-vintage photograph of Mantle in his Joplin uniform. A unique and significant award from Mickey Mantle's personal collection. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $4,312.50
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