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1959 Mickey Mantle Signed Yankees "Good Behavior" Contract Addendum
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $3,525.00
One-page contract addendum, dated February 27, 1959, between Mickey Mantle and the New York Yankees, signed by Mantle and Yankees General Manager George Weiss. Of extraordinary historical significance to Mantle's career, this addendum addresses the team’s concerns regarding Mantle’s behavior off the field and represents, in essence, a proactive fine against their star player. It reads in full: "Agreement between New York Yankees and Mickey C. Mantle, Player under contract to the New York Yankees: It is agreed that the sum of Ten Thousand ($10,000) Dollars will be withheld from my 1959 salary to be paid at the end of the season if in the judgment of the New York Club I have lived up to all the rules and conditions set forth by the Club.” It is signed in blue felt tip pen by Mickey Mantle and in blue ink George Weiss. Both signatures grade “10.” While it was not widely reported by the press at the time, Mantle’s off-the-field behavior contrasted greatly with his wholesome “country boy” image promoted by the club. Mantle, along with teammates Billy Martin and Whitey Ford, made a habit of staying out late and enjoying the nightlife that New York and the other major cities offered. Mantle’s nocturnal escapades soon became legendary and Ford later commented, “Everybody who roomed with Mickey said he took five years off their career.” Mantle’s penchant for heavy drinking and carousing was probably related to the early death of his father at the age of forty-six. Mantle believed that his life too would be brief and he intended to enjoy every second. Years later he lamented the squandering of his youth, “If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.” The late-night antics hit a low point in 1957 when Mantle, Ford, and Martin became involved in a highly publicized brawl at the famed Copa Cabana nightclub in New York City. After that incident the Yankees, in an effort to shield Mantle from any further trouble, traded Martin and placed Mantle under a tighter leash. This extraordinary contract addendum is evidence of the Yankees' great efforts to contain the behavior of their greatest star, Mickey Mantle, for his own good and for the good of the club, in a tradition that dates back to the Yankees' similar battles decades earlier with Babe Ruth. The contract addendum (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal fold lines and is in Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $3,525.00
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