A grail-level collectible worn by the Commerce Comet is up for grabs.
A jersey worn by legendary Yankees baseman Mickey Mantel during the 1958 season is up for grabs—it’s the highest-priced lot in Heritage Auctions’ current Summer Platinum Night Sports event, which is accepting bids through August 19. The Mick famously sported the pinstriped top on April 18, 1958, when he went two-for-two and scored two home runs, helping the Yankees achieve a three-to-one win over the Baltimore Orioles. Six months later, the World Champion wore the jersey when he scored a home run during the All-Star exhibition game in the Bronx on October 12.
Experts at SGC gave the jersey marks equating to Superior/Superior-Excellent, or a 9.5 out of 10 grade. But it does show signs of wear, staining, and other damage common to flannels of its age. It displays the Yankees’ signature dark navy felt “NY” logo over the left side of the chest and Mantle’s fabled number 7 on its reverse side. The athlete’s last name also remains embroidered on a swatch in the interior collar. Additional details include a “Spalding” label on the lower left front tail that reveals its size (an athletic 44), as well as a care label. The jersey is estimated to fetch over $4 million at auction.
“As the earliest all-original pinstriped Mantle jersey we know to exist, this is an artifact of paramount significance and value, one of the most important baseball jerseys ever to appear on the hobby’s auction block,” the auction house claims on its website.
The pinstriped fabric used to produce a Yankee’s home jersey provides each garment with a pattern similar to a “human fingerprint.” Every pinstripe’s intersection with a logo, number, or seam provides a data point that helps to locate photo matches of the players and their gamers. “The aforementioned match of this specimen to the 1958 Yankee Stadium home opener is just the first of many,” the house says in the lot description.
As a result, the jersey being offered will come with documentation linking it to several photos from the 1958 season and future dates. Two of them include the Mick’s appearance at Yankee Stadium’s opening day and an August 24 doubleheader vs. the Detroit Tigers. Other photos accompanying the sale show the three-time MVP sporting the gamer at the 1958 World Series, American League All-Stars vs. Willie Mays All-Stars exhibition game, and on the Home Run Derby program that was taped in December 1959.
Mantle’s coveted jersey has a current bid of $3.25 million on Heritage Auctions. You still have until Saturday, August 19 to place your bids on the lot in the Summer Platinum Night Sports Auction which also features rare collectibles from Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, and Tom Brady.