Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Mantle restaurant items on auction block
Posted Jun 19, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated Jun 19, 2012 at 11:45 AM
There are so many places to see when one visits New York, and if you are a Yankees fan, then Yankee Stadium was tops on the list. And if you were a fan during the 1950s and ‘60s, then a visit to Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant and Sports Bar was like a pilgrimage.
True, the food at the restaurant, located at 42 Central Park South, was nothing to write home about. The prices were high, but then again, show me a cheap restaurant in that part of Manhattan besides a fast-food joint. The shirts were pricey, but I bought one anyway.
It was the memorabilia and autographed photos on the wall that made the place charming. I visited the restaurant with my family in November 2005 and was amazed that a person could buy the memorabilia right off the wall. There was one large, framed autographed photo of Mantle that went for $2,500. Just a few feet away, for the same price, was a huge, framed autographed photo of Mantle with Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra. The other three Yankees had signed the photo too. I always thought that was the better deal.
But the Mantle restaurant was forced to close its doors, and when a bankruptcy court judge denied the owners’ attempts to file Chapter 11 protection, then an auction was set up.
On June 26 at 11 a.m., an auction will be held and anything not bolted down will be going, going, and then gone. There will be more than 400 lots up for bid in the auction, conducted by David R. Maltz & Co. of Plainview, N.Y. There will be no reserve; to see the items for sale, check out their website at http://www.maltzauctions.com.
Two seats from the original (pre-1976) Yankee Stadium will be one of the more coveted items. Photos and collectibles signed by Mantle, Ted Williams, Berra, Don Mattingly, Derek Jeter and current Yankees manager Joe Girardi also will be on the block. Autograph books, newspaper clippings and jerseys also will be sold.
Some bar stools with Mantle’s No. 7 number carved into the seat backs also will be sold, along with glassware and mugs. And if you run your own restaurant, there are also practical items for sale, like freezers, ranges, griddles and coffee machines.
Mantle was an original investor in the restaurant, which opened in 1988, and was a frequent visitor there until his death in 1995. The current owner, Chris Villano, told the New York Post that he had not paid rent for the restaurant in four months.
Mantle had made some bad investments during his lifetime, but this restaurant seemed to catch on. Mantle’s country fried steak recipe was his personal favorite, and it was quite good. But you can’t blame the Mick for this financial setback; this time, his business partners struck out.