He was paid $17,500—the equivalent of over $168,000 today. Mickey Mantle was 22 years old and living a pretty good life as his Hall of Fame career began to take off. The contract he signed with the New York Yankees just prior to spring training sold late Wednesday night for more than double the dollars on that pact.
RR Auctions sold the four-page American League player’s contract for $39,237 in its Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction.
Carrying a “Mickey C. Mantle” signature, his handwritten hometown of “Commerce, Okla,” and the script of Yankees General Manager George Weiss, the contract was one of the featured attractions in the auction, which opened last month. “As one of Mantle’s early Yankees contracts from a World Series season— it’s a spectacular, museum-quality piece,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.
Mantle had moved to center field in 1952 to replace the retired Joe DiMaggio, and managed to capably fill his shoes. Mantle made his first All-Star team that season and hit .311 with 23 homers during the ’52 campaign, leading the Bronx Bombers to their fourth consecutive World Series championship. He would do the same in 1953 after signing this contract, helping to firmly establish the Yankees legacy with their fifth consecutive World Series victory, a record that still exists today.
A Lou Gehrig signed 1927 Yankees payroll check was also sold, netting $28,733.
The auction also included the second ranked 1956 Topps Master Set on PSA’s Registry, with 354 cards offered. Several cards reached five-figure prices including:
#135 Mickey Mantle – PSA MINT 9, $38,460.
#33 Roberto Clemente – PSA MINT 9, $19,338.
#30 Jackie Robinson – PSA MINT 9 $17,126.
#31 Hank Aaron – PSA MINT 9, $15,568.
#5 Ted Williams – PSA MINT 9, $15,568.
#130 Willie Mays – PSA MINT 9, $13,800.
Complete results are available on the company’s website.