An autographed, game-worn 1955 Mickey Mantle Yankees jersey sold for $125,332 in SCP Auctions’ latest online auction. Tagged exclusively for Mantle, it features blue chain stitching on the front tail that reads, “Mantle, 55-7,” accompanied by Mantle’s signature.
“Mickey Mantle is a name that consistently generates frenzied competition at auction and this incredible jersey was no exception,” said Dan Imler, managing director of SCP Auctions. “The performance of this jersey, as well as other marquee items in the auction, proves that the market for high-end sports memorabilia and cards continues to thrive.”
A 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie card fetched $113,938. Widely considered to be one of the top 10 baseball cards of all time, the rare card of the Hall-of-Fame second baseman was left out of Goudey’s 1933 set and was made available only to collectors who requested it in writing from the company.
Rounding out the top six items sold in the auction were Wee Willie Keeler’s 1896 diary ($83,713), a Joe DiMaggio 1946-1949 game-used bat ($80,626), a Babe Ruth 1918-1921 game-used Louisville Slugger bat ($77,820) and a 1914 Providence Base Ball Club team photo featuring and signed by Ruth ($44,428).
Keeler, the originator of the phrase “Hit ‘em where they ain’t,” finished his 19-year career as a .341 lifetime hitter and entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, 16 years after his death. Keeler’s twice-signed diary provides a rare and marvelous insight into the 1896 Temple Cup Series, in which Keeler’s Baltimore Orioles swept the Cleveland Spiders. The TempleCup was a forerunner of the World Series, with the first- and second-place teams in the National League meeting in a best-of-seven championship series.
Joe DiMaggio epitomized grace on the baseball field, and the Yankee Clipper led New York to two World Series titles and captured the American League Most Valuable Player Award between 1946 and 1949. H&B factory records indicate the bat sold Thursday was specifically made for DiMaggio during that time. Known as a “label up” hitter, DiMaggio’s bat has considerable wear on the left barrel contact area, with no visible ball marks on the right or back barrel. Ruth’s game-used bat shows no evidence of restoration, remaining just as it was when the slugger last touched it. Ruth slugged a total of 163 home runs from 1918-1921, leading the league each season. His totals from 1919 (29), 1920 (54) and 1921 (59) set the major-league records at the time, and Ruth’s 1920 season was one of the greatest in baseball history.
SCP also sold a set of a 900-card set of Agulitas cards from 1924-25 for $41,435. The complete set in its original album belonged to a Cuban gentleman who obtained it in the period of issue and brought it to the United States. The set includes more than just baseball players, but it was in the original album and is considered one of the most rare pre-War issues in the hobby.
Listen as National Public Radio discussed the set and Cuban baseball with collector/historian Peter Bjarkman following the auction.