Spring Premium Live and Catalog Auction 2018 Closing May 5
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/28/2018

1968 came to be known as “The Year of the Pitcher.” Pitchers in both leagues had received a boost, literally, when the pitcher’s mound was raised 5 inches and the strike zone enlarged in 1963. By the summer of 1968, it seemed like the era of the big home run hitter had come to an end, that is all except Hall of Famer Willie Mays. The Giants legend was 37-years-old that season and despite the rules working against him, Mays had steadily risen on the career home run chart to the spot just below Babe Ruth.

Besides the Babe, no one had hit more home runs than Mays. In a year when Carl Yastrzemski won the AL batting crown with a .301 average and Willie McCovey took the NL home run title with just 36, Mays batted a very credible .289 and added 23 homers to bring his career number to 587. To show that he had not last a step, Mays also swiped 12 bases, the most he’d amassed since 1964.

Offered is this classic San Francisco Giants Wilson home jersey that was game worn by Mays during the 1968 season. The white flannel home jersey has “GIANTS” arched across the chest in black and orange felt and the sleeve and neck openings are trimmed with orange and black. The Giants’ superstar has signed the front left chest in black marker. The lower left front tail carries a “Wilson 1968 SET 1” label above a Wilson size “42” label. Significantly, these labels were used only during the 1968 season. Further narrowing down the authenticity of the 1968 date is the absence of any player nametag in the collar, a feature that was omitted on jerseys supplied to the Giants by Wilson in 1968 and 1969. The back has Mays’ number “24” in orange and black felt. The jersey shows moderate game use with overall toning to the flannel along with some pine tar and turf staining. The piping around the neck and sleeve openings shows some fraying and there are loose threads throughout. The lettering has slightly faded from repeated laundering. The top button on the front is not present, though period photographs reveal that this was actually omitted on purpose. A 1969 Centennial patch was once sewn to the left sleeve of the jersey, and this has been professionally removed and is included with the jersey. The presence of the 1969 patch may indicate that this jersey was handed down to a Giants minor league team after Mays had retired it. A museum-worthy Mays gamer from the season he proved he was immune to “The Year of the Pitcher.” The jersey comes with a LOA from the game used experts at MEARS (315416) for the game use and has been graded a near-perfect A9.5. Included with the Mears LOA are the working notes of Dave Grob and also included with this jersey is a LOA from Dick Dobbins of San Francisco Giants Memorabilia. There is also a LOA from Steve Grad of Beckett Authentication (A89869) for the signature.

Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $25,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $92,062.50
Number Bids: 16
Auction closed on Sunday, May 6, 2018.
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