The notes written by Mickey Mantle for his final speech are being offered in an auction that opens today. Grey Flannel Auctions says it is selling the hand written notes authenticated by JSA as part of a framed display of memorabilia featuring the Hall of Fame outfielder.
A dying Mantle used the cards to deliver a poignant, nationally televised address from Baylor Hospital in Dallas on July 12, 1995. He had received a transplant for his alcohol-damaged liver five weeks earlier.
Knowing the seriousness of his condition, Mantle acknowledged his mistakes while encouraging organ donation. His notes include the words: “I said one time I didn't know how Lou Gehrig could…here at home plate knowing he was going to die and say he was the luckiest man on the face of earth now I think I know...To all my little teammates [sic] out there. Please don’t do drugs & [alcohol]. God only gave us 1 body take care of it.”
Mantle died a month after giving the speech.
The presentation includes other Mantle memorabilia and has a minimum bid of $10,000.
Another item up for sale from a Yankee who met a tragic end is Thurman Munson’s FAA Temporary Airman Certificate dated July 17, 1979 – just 16 days before the plane crash that claimed the Yankee captain’s life. The certificate has been encapsulated by PSA/DNA and is in near-mint condition. The auction reserve price is $2,500.
Wayne Gretzky’s game-used helmet worn on March 20, 1994 when he scored his 800th and 801st career goals to tie Gordie Howe’s all-time goal record is also being offered. The helmet is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Gretzky’s brother-in-law Gary Jones, who notes that Gretzky gave him the helmet at the conclusion of the 1993-94 season. The helmet has been video-matched to footage from the game.
Michael Jordan’s game-used and autographed sneakers worn in Game 3 of the 1996 NBA Finals versus the Seattle SuperSonics carry a $5,000 reserve. Jordan tallied 36 points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals to give the Bulls a 3-0 series lead, en route to securing the NBA Championship in Game 6. Jordan would go on to receive Finals MVP honors. The sneakers are accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Eric Snow, a player for the ’96 Sonics who received the shoes from Jordan in the locker room following the game.
Also among the 1,400 lots is a huge collection of New York Football Giants memorabilia including game-used jerseys from Hall of Famers Ken Strong, Roosevelt Brown, Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan; and a game-used suspension helmet worn by Y. A. Tittle. The collection also contains Ken Strong’s 1934 New York Giants World Champion trophy and a game-used and team-signed football from "The Greatest Game Ever Played," the 1958 NFL Championship between the Giants and the Baltimore Colts.
The electronic version of the catalog is available to view online at www.GreyFlannelAuctions.com.
Phone, absentee and online bids will be accepted through June 18.