1956 Mickey Mantle Original Type 1 Photo
Finest Known Composite - 4 in 1
PSA "Jumbo Slab"
The greatest switch hitter of all-time on full display in this incredibly scarce Type I Original Composite Photograph of Mickey Mantle!
Taken on May 29, 1956 before a game in which Mantle crushed a 9th inning two-run shot against the Red Sox, this is the FINEST composite photograph of Mickey Mantle -featuring the powerful switch hitter in a batting pose from both the left and right side of the plate, as well as his batting grips from each side.
Rarely are composite photos considered Type 1 because they are usually made from duplicate negatives – meaning the studio would lay out four photographs next to each other, and take one big picture of all of them. This particular exemplar is a bonafide Type 1 original (authenticated by PSA) made by cutting up four original negatives and developed as one.
The result is a 7” x 9” photograph with perfect clarity on each of the four frames, where one can see every fine detail of baseball's greatest switch hitter. The fabric and pinstripes on the Yankee jersey, the interlocking NY logo on his cap, even the pores and hair follicles on his hands are crystal clear. Furthermore, you can read the name engraved on the bat Mantle is holding! And of course, while most Hall of Fame hitters are very particular about their bats, Mickey Mantle was known to use any bat he saw. In this case, he is holding teammate Joe Collins’ bat!! (In fact, on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is Mantle’s 500th Career Homerun bat, which was Joe Pepitone’s professional model bat)
The artistic depiction of the hands and grips of athletes is credited to pioneer baseball photographer Charles Conlon. The legendary lensman's remarkable series of "hands" of deadball era stars are some of the finest works in baseball photography.
Of course, Mantle’s 1956 is one of the greatest in baseball history. His Major League leading .353 batting average, 52 home runs, and 130 runs batted in brought home his first of three American League Most Valuable Player Awards, and of course, the Triple Crown - he is the only player to win a league Triple Crown as a switch hitter. That year Mantle’s defensive prowess was also on full display. During Game 5 of the 1956 World Series—Don Larsen's perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers—Mantle kept the perfect game alive by making a running catch of a deep fly ball off the bat of Gil Hodges. Naturally, he later provided the first of both Yankee runs scored with a fourth-inning home run off Brooklyn starter Sal Maglie, who had also been pitching a perfect game up till that point. Mantle would go on to describe 1956 as his “favorite summer”.