The Holiday Season is looking better and better for devout Mickey Mantle fans. American Memorabilia, the Las Vegas Sports Auction House, will be offering a number of the most unique Mickey Mantle signed baseballs. Each of these Official American League spheres will be a featured lot in their December 8th "Holiday Gift Auction." PSA/DNA have already authenticated each baseball and due to the atypical inscriptions penned by Mantle, an event such as this is highly unlikely to be repeated.
The popularity of Mickey Mantle never seems to wane. It was the "Mantle craze" that helped fuel the hobby in the 1980's when baseball card collecting started to reach its peak. When memorabilia began to make strides later on, the main man in the hobby was again Mantle. People never seem to tire of the Mick or items signed by the Triple Crown winner.
American Memorabilia will conduct its 6th Annual Holiday Gift Auction which is highlighted by some of the toughest Mantle inscriptions ever offered. The auction ends December 9 and will showcase baseballs with ultra tough inscriptions such as "Happy Thanksgiving", "Happy Easter", "Happy Birthday", "Merry Christmas", "Happy Hanukah", "Happy Halloween", "Mickey Charles Mantle", "Happy Valentine's Day" and "Happy New Years". All of the autographs have been authenticated by PSA/DNA, the hobby's foremost authenticator of signatures.
While Mantle signed items on a regular basis, the featured balls are a true rarity in the collecting hobby and are almost never offered. According to hobby sources, Mantle signed these particular baseballs during a private signing held between 1990-92 in Atlanta. The appearance was conducted by Michael Stoner, Greer Johnson's attorney. Greer Johnson is largely responsible for getting Mantle on the autograph circuit and was his signing agent. After beginning to work with Johnson, the premium for Mantle's signature began to take off and eventually reached the unprecedented levels they are today.
Although Mantle signed many items, the idea of having him scribe holidays onto a baseball was a very novice idea and was done only once or twice in his life. Among the featured balls the "Happy Valentine's Day", "Happy Halloween", "Happy Thanksgiving" and "Happy Easter" are by far the toughest to locate. Research has revealed that there are less than a handful of those inscribed balls although all are one-of-a-kind items.
Getting unique Mantle signed items is nothing new for American Memorabilia. Many of the same prices were part of the October/December 2004 auction which netted some pretty impressive prices. Realized prices for some of the rare Mantle inscribed balls were: "Happy Hanukah" ($3,256), "Happy Halloween" ($1,381), "Happy Thanksgiving" ($2,691), "Best Wishes" ($590), "Happy New Years" ($3,450) and Mickey "Charles" Mantle ($2,019). While these realized prices set a new standard for the Mantle signature these should reset the records.
The following are descriptions of the unique baseballs provided by AMI:
Mickey Mantle Single-Signed, Inscribed Ball "Merry Christmas". Imagine finding this little ball under your tree on Christmas morning. Nothing will make the heart of a Mickey Mantle pump faster than the offered OAL (Brown) ball signed by Mantle with the rare inscription "Merry Christmas" on one side panel. The signature rates ("9") and is brilliantly executed by the Mick. One small orange mark appears above the Rawlings but it isn't anywhere near the signature. Mantle inscribed balls are fetching all time high prices and this one will definitely rate high on collector's wish lists. Bring a little holiday cheer with this beauty.
Mickey Mantle Single-Signed Ball "Happy Valentine's Day". Most people give chocolate, flowers or in some cases diamonds for Valentine's Day gifts. Imagine the shock on your significant other's face upon opening up this one on Valentine's Day. Cupid himself would be envious of the offered "Happy Valentine's Day" signed OAL (Brown) ball penned by Mickey Mantle on a side panel. The signature rates a solid ("9") and is applied in blue ballpoint. This ball, along with the "Happy Halloween", "Happy Easter" and "Happy Thanksgiving" are the hardest to find. Less than a handful of these baseballs are known to exist.
"Mickey Charles Mantle" Single-Signed Ball. Mickey Mantle wasn't known to sign many items in green ballpoint. The majority of the baseballs penned by the Mick are scribed in blue or even black ballpoint. The offered rare variation "Mickey Charles Mantle" OAL (Brown) ball is signed brilliantly in green ballpoint on the sweet spot. The signature is flawless ("10") and there are a few tone spots but they don't really detract from the fine signature.
Mickey Mantle Single-Signed Ball "Happy Easter". Mickey Mantle wasn't known to sign many items in green ballpoint. The majority of the baseballs penned by the Mick are scribed in blue or even black ballpoint. The offered rare variation "Mickey Charles Mantle" OAL (Brown) ball is signed brilliantly in green ballpoint on the sweet spot. The signature is flawless ("10") and there are a few tone spots on the sphere but they don't really detract from the fine signature.
Mickey Mantle Single-Signed Ball "Happy Halloween". Number Seven wishes you and yours a happy Trick or Treat from the sweet spot of this snow-white OAL Bobby Brown ball. This is literally the first time we've seen a "Happy Halloween" inscription on any Mantle piece, and considering the fact we're the purveyor of unique and rare Mantle signature variations and signed memorabilia, that's really saying something. The unique inscription shares space with a perfect Mickey Mantle autograph penned in beautiful sky-blue ink. Ball, inscription, and signature are MINT and rate ("9").
Mickey Mantle Single-Signed Ball "Happy New Years". Mix in a little bubbly, dancing with a Mickey Mantle signed ball. While not many will equate New Years cheer with Mickey Mantle, the Mick offers his most sincere holiday wishes on the ultra-rare inscription "Happy New Year". The game's top drawing ticket neatly scribed "Happy New Year" above his name in blue ballpoint on the sweet spot of the offered OAL (Brown) ball. This could be considered the king of the Mantle signed holiday balls. In our December auction the "Happy New Year" inscribed ball sold for $3,450, the highest of any Mantle inscribed holiday balls. The signature rates a solid ("9") and the ball is remarkable condition. Help ring in the New Year with this on top of your mantle.
Mickey Mantle Single-Signed Ball "Happy Thanksgiving". No doubt the Mickey Mantle fan who wins this prize will have a great Thanksgiving. Heck, every holiday will be brightened after receiving this ball. The offered OAL (Brown) ball features a perfect Mantle signature with the ultra-rare "Happy Thanksgiving" inscription on the sweet spot in blue ballpoint. Not only is the signature spotless but the OAL (Brown) ball is in fine condition as well. Sit down with the family for a big Thanksgiving meal and gaze at this rarity.
Mantle Mantle Single-Signed Ball "Best Wishes". While "Best Wishes" may not seem like a unique inscription, Mickey Mantle very rarely penned that on a baseball. Offered is a flawless OAL (Brown) ball with the rare inscription "Best Wishes" carefully constructed by Mantle on the sweet spot in blue ballpoint. Easily one of the best inscribed balls we have seen in some time.
Mickey Mantle Single-Signed Ball "Happy Hanukah". We offered a Mickey Mantle signed "Happy Hanukah" in the November 2004 auction and it fetched $3,256, the second-highest prize realized for one of our Mantle "holiday" balls. The offered snow white OAL (Brown) ball showcases a gorgeous ("9") "Happy Hanukah" salutation from Mickey on the sweet spot. The signature covers the entire sweet spot and glistens. This is definitely a true find that will make the holiday season grand for one lucky bidder.
American Memorabilia has recently acquired a number of vintage game-worn jackets will be featured in its Holiday Auction. The bidding ends December 9 and a wide variety of sports and entertainment memorabilia will be showcased. Three vintage game-worn jackets will spruce up the auction and be among the top items.
Sandy Koufax's jacket from his playing days with the Dodgers is the top of the three offered jackets. The jacket has been inspected by equipment expert Lou Lampson and also featured "23" sewn onto the Dodger blue jacket in single-color white. The second stunner is a Colt .45 navy blue jacket from the team's days in Houston. Gil Hodges coaching jacket the late '60's to early 70's completes the trio of unique jackets. The legendary Dodger and fabled Mets coach's "14" is written into the collar tagging in black felt tip on the vintage Mets jacket. All three jackets show great use and could have been worn for more than one season.
Once again, jerseys will be abundant in the Holiday Auction. A number of road 49ers jerseys with the likes of Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig, Steve Young and Randy Cross will be auctioned as will plenty of 1980's jerseys. Everything from the wild and colorful San Diego Padres jerseys to the ever popular look of the Dodgers, there is something for virtually any collector. Every signature comes authenticated by PSA/DNA and equipment items have been looked at by expert Lou Lampson.
American Memorabilia is looking for your items to fill our catalog for the next auction. Call 1-800-430-0667 with any consignment questions regarding any of your sports and entertainment memorabilia.