Wouldn’t it be fun to return to the days when the first home run hit in any ballpark was really no big deal? Here’s a tale about a historic home run ball belted by Mickey Mantle that wound up in the hands of a fan who just happened to be sitting in the dugout, made it’s way into a bread bag and is now in a major auction.
The ball that Mickey Mantle hit for the first home run at the Astrodome is on the auction block.
Lelands has the ball, signed by Mantle and Yankees teammates Roger Maris and Whitey Ford, in it’s December sports memorabilia auction with a minimum bid of $5,000. Current high bid as of Friday morning was $5500.
The Yankees played the Astros in an exhibition game on April 9, 1965, one year prior to the stadium’s official opening. Mantle homered and the ball bounced back onto the field where it was rolled into the dugout.
Steve Deuren, a duck hunting guide from Winnie, Texas has owned the ball since 1981, when he got it as a gift from a family friend who was in the dugout with a local sportswriter that day.
The Astros, Deuren says, weren’t interested. The ball spent part of it’s existence inside a lowly bread bag.