A newly discovered original copy of one of the most iconic photos in baseball history leads off RMY Auctions’ newly launched December Collectors Auction.
The 7×9 photo of Joe DiMaggio in his last season with the Yankees and Mickey Mantle in his first is familiar to baseball fans, having been reproduced countless times. Until recently, only one original copy had been known to exist.
Recently uncovered in a newspaper archive, the 7×9” photo would double that number. Recently authenticated and given Type I status by PSA, the photo shows DiMaggio and Mantle posing with bats on April 15, 1951 prior to an exhibition game with the Brooklyn Dodgers. DiMaggio was the Yankees’ past while the young Mantle clearly represented the future, a fact that became more clear as time went on.
The photo carries the International News stamp on the bank along with a handwritten filing date from early in the 1952 season, confirming it would have been taken during the 1951 season, which was DiMaggio’s final year. RMY calls it “one of the most important photographs we have ever offered.”
The photo has had some restoration work done to flatten some creases and the image has been flattened. It has some light crazing and a staple hole. The background has been blackened as part of a photo editor’s work decades ago.
It’s one of 500 historic sports, news and entertainment photos in the auction, which is set to close December 26.