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    Description

    Originates from the famous 1999 Barry Halper Auction!

    Circa 1945 Everett "Ziggy" Marcel Game Worn Kansas City Monarchs Negro League Uniform. Check out Ziggy Marcel's Wikipedia page online and you'll see a photo of him wearing what is almost certainly this jersey, though it appears that the shot was snapped decades after he donned the garment in competition. Marcel's biography on that page states he played basketball for the 1946 Los Angeles Red Devils with the legendary Jackie Robinson, but we suspect their partnership actually began a season earlier, as a team photo of the 1945 Kansas City Monarchs features Robinson wearing this exact jersey style. The future Brooklyn Dodger kneels third from left in that team shot. You'll see that the unusual break in the letter "A" in "Monarchs" on the subject jersey matches that team photo. We don't believe Marcel appears in that team shot, but rosters were constantly changing in the Negro Leagues. It's also highly likely that its teams utilized uniforms for multiple seasons, as cost-cutting was a constant theme.

    Negro League records are famously imperfect and incomplete, so when this jersey originally sold in the famous Barry Halper auction in 1999, the jersey was listed as "Circa 1939," surely due to available data listing Marcel as a member of that Negro American League Championship edition (a team that featured such Hall of Famers as Buck O'Neil, Hilton Smith and Turkey Stearnes). Marcel may well have been a member of that team too, although the only photo we can find of a Hall of Famer wearing this uniform style is that of Jackie Robinson's 1945 edition. Hilton Smith, a later inductee, stands second from right in that team image.

    The Halper catalog does not explain how this jersey was attributed to Marcel, but that attribution seems fully plausible given the Wikipedia page photograph. Perhaps somewhere there is a record of jersey numbers that matches the "39" applied to verso in the same yellow and blue felt that adorns the front. Matching soutache at collar, button path and sleeve cuffs shows some expected degradation, but the jersey survives impressively, with some scattered staining that may be game-related but no moth holes or other damage of the kind. Period "Gold Smith" label remains in collar.

    Matching pants are a bit rougher around the edges, with large team repairs and some unpatched holes as well, but they still complete the ensemble nicely. Some inscrutable handwritten notations appear at interior waistband, along with a size "38" flap tag. This is the first complete Negro League uniform we've ever offered, so it's just a happy coincidence that it's one of its greatest teams, with a connection to the era of Jackie Robinson. LOA from Heritage Auctions.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2021
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 431

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