Heritage Auctions Spotlights Rare Mickey Mantle Photo Among Baseball Memorabilia Gems


In a notable auction, Heritage Auctions features a rare Mickey Mantle photo from 1951, once owned by Jack Kramer and pivotal in baseball card history, among other significant sports photographs.

Jack Kramer, celebrated for his major league career spanning from the late 1930s to the early 1950s, once preserved a collection of memorabilia that included an exceptional set of photographs. Within this collection, a unique find stood out: an envelope containing original photographs of the 1951 New York Yankees, taken by team photographer Bob Olen. This set featured baseball legends such as Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra, but most notably, a young Mickey Mantle in his rookie season. One photograph from this set, depicting Mantle poised with bat on shoulder, is particularly historic as it was used for his 1951 Bowman rookie card.

This Mantle photograph, alongside another headshot from the same series, is now a centerpiece of Heritage Auctions' Photo Legends Type 1 Showcase Auction. The full-body shot of Mantle, in pristine condition and not glued into a scrapbook, is among the rare finds expected to achieve a high six-figure sum. The headshot, also by Olen, shares a similar fate, with an expected value of at least $10,000. Both photos contribute to the lore of Mantle’s early career and are iconic images that have appeared on various baseball cards throughout the 1950s.

The auction doesn't stop with Mantle. Over a hundred other Type I photographs, authenticated by PSA and developed from their original negatives within two years of being taken, are up for bids. These images span across sports, entertainment, and historical news coverage, offering a snapshot into the lives of those who have left a lasting mark on history and culture.

Heritage Auctions, recognizing the significance of these moments captured in time, has announced plans to host Type 1 photo auctions every six weeks, providing collectors with ongoing opportunities to own a piece of history. Joe Maddalena, Executive Vice President of Heritage Auctions, emphasizes the importance of these photos, stating they offer a unique glimpse into the past, akin to stepping back in time.

With the auction concluding on April 7, collectors and enthusiasts have the opportunity to bid on these historical artifacts, each telling a story of a bygone era and the icons who shaped it.