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1913 Earl Yingling Game Worn Brooklyn Superbas/Dodgers Home Jersey....

2013 May 2 - 4 Vintage Sports Collectible Signature Auction - Dallas #7075

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Auction Ended On: May 3, 2013
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

1913 Earl Yingling Game Worn Brooklyn Superbas/Dodgers Home Jersey. In the history of twenty-first century sports collectibles auctions, the offerings of authentic Major League game worn jerseys that pre-date the presented example could be counted on Mordecai Brown's pitching hand. Dead Ball Era uniforms just simply don't exist anymore, so one could imagine the skepticism we felt when a polite gentleman telephoned to inform us that he was in possession of not one, but two gamers from an early Brooklyn Dodger.

An email with digital photographs quickly turned our skepticism to giddiness, however, as the images served to validate the outrageous claim. For exactly one hundred years, this home white jersey, and the road grey that follows this lot, have been carefully preserved in the family of Earl Hershey Yingling, a southpaw pitcher that supplied two of his five seasons of Big League service to the Brooklyn cause. It would appear that, upon his transfer to the Cincinnati Reds for the 1914 campaign, Yingling simply bundled up his jerseys and took them home, where they apparently were left to languish in a chest filled with mothballs. The result is two of the finest pre-1920 Major League jerseys ever to surface in the collecting hobby.

Here we present the home white example, which we believe (based on the pinstriping pattern) to be the very jersey Yingling is wearing on the 1913 Brooklyn Dodgers Fatima card. Yingling sits cross-legged in the front row, third from right. Nearby are future Hall of Famers Casey Stengel and Zack Wheat who, along with Yingling, christened the infant Ebbets Field grounds while wearing this uniform style.

The jersey is constructed of a sturdy grade of flannel not far removed from burlap in texture, a cloth that must have been pure misery in the dog days of Summer. Button holes on the deep blue sleeve cuffs indicate that the jersey was convertible to a longer-sleeved format, though those extensions are not here. Similar deep blue fabric runs the length of the button path and forms a cadet collar at top. Faded but still present and unaltered is the diamond "B" on the sleeve in pale blue felt, the only team identifier on the weighty garment. Attribution to Yingling appears in the form of a red embroidered name at interior collar, directly below a period "Spalding" manufacturer's label.

Some scattered moth holes appear throughout, but none larger than the head of a pin, thus only apparent upon the closest of examination. A couple very small stains are likewise innocuous. Our catalog imagery should indicate that the aesthetics remain spectacular, truly a dream piece for the advanced baseball uniform collector. Also here is a pair of pants that belonged to Yingling and matches the style of the jersey, but bears a different manufacturer's label and thus is believed to derive from a different (likely minor league) uniform. Consigned by the granddaughter of Earl Yingling. Letter of provenance from granddaughter of Earl Yingling. LOA from MEARS, A9.5. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

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