Welcome to Lelands - Sports Memorabilia and Card Auctions

Lot # 1: 1972 Mickey Mantle Signed and Handwritten "Lewd" Yankees Questionnaire - The Most Famous Mantle Document in the Hobby (PSA)

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 78 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Fall Classic 2022",
which ran from 11/20/2022 7:00 PM to
12/10/2022 10:00 PM

Addendum:  Subsequent to the catalog publication, we were contacted by former New York Yankees executive Marty Appel, who has first-hand knowledge of this letter, which he kindly shared with us: 

"I was the Yankees Assistant PR Director then, with Bob Fishel my boss.  We wrote to many ex-Yankees for a 1973 50th anniversary Yearbook feature on 'greatest memory.'  That is my handwriting on 'Dear Mickey' and 'Bob Fishel.'  Mick's response is indeed his, in his handwriting, but it was meant to shock the very straight-laced Bob Fishel on whom he was always playing practical jokes. The item is authentic, 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."  - Marty Appel.

Mickey Mantle's talents on the baseball field are well documented. Much less known, however, are his literary skills, particularly when it comes to off-color narrative prose. Offered here is his greatest contribution to that genre, his magnus opus if you will. This is the most famous, or perhaps we should say infamous, Mantle handwritten document in the hobby, although saying "in the hobby" is somewhat of a misnomer because this is the first time it has ever been made available for sale, publicly or privately. It has, however, been viewed by many collectors because copies of it exist and have been posted (and then reposted) online and through various social media platforms. That familiarity has led to its now iconic status but, like the Mona Lisa, or any other great work of art, there is only one original, and this is it.

Mantle's muse for this particular literary endeavor was longtime New York Yankees public relations director Bob Fishel. In December 1972, Fishel sent out a questionnaire to former New York Yankees players asking them to share their outstanding event at Yankee Stadium. As he noted in his cover letter, the upcoming 1973 season marked the 50th anniversary of Yankee Stadium, and the team planned a season-long "Golden Anniversary" celebration, culminating in a special ceremony on Old Timers Day. The responses given by the players would be featured in a 1973 50th Anniversary Yearbook. Mantle, of course, was sent his respective questionnaire and he dutifully filled it out and returned it in the prepaid envelope provided. 

When Fishel opened the envelope, which Mantle marked "Personal - Bob Fishel" in pencil on the front,  and read Mantle's response, we can only imagine his reaction. Knowing Mantle as he did, maybe Fishel would have been more surprised if he received anything different. The first question asked each player to list what they considered their outstanding experience at Yankee Stadium. The second question asked them where or when the event occurred and instructed each respondent to "give as much detail as possible." Mantle did not disappoint in that regard. To the first question, Mantle wrote "I got a blow job under the right field bleachers by the Yankee Bull Pen." He followed that up by providing the specifics: "It was about the third or fourth inning. I had a pulled groin and couldn't fuck at the time. She was a very nice girl and asked me what to do with the cum after I came in her mouth. I said don't ask me, I'm no cock-sucker." It is signed "Mickey Mantle - The All-American Boy." Both Mantle's signature and handwritten text have been rendered in blue ink and grade 9/10. 

This letter was probably the talk of the Yankees front office for days after it arrived and we can probably thank all the employees who made photo copies of it at the time for the many images now circulating on the internet (we must note that all the images on the web represent copies of this document; none were made from the original offered here). Both the questionnaire and cover letter (8.5x11") display two horizontal mailing folds, a few small edge tears at the fold lines, and a paperclip impression near the top border. They are accompanied by the original return mailing envelope (8.75x4"; large tear along the top). Both the cover letter and envelope are dated/postmarked December 14, 1972." Full LOA from PSA.

Views: 26712