A gift to a Little Leaguer over 50 years ago, it could be a significant piece of baseball history.
A New York Yankees jersey that could be Mantle's final player-issued game-worn shirt will make its auction debut this spring.
The white pinstriped #7 jersey has been consigned by someone outside the mainstream hobby and will be sold by Heritage Galleries in April with a pre-sale estimate of over $100,000.
“This amazing jersey truly represents the find of a lifetime for collectors of top shelf baseball memorabilia,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Sports Collectibles. “Even more incredible is the fact that it sat in a private collection for more than three decades with the owner completely unaware of how important a piece it actually is.”
Consigned by a South Florida collector, who wishes to remain anonymous, the jersey found its way to the area after Mantle’s final game in pinstripes when the he participated in a youth baseball camp in spring of 1969 not far from the Yankees’ training grounds. Mantle had just announced his retirement and wore the Spalding size 44 jersey for the last time as an instructor in the camp. Mantle gave the jersey to one of the campers at the close of the clinic.
“Given the fact that the jersey saw active duty in the spring of 1969, it could be justifiably billed as Mantle's last pinstripes,” said Ivy. “It’s also equally worthy of note that this jersey has been definitively photo-matched to the one Mick wore on the cover of the Mickey Mantle Day program distributed to more than 60,000 fans at Yankee Stadium on June 8, 1969, certainly one of the most famous photos of Mantle ever shot.”
Heritage will hold its live Signature Auction April 22-23 in Dallas.