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Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris’ iconic race to 61 home runs during the 1961 season is one of the seminal moments in baseball history, a friendly yet competitive battle between two teammates for a spot in the baseball record books. By late August of 1961, the two were still battling each other for home run supremacy, with Mantle at 48 homers and Maris at 51 by the time September came around. Unfortunately for “The Mick”, a botched flu shot hampered his pursuit of the Babe’s record, leaving Maris alone on the pedestal. Mantle crushed 54 longballs in 1961, finishing the season with 374 of his 536 career blasts.

Offered here is the very rare ball that Mantle hit for his 47th home run of the year and the 367th in his career. Mantle hit this homer on the road at Metropolitan Stadium during the Yankees battle against the Minnesota Twins on August 30th, 1961. With the Yankees leading 1-0 in the top of the seventh, Mantle led off the frame with a solo home run to deep left field of Twins lefty starter Jim Kaat into the Yankees bullpen to help the Yankees to a comfortable 4-0 victory as they marched closer to the American League pennant. This Official American League Joseph E. Cronin baseball shows excellent signs of use and was caught by Yankees' pitcher Tex Clevinger in the Yankees' bullpen and given to a fan named Lynn Townsend. It has been signed in blue pen and heavily inscribed by Yankees reliever Tex Clevenger. The inscriptions read "Best Wishes Mickey Mantle's 47th Home Run 8/30/61 Left Field BP MPLS." The ball is accompanied by a Letter of Provenance from the grandchild of Lynn Townsend, a LOA from PSA/DNA (AE05482), and a LOA from MEARS for the game use.

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