1961-1963 Mickey Mantle Signed Pro-Model Team Index Bat
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $12,925
Mickey Mantle Adirondack block-letter ("Mantle Type") bat, model "288D," dating from the 1961-1963 labeling period. Graded A8 by MEARS. Signed by Mantle in blue marker (grading "8") directly below the barrel stamping. Mickey Mantle signed pro-model bats dating from his active playing career are the rare exception rather than the rule. Mantle's signature here is ideally placed and the bat displays beautifully both as a professional model Mantle bat dating from 1961 to 1963 and as a signed example. MEARS has identified this bat as a team index bat according to its strict definition of the term: "a bat ordered for general organizational use that coincides with an established or indexed player model or length." Many Major League clubs including the Yankees routinely ordered a small quantity of bats each season, normally for use by the players during spring training. The fact that this bat was ordered by the team (as opposed to being listed in the factory records as ordered by Mantle himself) in no way precludes the possibility that he used it, and, in fact, the qualities of this particular bat, including the vintage number "7" on the knob, support the strong likelihood that this bat was ordered by the Yankees for Mantle's personal use, and was, in fact, used by Mantle. MEARS concludes its two-page LOA (which can be viewed on our website) with this strongly worded summary: "this bat is consistent with documented game used Mickey Mantle bats upon examination of the totality of all the player characteristics. Strong similarities included a documented manufacture (Adirondack), an accepted model (288D), documented length (34") & weight (32.8 ounces), the presence of his uniform number 7 on knob (documented and desirable trait), player characteristics (cleat marks, rack marks, location of ball marks), and inclusion of authentic signature. In the advent of no supporting player documentation, the overall traits of this bat are consistent with both examined Mickey Mantle game-used bats and traits expected to be found on game used Mickey Mantle bats." The bat displays numerous important traits that are consistent with nearly all other game-used Mantle pro-model bats, the most important of which is Mantle's uniform number ("7") written on the knob in black marker. The bat displays moderate use throughout its entire length, including ball marks on the right, left, and back sides of the barrel (typical for Mantle pro-model bats), turquoise rack marks (consistent with the color paint used on the bat rack at Yankee Stadium during the 1960s), cleat marks near the end of the barrel (consistent with other Mantle pro-model bats), and a 2.5 inch crack in the upper handle, just below the center brand. Team Index bats traditionally sell at a discount to bats recorded as personally ordered by the player, but as can be seen here, all team-index bats are not alike. This is as good as a team-index bat can get. It is an exceptional Mantle bat, dating from his greatest era, and all the more special as it is signed. Length: 33.75 inches. Weight: 32.3 ounces. Graded A8 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 2 points for use, and 1 point for the uniform number on the knob). LOAs from Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open).
SOLD FOR $12,925