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    Description

    Mr. Tiger gifts his champagne-soaked flannel to a Detroit News photographer!

    1968 Al Kaline World Series Clincher Game Worn Detroit Tigers Jersey, MEARS A10. Not even the ageless Ty Cobb served more games in a Tigers uniform than this man, who retired with 2,834 appearances, twenty-eight better than his iconic Motor City counterpart. The famed felines share space both in Cooperstown and the 3,000 Hit Clubhouse, and Kaline's 399 career long balls finds him at number fifty-two on the career leaderboard. Ty Cobb may have been the greatest figure in Detroit baseball history, but it is Kaline who is remembered as "Mr. Tiger."

    Presented is one of the most important Kaline artifacts ever to enter the collecting hobby, a garment worn for the culmination of what was arguably the greatest comeback in Fall Classic history. Trailing three games to one behind the defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, the big cats rattled off three straight victories, including a Game Seven defeat of Cy Young winner and National League MVP Bob Gibson at Busch Stadium, to snatch glory from the jaws of defeat. That game stands among the most memorable in Series history, famous for Curt Flood's fatal misjudgment of a Jim Northrup blast that tripled home the deciding runs. That psychological wound is widely assigned blame for Flood's tragic downfall that followed.

    But for Kaline, the joy of what would prove to be his only World Series appearance and Championship was boundless, and in the spirit of generosity that so often accompanies such emotions, the superstar slugger presented the shirt off his back to a very familiar presence in the Tigers locker room, Detroit News photographer James "Scotty" Kilpatrick. Included with the jersey is a 1992 letter of provenance from Kilpatrick's daughter Jane, who confirms the tale of this special gift.

    The understated style seems a perfect tribute to the tough, blue collar personality of the Motor City, with navy tackle twill announcing "Detroit" in arching block letters across the chest and the long-since retired number "6" adorning right sleeve and verso. Proper "Rawlings [size] 44" label appears at interior collar, with a "Set 1 1968" flap tag anchored by a washing instructions label at lower left front tail. The experts at MEARS acknowledge solid game wear and 100% unaltered originality, assigning their highest possible rating.

    He played 2,846 games in a Detroit Tigers uniform (inclusive of postseason play) but stood atop the baseball world only a single time. This is the jersey he wore at the summit. LOA from MEARS, A10. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Letter of provenance from daughter of Detroit News photographer.






    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2015
    30th-31st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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