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Someone cut a check for a legendary piece of Mickey Mantle memorabilia: a questionnaire the retired legend filled out in 1972 about his “favorite memory” at Yankee Stadium.
Mantle’s answer had nothing to do with a World Series, a home run, or an All-Star Game. Even baseball is only tangentially related.
According to the questionnaire’s posting on Lelands Sports Memorabilia, in 1973 the Yankees PR team was trying to put together a 50th anniversary retrospective of the original Yankee Stadium. To do this, they sent out a questionnaire to former players. One of the players that got one and filled it out was Mantle.
The Yankees‘ director of public relations was a fella by the name of Bob Fishel. Working under him was Marty Appel who sent Mantle the questionnaire, and signed his boss’ name at the bottom.
Lo and behold, Mantle sent a response. What Appel definitely wasn’t expecting from the famously humble Mantle was a story about a quick sexual liaison behind the Yankee’s bullpen.
What a story.
Mantle signing it “Mickey Mantle, ‘The All-American Boy'” just makes it a must-have for any collector of NSFW baseball history.
Mantle Was Going For A Goof
That reads like a page out of Motley Crue’s The Dirt. As much as you may want to believe this was the truth it wasn’t. Just a tall tale that wordsmith Mickey Mantle cooked up to horrify straight-laced Bob Fishel.
“The item is authentic,” Appel said according to Lelands. “But the intent was bawdy humor, not depiction of a real event.
“I called Mick when I received it and said, ‘We’re going with the Barney Schultz home run in 1964’ and he laughed and said ‘Of course.’ I held the letter for decades (never showed Bob Fishel), finally gave it to Barry Halper, and from there it slipped off to others over time.”
This was the first time this iconic piece of Mantle history was up for sale. According to Lelands, copies of the document exist and have floated around the internet for years.
However, the one that just raked in $242,788.80 is a genuine artifact.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any word on who just added what amounts to a Mantle-penned Penthouse Forum letter, but however it is, they just bought themselves one hell of a conversation piece.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle