The most dramatic home run in Yankees history
1976 Chris Chambliss New York Yankees Pennant-Winning Walk-Off
Home Run Game Worn Jersey.
"My first thought was that I hit a home run. Then I realized it was the ninth inning, the game was over and we'd won the championship. Then I thought, 'Oh no, the people are on the field.' I was in the middle of a mass of people and when I fell to the ground, it was scary."
The All-Star first baseman had just clubbed the most dramatic walk-off home run in New York Yankees history, capturing an American League flag absent from the Bronx for a dozen seasons, and he found himself fighting for his life in a tsunami of spectators. The moment his towering blast settled into the right center field seats, a phalanx of dark-uniformed New York cops burst through a door in the padded outfield wall, but it was too late. Chambliss was approaching third as the wave of jubilant fans overtook him, once knocking him to the ground as policemen tried in vain to protect the 1971 Rookie of the Year. Chambliss was left to bulldoze his way to the dugout and safety of the subterranean concourse, his batting helmet secured against his chest to thwart souvenir hunters, in imitation of a running back toting the pigskin. Only later, his pinstripes traded for a dark coat, was Chambliss surreptitiously escorted back to the field to touch home plate, but it had been stolen in the pandemonium. He simply stepped upon the dirt where it had been.
Thankfully the science of crowd control has long since been perfected at Major League ballparks, but the chaotic scene that followed Chambliss' first pitch solo shot to win the deciding fifth game (ALCS was best of five in 1976) against the imposing Kansas City Royals has served to immortalize the moment almost as much as the homer itself. Though the Yanks would fall in a Big Red Machine sweep in the subsequent World Series, Chambliss' heroics (like Bobby Thomson's a quarter century earlier) remain undiminished. The footage is a prime feature in the films of iconic franchise moments played pre-game and during rain delays at Yankee Stadium.
Presented is the pinstriped jersey worn by the author of the Yankees' most famous walk-off homer as he accomplished the feat, a flawlessly provenanced artifact supported by a slew of photo matches to the film footage from that October 14, 1976 contest. Like most Major League gamers from the era, the jersey was sent down to the minors for secondary usage at the close of the season, but a stroke of luck leaves it in 100% original and unaltered condition, as the delivery to the Oneonta Yankees in upstate New York rendered the logo "NY" on the chest still valid.
Chambliss' number "10" on verso is likewise the same worn in the Bronx that historic evening, with the "0" a bit loose on the left edge but solid and complete. The original embroidered "Chamblis" (misspelled) remains on a white swatch at interior collar, and a similar "76 2" swatch underscores the "Wilson [size] 46" label at lower left exterior tail. Heavy wear is evident, with some fading of the navy tackle twill identifiers, but the jersey presents very well and loses not an ounce of its enormous historical intrigue.
We invite interested bidders to visit our online listing at www.HA.com/Sports to view the extensive photo matches of the jersey. Like zebras and snowflakes, no two New York Yankees jerseys are the same, the various intersections of pinstripes at seams and identifiers creating a unique fingerprint that allows definitive attribution here to Chambliss' pennant-winning blast. LOA from Heritage Auctions.
1976 Chris Chambliss New York Yankees Pennant-Winning Walk-Off Home Run Game Worn Jersey.
*A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.
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