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1968 New York Yankees Program - Mantle's Final Home Run #536!
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $600
Remarkably rare and historic New York Yankees program from a game against the Boston Red Sox on September 20, 1968, in which Mickey Mantle hit the final home run of his legendary career. Mantle's final round tripper, his eighteenth of the season and 536th of this career, came in the bottom of the third inning with two outs and no one on base and tied the game at 1-1 (the Yankees eventually lost the game 4-3). The 26-page program, which, appropriately enough, features Mantle on the cover, has been neatly scored in black ink and dutifully records Mantle's home run in the third inning. The notation, "Yanks vs Boston Friday night September 20, 1968" is written in black ink along the base of the first page. This piece originates from Ike Kuhns, who was a longtime sports reporter for the Newark Star Ledger (New Jersey's largest newspaper). Kuhns passed away in 2012 and our consignor later purchased the program at auction during the sale of Kuhns' estate. One can only assume that it was Kuhns who scored the program while covering the game. This is only the second example of this program we have seen at auction and the first we have ever offered. Obviously, its rarity is in part due to the fact that no one present at the game had any idea that Mantle's home run that night would be the last of his career. The Yankees had eight games remaining and Mantle was still a regular in the lineup. In addition, the attendance at this game was just 15,737. While all attendees had a ticket to get into the stadium, only a small percentage purchased (let alone saved) a program to the game. Luckily, Kuhns saved many of his old scorecards, which allowed for this gem to be rediscovered by our consignor some forty years later.
The program (7 x 10 inches) displays light wear and a few vintage newspaper clippings recording the game have been stapled onto page nine. In Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $600
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