October 2019 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/11/2019

Every kid that dons a little-league uniform dreams of the day that they're the hero, smashing a walk off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning of a World Series Game 7 to capture the crown. For those few that actually get as far as signing a professional baseball contract, the fantasies expand to product endorsements, autograph seekers and life in the public eye. But with so few minor-leaguers actually ever making it to "the big show" it's probably a little premature to start working on that Hall of Fame speech just yet. For 18-year old Robert Mallon and his 17-year old roommate, Mickey Mantle, perhaps it didn't go quite that far, but for the two teens getting their first taste of pro ball with the class D 1949 Independence Yankees, the thought of one day continuing the legacy set forth by so many Yankees greats of the past was too much to ignore. And who can blame them? They were essentially kids, getting paid to play a game for the most storied franchise in sports history. Of course, Mantle went on to fulfill that legacy, but Mallon never got any further than the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri (K. O. M.) League. The featured ball is one of the prized possessions that Mallon retained from his fleeting baseball career; an official K. O. M. (E. L. Dale) baseball "signed" by roommates Bob Mallon and "Mick" Mantle. We use the term loosely since the penning of Mantle is not the traditional script format of a signature, but is verified to be signed by the future "Commerce Comet." According to the Mallon family, who have consigned the ball, it was shortly after the two teens joined the Yankees organization and became roommates that Mantle suggested they should start practicing their autograph, anticipating that the two future legends would one day be routinely mobbed by New York fanatics, with a Mickey Mantle (and Bob Mallon) signature supplanting Babe Ruth as the most coveted autographs in Yankees history. OK, it turns out Mantle wasn't that far off, but the delivery of his signature definitely needed improvement. Mantle grabbed a league ball, wrote his name on it and tossed it to Mallon, saying, "This is how I'm gonna sign it, Bob, how about you?" to which Mallon responded with a more traditional autograph. Mantle and Mallon make their mark on the panel above the league stamp in what is likely the very first baseball that Mickey Mantle penned as a professional. For Mantle collectors, there is nothing that compares to this world-class orb since the signing looks nothing like any other known exemplars yet is unmistakably delivered in the hand of Mickey Mantle, who was just weeks past graduating high school. A truly remarkable baseball artifact with the utmost historical significance! Full LOA from PSA/DNA as well as James Spence Authentication (JSA).

VIDEO: Kevin Keating PSA Authenticator Discussing Early Mantle Collection

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $20,964.00
Number Bids:11
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