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

Robert Mallon was an 18-year old relief pitcher for the class D 1949 Independence Yankees whose major-league baseball dreams ended before his 20th birthday. And while Mallon's story is no different than thousands of other aspiring ballplayers whose visions of superstardom fizzle out as quickly as they began, Mallon did make a significant contribution to the game, just not on the field. Noteworthy moments in history are often insignificant in real-time but become landmarks of the past as the future unfolds. In the curious case of Robert Mallon, his participation in history involves the teammate that slept in the bed a few feet away, a 17-year old kid named Mickey Mantle. When Mantle was signed to his first professional contract, the Yankees had high hopes that he could one day take his place among the greats that helped create the decades-long Yankees dynasty; namely Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio. And Mantle expected it as well. On July 19th, 1949 just a few weeks after Mickey Mantle hit his first home run as a professional baseball player, roommate Robert Mallon won his first game as a professional and was given the game ball by Manager Harry Craft. Admiring his first prize as a pro, roommate Mantle summoned Mallon to give him the ball, "Toss me the ball, Bob, I'm gonna sign it for you." When Mallon asked, "Why would I want you to sign my game ball?" Mantle responded, "Because one day I'm going to be a famous player and you'll be happy that I signed it." Mallon obliged, tossing the ball to "The Mick" who printed "My First Pro Win July 19, 1949, 6-3 on 7 hits" across the panel, and signed it "Mickey Mantle." Of course, the signature of Mantle bears little resemblance to the thousands of examples we're accustomed to, the looping "M" of his early Yankees days and the crescent-shaped "M" of his later years, but hey, he was 17-years old and getting his first taste of professional ball at the time. Featured is Robert Mallon's game ball from his first professional win, inscribed and signed by Mantle in what is likely to be the earliest known example of a Mickey Mantle single-signed baseball as a professional, penned years before he stepped foot onto the Yankees Stadium diamond. The ball clearly shows evidence of game-use with the areas of Mantle's writing exhibiting a light layer of protective shellac. This baseball comes directly from the family of Robert Mallon, who in retrospect probably agrees that he was happy that Mantle signed it, and has been authenticated with a full Letter of Authentication by PSA/DNA as well as James Spence Authentication (JSA). In the extensive world of Mickey Mantle memorabilia, there is simply nothing that compares to this museum-quality specimen. So magnificent in historical importance, it bears repeating; this is the earliest known single-signed example of Mickey Mantle's professional career. Wow!

VIDEO: Kevin Keating PSA Authenticator Discussing Early Mantle Collection

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $6,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $33,867.60
Number Bids:15
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