He would make signing autographs his later life career, earning thousands of dollars for a few hours of signing his name and hobnobbing with fans, but as a young player with the New York Yankees, signing a baseball was just a nice thing to do.
The Photo of the Day from RMY Auctions is a rare vertical image of Mickey Mantle, perhaps no more than 21 years old, posing with pen and baseball in hand. The circa 1953 image is one of more than 400 items up for bid this week. Originating in a newspaper archive, it measures 4 1/” x 9”. Photos showing Mantle signing autographs in his first two full seasons are fairly rare and the photo is coming to market for the first time. It’s one of a dozen different Mantle photos among the 400+ lots in the online catalog.
Limited to just 127 games that season, Mantle still managed to belt 21 homers and drive in 92 runs while batting .295. With Joe DiMaggio retired, Mantle was blossoming into the star who would dominate New York baseball headlines for nearly two full decades.
For bidding information and to see the entire auction, visit RMY’s website. Bidding continues through Saturday.