Letters from a young Mickey Mantle to his wife, one of his last home run balls and other items consigned by his family will be part of next month’s Babe Ruth Collection Auction at Yankee Stadium.
The handwritten letters were sent by the late Hall of Famer to his wife Merlyn during his first few years in professional baseball in 1950-51. In them, he details his minor league experiences, his rookie season with the Yankees, and even his excitement to have met several movie stars during a trip to Los Angeles. They’re expected to sell for $7,500 to $10,000 each.
A portion of the proceeds from the auction of Mantle memorabilia will be donated to charity.
Mantle’s sons, Danny and David released this statement about the sale of the letters and other items:
“We hope these items can give a glimpse into the personal life and career of our father. Our father believed his greatest accomplishment was to have played for the New York Yankees during his entire 18-year career, both with and against some of the most remarkable players in the history of baseball. The one thing he valued above all else, however, was how those he played with viewed him as a fellow player. Being acknowledged by those he played with as “a great teammate,” meant more to him than any of his individual achievements. This honor is listed on his monument alongside his many other achievements in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium, and stands as testimony to the legacy he left behind.
In 2002, our family was honored with the dedication shown by the Mickey Mantle School for the benefit of its disabled students. The school bearing our father’s name has grown very close to our hearts and we feel certain he would have held this school in great esteem as he cared greatly for the youth of our nation. We are extremely pleased that a portion of the auction proceeds will benefit this worthy cause.”
The Mantle memorabilia will be featured within the Babe Ruth Collection live auction to be held at Yankee Stadium on June 15. Each item will include a letter of provenance from the Mantle family.
“The inclusion of these incredible items from the Mickey Mantle Collection within this historic New York Yankees event could not be more appropriate,” stated David Hunt of President Hunt Auctions. “From 1951 until 1968 Mickey gave everything he had for the fans of the New York Yankees and now we will see those treasured items return to Yankee Stadium as part of this iconic auction.”
In one of the letters, Mantle details a trip to Hollywood, writing in part, “yesterday about nine of us went through M.G.M. + 20th Century Fox Studios. We met a whole bunch of movie stars including – Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, Jane Greer, Betty Gable, Debbie Reynolds…”
Additional Mantle items added to the auctioin include a first baseman’s mitt he used late in his career ($100,000-$200,000); his 511th home run ball ( $20,000-$30,000), a commemorative bat from his Hall of Fame induction; his 1955 American League championship ring; a 1978 Yankees World Series ring; a 1975 All-Star Game ring and a 1952 Topps Mantle baseball card graded PSA 6.
More information on the auction is available at HuntAuctions.com.