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First Ever Home Run Ball Hit in the Houston Astrodome - Mickey Mantle the Batter

First Ever Home Run Ball Hit in the Houston Astrodome - Mickey Mantle the Batter

Billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Houston Astrodome opened on April 9, 1965, as host to an Astros/Yankees exhibition game. On that day, Daniel Bonnin of Orange County, TX was in attendance with his friends Buzzy Gunn and Fred Cervelli (sportswriter for the Orange Leader Newspaper). Press pass in hand he took a seat in the visitor's dugout where he watched the game just inches away from pinstripe legends like Mantle and Maris. In the sixth inning Mickey went to bat against Dick "Turk" Farrell and shortly after hit the first home run in the stadium's very short history. And there is where the story just begins… After clearing the fence in centerfield, the ball bounced back on to the field where it was picked up by Jimmy Wynn, he tossed it to Joe Morgan, who subsequently rolled the ball into the Yankee dugout and right into the hands of Mr. Bonnin. Thinking his luck would be short-lived and the ball taken back, he savored what few moments he thought he would have with it as he anxiously looked back and forth down the bench. To his surprise, as the ninth inning closed and it was never claimed. Still in awe of his incredible good fortune he quickly seized the opportunity and asked Mantle, Maris, and Whitey Ford, to grace the Official American League ball with their signatures. They all happily obliged in blue ball point pen, (Mantle 6/10, Maris 5/10, Ford 5/10). We proudly offer that very Official American League baseball complete with a detailed letter of authenticity from Mr. Bonnin and an additional LOA on the signatures. An exceptional piece of baseball and Texas sports history.


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