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1939 was a significant year for Major League baseball. This particular season saw the debut of Ted Williams with the Red Sox and was the last of Lou Gehrig, who retired due his diagnosis of the disease that would ultimately bear his name (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). 1939 was also the first season in which Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller won 20 games, a feat he accomplished six times in his storied career.

Feller led the American League in 1939 with 24 wins, complete games with 24, innings pitched 296.2, and strikeouts with 246. Cleveland finished with an 86-68 record, third in the American League. Even at the young age of 21, Feller was already in his fourth season with the Tribe, who debuted the righty at the age of 17 on July 19th, 1936. Presented here is a tremendous game used jersey worn by Feller during the 1939 season.

This home cream-colored flannel Indians is the epitome of a classic-style jersey. Manufactured by Spalding, this size 42 button-down jersey has a fully-restored wishbone “C” on the upper right chest, sewn on in red and navy felt. When placed on a light table, there is evidence of a faint “F” beneath the “C”, which indicates that this jersey was most likely passed down to the Fargo-Moorhead Twins of the Class D League. Red parallel piping runs around the collar and down the sides of the buttons with red and navy piping adorning the sleeve ends about an inch apart. Please note that there are loose threads on the red piping on the back collar and partially on the center chest. Two dime-sized brown stains are present on the front of the jersey below the “C”.

As was common in that era, jerseys were often used in multiple seasons. Dating this jersey to both the 1938 and 1939 seasons are the chain-stitched “38” and the “1839 1939 baseball Centennial” patch sewn on the left sleeve that was worn by all of the teams during the 1939 season. Please note that the centennial patch is an original patch from that era but is not original to this jersey. Feller’s number “19” is sewn on the back of the jersey in the original red and navy felt. Feller wore 14 during the 1938 and there does not appear to be any evidence of a “4”, which is not unusual given the heavy flannel fabric on this jersey and its use. On this inside collar is the Spalding tag with the “42” flag and “Bob Feller” embroidered in red stitching. This is a very rare early-career gamer from one of baseball’s best pitchers and it comes with a LOA from Sports Investors Authentication (190311B1) for the game use.

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