One of the most famous photographs ever taken in baseball history is a somewhat staged moment between Joe DiMaggio in his last days as a player and a young rookie destined to take his place, Mickey Mantle. Taken on April 15, 1951 during the first "game" of Mantle's career (actually a pre-season tune-up against the Brooklyn Dodgers) it captures both superstars with their bats posing for photographers and smiling. This image should look familiar to even the casual baseball fan, after all it has been reproduced at least a million times in the last sixty five years. As far as our research indicates, there was one known copy of this famous photograph stamped on the back by the International News before this fresh to the hobby specimen was uncovered in a newspaper archive. A fantastic clear original, the photo has deep tones and it presents here overall in pretty nice shape. Despite some light crazing of the surface (mostly reserved to the upper left) and a staple hole, the photo is a clean specimen that has the appearance of being in higher grade. The background has been blackened for publication and while this process could probably be removed it is our opinion that it presents the image beautifully and is part of the history of this specific example. In a way the background is almost symbolic of the past as DiMaggio takes a backseat to the hot shot youngster pictured prominently in the foreground. The photo has a correct period International News stamp on the back as well as a handwritten filing date of the first days of 1952 cementing this was an original 1951 example of this iconic image. This photograph was sent to a professional restoration expert who flattened the image and also flattened a few creases to make the image more presentable. One of the most important photographs we have ever offered and this now resides in a PSA slab, cemented as a "Type 1" specimen which is sure to excite even the most advanced collector!
Designation: Vintage 1
Overall Grade: 8.5/10