1961 Mickey Mantle Roger Maris Signed Baseball, "9/8/61" Mantles 52nd HR. PSA
Mantle Slams his 52nd Homerun. September 8, 1961
Rare Vintage Duo-Signed Mantle-Maris
Dated September 8, 1961 and carefully autographed by the most dynamic pair of sluggers since Ruth and Gehrig, we present this historical piece of memorabilia. Serious Yankee collectors search for these important baseballs. Squirreled away for sometime by a prominent collector, this rare orb is new to the hobby, sporting wonderfully scribed, and fully legible autographs of the M&M Boys in vintage blue ballpoint ink. Most importantly, these Yankee legends placed their "John Hancocks" on this official American League ball (Joe Cronin, pres.) the very same day the Mick hit his 52nd home run that historic season (Sept. 8,1961). That especially fueled our interest when we heard about it and we made sure to pursue it. It's that important and historic to the hobby.
A zealous fan with an eye for the future placed the date on an opposite panel that very same day. The ball is in pristine, unused condition so we must assume the recipient had access to the Yankee locker room… oh we'd love to know the backstory to this one. As noted, these vintage-1960's autographed baseballs by the duo are extremely rare and certainly coveted by all collectors. We've owned a scant few, have seen a handful of others, and this one by far is the nicest example we have encountered. The fact that this one can be attributed to an important Mantle home run makes it even more outstanding.
The ball itself is in mint condition, free of any detracting marks whatsoever, and sports that lovely cream patina we love to see. Indeed, it looks as if it was just removed from its original Spalding box. The autographs are equally impressive, Mantle in his customary place on the sweet spot and Maris in his typical position on a panel. In short, it has "great eye appeal".
There is no doubt these two icons autographed the ball contemporaneously with the event. Mantle's signature, for example, matches that of his 1961 style; experts and fellow dealers agree it is fully consistent with proven exemplars from legal documents and known bona fide examples on team balls, as well as his 1961 Yankee contract. The ball's markings and stamping are fully consistent with the Reach Company specifications, in particular Joe Cronin as president of the league (prior to this style, William Harridge was president). To be clear, this is not a duo-signed ball of the later Lee MacPhail issues of the 1980's, which are more abundant and regularly seen in the marketplace. As mentioned, vintage-signed examples are extremely rare - this one being as fine as an example that exists.
To say Mantle and Maris were the toast of New York City would be less than generous. Both hit home runs almost daily for the Yankees, each sometimes matching the other in the same game several times as the pressure mounted to break the most important record in baseball history. In the end, Mickey suffered a leg infection and spent virtually the last two weeks of the season in the hospital. He ended the year with 54 round trippers (No. 54 coming on Sept. 23 ). On Oct. 1, Roger Maris hit home run No. 61 at Yankee Stadium off Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard, breaking the Babe's 34-year old record of 60 home runs in a single season.
A wonderful collectible from their race down the stretch of that memorable season. It was a friendly, amicable competition, though much of the media at the time tried to make more of it. In fact, they were great friends and even shared an apartment together (in Queens, New York) during that summer. Regardless, one can only speculate what Mick's final home run tally could have been had he not dropped out of the race in late September.
A wonderful collectible from their competition down the stretch and significant to the hobby. Like the baseball card market, sports memorabilia prices have been escalating rapidly in the last year. We think this ball - because of its historic significance, uniqueness, and of course quality, is undervalued and should escalate in value as years go on. It's that important, certainly more so if you love the Yankees. In our opinion you can never go wrong collecting high quality Yankee memorabilia, especially Mantle and Maris items... Ruth and Gehrig are good too!!
Comes with the all-important Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA