When Mickey Mantle slugged his 500th career home run on May 14, 1967, he became just the sixth player in major league baseball to reach the historic milestone.
Other legends would soon follow, including Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson.
Mantle would later commemorate the achievement by acquiring a Rawlings Adirondack "Big Stick" baseball bat featuring the signatures of the 11 players, including himself, who had 500 or more home runs at the time. The bat features signatures from Mantle, Aaron, Mathews, Robinson, Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Harmon Killebrew, Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Ernie Banks.
The bat is now up for bid in the Legends & Treasures auction at Guernsey’s Auctions. The auction, which opens Sept. 21 and includes no reserves, features several other rare Mantle and baseball items. Collectors can bid at invaluable.com and liveauctioneers.com.
The bat, which has an opening bid of $7,000, is the only 500 Home Run Club bat known to have been owned by Mantle. It was originally sold in The Mickey Mantle Auction on behalf of Mantle's family conducted by Guernsey' on Dec. 8, 2003 at Madison Square Garden.
Also featured in the auction is Mantle’s 1955 American League Championship ring, which he gave to his brother, Ray, in 1956.
The 14K gold ring, which has an opening bid of $160,000, is engraved “Mickey C. Mantle” and features the Yankees logo and the inscription “American League Champions.”
Mantle batted .306 in 1955 and led the American League in home runs with 37. He was injured and had just 10 at-bats in the World Series, however, leading to the Yankees falling to the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Mantle had a tradition of giving his World Series rings to family members. The 1955 ring comes with a letter of provenance from Ray Mantle.
Other Mantle and baseball items included in the auction include:
• The original 375-page manuscript of Mantle’s 1985 autobiography “The Mick,” which was reviewed by Mantle and includes more than 100 pages of hand-written notes from him.
• 12 classic photos of Mantle and Yankee teammates Roger Maris, Whitey Ford and Billy Martin by well-known sports photographer Ozzie Sweet.
• A Special Edition hardcover Auction Catalogue from Guernsey’s 2003 Mickey Mantle Auction, signed by Mantle.
• An original portrait of Babe Ruth and his wife, Claire, drawn by artist Arlan Ettinger from an old snapshot of the couple. The original photo was owned by Mrs. Ruth, who passed away shortly after commissioning the painting, which was displayed in Yankee stadium in 1976.