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1951 Mickey Mantle Signed Burke Brace Photo
Starting Bid - $400, Sold For - $5,288
Extremely early Mickey Mantle signed photo dating from his 1951 rookie season. The photo captures Mantle in his road uniform as he poses for the camera on one knee with a bat under his arm. Signed in blue ink (grading "8/9") atop his image. Although undated, the photo does allow us to determine exactly when and where it was taken: The one-year-only American League 50th anniversary patch on Mantle's sleeve conclusively dates it to 1951; and the photographer's credit on the reverse ("Burke & Brace Photo/2638 Drake Ave./Chicago 47, Illinois") tells us that it was taken at Chicago's Comiskey Park. In addition to the photographer's credit, the name "Mantle, Mickey" is typed on the reverse, as was the custom for Burke & Brace photos. This photo was actually taken by George Brace. Burke retired in 1948 after suffering a heart attack and he passed away in 1951. Brace continued to use both their names on his photos during Burke's retirement. It was only after Burke's death that he replaced the dual stamp with one of his own. While it is impossible to know if this photo was signed precisely in 1951 (as opposed to, say, in 1952), Mantle's signature here is one of his earliest styles and most definitely dates from the early 1950s, making it especially desirable in the eyes of advanced collectors. The photo (4 x 6 inches) displays a few small areas of abrasion in the upper left corner and a small diagonal crease in the lower right corner. A few areas of slight discoloration are also visible on the front. The reverse has evidence of staining and displays paper residue resulting from the photo having once been mounted, and then removed, from an album. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $5,288
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