Delray Beach Public Library Adds Rare Mickey Mantle Watch to Baseball Memorabilia Collection

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A rare Mickey Mantle watch, signed and worn by the Yankee slugger, will now be on display at the Delray Beach Public Library thanks to a donation by local restaurant owner Fran Marincola, who has previously donated several other baseball memorabilia items to the library. “What makes this watch special is that it’s part of a limited edition and it was one of only two actually worn by Mickey Mantle,” says Marincola, founder/partner of Caffè Luna Rosa in Delray Beach. “It has his picture on the face and it’s signed by Mantle on the back.” The watch is the latest addition to the library’s baseball memorabilia collection, which includes autographed photographs, books and an original 1954 Mickey Mantle contract – all donated by Marincola. “What’s different about this collection is that it’s fun, it’s unique and it adds value to our community library,” says Delray Beach Public Library Director Alan Kornblau. “It’s an extension of what we have in the library but in a less traditional form.” “Housed on the library’s second floor not far from the top of the staircase, the collection has become a popular display, drawing visitors from throughout South Florida. “This is a big part of Americana,” Kornblau said. “It brings back good feelings and brings out the kid in all of us.” The contract, which shows that Mantle was paid $21,000 in 1954, is the crown jewel in the collection that also includes a framed replica of a couple of Life Magazine covers featuring the Yankee Hall of Fame member, as well as close to 20 autographed photos of players from years gone, such as Yogi Berra, Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn and Carl Hubbell, a left-handed screwball pitcher with the New York Giants. There is alsoanautographedphotoofDonLarsen, who pitched the sixth perfect game in baseball history in game five of the 1956 World Series. “He autographed it on the day of his perfect game,” Marincola said. The collection also includes a rare book, The New York Yankees: An Illustrated History by Donald Honig, which includes 30 signed photos of Yankees, as well as other Hall of Fame players. The bulk of the items on display, Marincola said, were sold to him at a discounted price by Delray Beach residents Jim and Jodi Murray who knew the memorabilia would be donated to the library. Marincola said he decided to donate his personal collection of Yankee and baseball memorabilia to the library because he thought it was important to share the pieces of baseball history with other people who appreciate their significance. “I figured, Why not let everyone enjoy these things?” he said.