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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/20/2012

On September 19, 1968, Mickey Mantle started at first base in the Yankees 155th game of the year. He was sitting on 534 career home runs, tied for third all time with Jimmie Foxx. With only a week left in the season (and in his career), Mantle was itching to get that next home run so he could move into sole possession of third place behind only Ruth and Mays. His last home run was nearly a month earlier, on August 22, and the pressure was starting to get to him.

That day, Mantle and the Yankees were facing Tigers' ace Denny McLain, who, in his last start, had become the first pitcher since 1934 to win 30 games. In his first three at-bats, Mantle singled and walked twice, but, by the time he came up again in the 8th inning, the Yankees were losing 6-1. Up stepped Mantle for perhaps his last time at bat in Tiger Stadium as the crowd of 9,063 gave him a standing ovation.. Mickey took a called strike, fouled off two more pitches, and then signaled with his bat for Denny to put the ball belt-high, where he likes it. McLain, sensing the moment, served it up, and Mick lined the ball into the upper deck for his 535th home run. As he rounded third base Mantle gave a wink to McLain before crossing home plate to move past Jimmy Foxx into third place in the all-time homer derby, behind Babe Ruth (714) and Willie Mays (585). "Be sure to tell Denny thanks," said Mantle afterward. "Thanks for what?" asked McLain when he got the message. Then he grinned broadly and added: "I make mistakes all the time." The fact that McLain had long idolized Mantle was not lost on anyone who witnessed the event.

Mickey Mantle gave the offered jersey personally to his longtime friend Tom Catal, curator of the Mickey Mantle Museum in Cooperstown, New York. In an accompanying notarized letter Catal states that on a visit to New York Mantle presented him the jersey in a paper sack, stating that it was the very jersey he wore to hit his 535th HR (“The Gift”) off Denny McLain. Before departing, Mantle signed the jersey, “To Tom, A great friend always, The Mick.” The grey 1968 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees road flannel jersey is 100% original and unaltered, remaining exactly as it was when Mantle last wore it on that memorable day in Detroit. The condition is superb, including the “NEW YORK” lettering on front, #7 on reverse and chain stitched "Mantle" nameplate in the collar. Wilson "1968 Set 1" dual tagging is undisturbed on the front tail.

The historic milestone home run attribution, rock-solid provenance and astonishing condition makes this jersey from Mantle's final season one of the finest game used baseball treasures in the world. Video footage of Mantle describing his historic 535th career home run, as only he can, can be viewed on our website. Includes a notarized LOA from Tom Catal. Additional LOAs from MEARS (Graded A10) and full LOA from PSA/DNA (Auto.).

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $50,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $366,967
Number Bids:19
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