It appears to have seen action in two World Series and been part of one of baseball’s most famous home run chases. It’s seen heartbreak at Forbes Field and the struggles of a minor leaguer.
Thankfully, the well-worn garb survived it all and decades after it made its debut, it’s now ready to take its place as a treasured relic in someone’s collection.
Heritage Auctions is currently auctioning off the little slice of history–a Mickey Mantle game-worn jersey that has been photo matched to both the 1960 and 1961 World Series. The road flannel is a part of Heritage’s latest auction and bidding winds down on Saturday.
The jersey, which features heavy use and some damage to the chain-stitched embroidery reading “Mantle 60” in red, was estimated at $500,000 or more. The highest current bid sits at $150,000 — $180,000 with buyer’s premium.
Photos appear to indicate the jersey was draped around The Mick’s back for some very memorable moments in Major League Baseball history. RGU Photo Match Authentication matched the jersey with one Mantle wore during Game Two of the 1960 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Yankees won that game 16-2 and Mantle finished with two home runs and would go on to have 18 home runs in the series! Despite those gaudy numbers, the Yankees eventually lost to the Pirates in Game Seven thanks to a walk-off by Bill Mazeroski.
The jersey was also matched to Game Five of the 1961 World Series. Mantle sat out as the Yankees scored a championship-clinching victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the last game on Crosley Field.
Considering the fact that Mantle only had two road jerseys in 1961, it would suggest that he wore it often during that year, where he was entrenched in a home run battle with teammate Roger Maris. Mantle finished with 54 homers that year while Maris bested him with 61.
Heavily worn jerseys were often recycled and designated for Minor League use, which is what happened to this jersey. The ‘New York’ lettering on the front is a modern replacement as the original was stripped off, likely when it was sent to a Yankees farm team.