Spring Premium Live and Catalog Auction Ending May 20(1-70) and June 3
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/20/2017

     1961 is one of those magical baseball seasons, as legendary to Yankees fans as 1927 or 1996. In 1961, Mantle and Maris raced to surpass the Babe’s 60 home run record and pitcher White Ford was all but unbeatable during the regular season, going 25-4 and winning the Cy Young Award. Calling the shots was the team’s beloved veteran, Yogi Berra. A fixture behind the plate since 1947, Berra’s career thus far included 10 World Championships, more than a dozen All-Star Game appearances and three AL MVP Awards. No catcher was more respected than Yogi. Even at the age of 36, Berra hit .273 with 22 home runs during the 1961 season.

     After obliterating all AL completion that summer, the Yanks faced the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. As expected, the New Yorkers took the first game with Ford pitching a 2-hit shutout at Yankee Stadium. In Game 2, the Yankees faced the Reds ace, 21-game winner Joey Jay. Jay rendered the Yankee bats impotent the first three frames, and in the top of the 4th, the Reds scored two runs off Ralph Terry to take the lead. In their half of the 4th, home run king Roger Maris led off with a walk and that brought Yogi Berra to the plate. Yogi was appearing in his 12th World Series and the Yankees catcher had a collective post-season batting average of just under .300 and had hit 11 home runs, averaging one in every World Series. Now with the Yanks down by two and Maris on first, Berra took a Joey Jay fastball deep, depositing it in the lower right field stands. This two-run game equalizer would be Yogi final post-season home run, bringing his career total to an even dozen. This home Yankees pinstripe was worn by Yogi Berra  during the 1961 season. And while any Yogi Berra gamer makes for a very important piece of baseball history, this particular one has been photo-matched to the one Berra was wearing during Game 2 of the 1961 World Series when he hit his final post season home run. This was photo matched BOTH by MEARS and Resolution Photo Matching. Yogi Berra himseld understood the importance of his final career World Series home run, which is why he kept the jersey in his home for 54 years until his death in 2015.

     According to the extensive research carried out by MEARS, this is one of four home jerseys issued to Berra during the course of 1961. Two of these home pinstripes were manufactured by Spalding and the other pair by Rawlings. The tagging marks this is a Rawlings product and the chain stitched notation in the left front tail marks it as Berra’s “Set 2”. One of the fortunate details we have when it comes to photo-matching Yankees home jerseys is the pinstripes. These fine lines act almost as fingerprints as the pinstripes are impossible to exactly match on two garments, each meeting the seams and graphics are different angles and points. Because of this unique matching system, MEARS was able to photo-match this Rawlings “Set 2” jersey to the one worn by Yogi Berra in Game 2 of the 1961 World Series. MEARS’ extensive research is documented and included with the jersey, along with the photo references. This is an incredible piece of detective work for a museum-worthy flannel jersey. This has also been photo matched by Resolution Photo Matching to game 2 of the 1962 World Series.

     The home white flannel jersey has the famous intertwined “NY” in the left chest in navy. The Rawlings size “44” label is sewn in the lower left front tail. The label shows fraying and has come loose on several sides from age and repeated laundering, but is still attached and legible. “61 Set 2” is chain stitched below in navy. Inside the collar is a white felt strip tag with “Berra” chain stitched in navy. The catcher’s number “8” is sewn on the back in navy. MEARS has determined this number to have been restored, as the faint outline of a slightly smaller original “8” is visible when inspected on the inside of the jersey. Retired jerseys were routinely stripped of their player numbers and given issues during the following spring training or sent to minor league affiliates for use in subsequent seasons. The jersey shows moderate to heavy use. There are several light areas of perspiration staining and there is some soiling around the “NY” on the chest. The fabric has thinned in places due to surface contact and abrasions, and MEARS has opined that this was possibly due to contact with Berra’s chest protector. This is a museum-worthy jersey that has been pho-matched to the final World Series home run by the Yankees most beloved catcher. The jersey comes with a full LOA from MEARS (315299) for the game use. Loas from the Berra family and Resolution Photo Matching

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $25,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $85,750.00
Estimate: $125,000+
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
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