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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/2/2013

Presented is most likely the last New York Yankee home baseball jersey ever worn by Jim "Catfish" Hunter. Hunter was the premiere free agent during the mid-1970s, eventually signing a five-year contract with the Yankees before the 1975 season. He helped the Yankees to win two World Series titles in 1977 and 1978, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987.This jersey was worn during the second half of the 1979 season. This is known from the black armband on the left sleeve, worn in honor of Yankee teammate Thurman Munson, who died in a plane crash on August 2, 1979. The button down Yankee home pinstripe jersey has the interlocking "NY" on the left chest, with a white strip tag in the collar stitched with "Hunter 79 2", indicating year and set number. Below the Yankee insignia is a tremendously large blue sharpie "Jim 'Catfish' Hunter" signature. On the lower front is the "Wilson 46" manufacturers size tag. This tag is consistent with similar Wilson tags of that era. The reverse has Hunter's number "29" on the back. The 1979 season was Catfish Hunter's last season pitching in the major leagues, and the Yankees held Catfish Hunter Day on September 16, 1979. There are plenty of photos depicting Hunter wearing a jersey exactly the same as this one, but the MEARS authenticators could not pin down if this is the exact jersey. Hunter would never again pitch in Yankees Stadium after his day, and considering the long odds the Yankees would have another jersey made for Hunter for this particularly important day when he was never going to pitch there again, it is extremely likely this jersey WAS worn by Hunter for his Appreciation Day. And as we mentioned, the photo matching appears to be the same jersey. There are also photos available which show Hunter pitching in Yankee Stadium two days after the death of Munson, wearing this type jersey. The Yankees finished at home that season, winning their last eight games to finish strong, but still with the team and facing retirement, Hunter has already pitched his last game for the team. This jersey is graded by MEARS as a 9.5, with only a small area of mild staining on the front placket. This jersey shows signs of light to moderate use and wear, consistent with the reduced number of games Hunter faced the last two months, and appears to be all original with no alterations of any kind. This is one of the more spectacular late 1970s jersey ever auctioned, one which Jim "Catfish" Hunter wore during the tumultuous time following Thurman Munson's death, and during his last game ever pitched in Yankee pinstripes. Full LOA from MEARS Graded 9.5, with a hologram on the jersey, #313266. Full LOA from PSA/DNA, cert number T05483. Multiple images and LOAs available at goldinauctions.com

NOTE: After the catalog went to print, we discovered a photograph of Hunter wearing this exact jersey on page 152 of "The Yankees" published 1995 by Taylor publishing, and have posted the color photo online. It is evident this is the same jersey and later had the Munson memorial armband added to the jersey, giving   photo evidence of Hunter's use of the jersey both before and after the passing of Thurman Munson.  In addition, it is evident that the spot staining on the front of the jersey that is mentioned by MEARS (and resulted in a 1/2 point deduction to render the jersey a '9.5' as opposed to a '10') is from tobacco dribbling onto the shirt, for which Hunter was known. All in all, perhaps the finest Yankee Hunter specimen ever to come available for public sale.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $9,390.90
Number Bids: 19
Auction closed on Saturday, November 2, 2013.
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