A Big Red Machine flannel from The Hit King!1971 Pete Rose Game Worn Cincinnati Reds Jersey, MEARS A9.5. "Somebody's gotta win and somebody's gotta lose," Rose once told reporters. "I believe in letting the other guy lose." Like the man whose seemingly untouchable record he bested in 1985, Pete Rose was a man whose single-minded determination made him one of the most successful players in the history of the sport, and one of the most feared. The pendulum of public opinion appears to be on a slow swing toward forgiveness, but like another Dead Ball Era legend, "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, it is apparent that Rose's excommunication from our National Pastime has done little to dampen the desirability within the collecting market.
Certainly his autograph is now almost literally a dime a dozen, the result of years spent cranking out the product in his Las Vegas residency, but game used material remains high on many collectors' wish lists, and particularly those rare few uniform pieces predating the Majors' transition to knit construction. Here we present one of the finest known representations from the flannel age, a creamy home white relic narrowly falling short of MEARS' highest assessment.
Wear characterized as "light to moderate" accounts for the half-point deduction from perfection, as the uniform experts otherwise find no fault in the 100% original and unaltered garment. Classic "Reds" logo patch appears over the heart, balanced by a red tackle twill number "14" at right chest. Rose's distinctive sleeve customization is present. Reverse supplies a similarly constructed "Rose 14." Lower center interior tail is tagged "Rawlings [size] 42" with a Dry Cleaning tag that anchors a flap tag reporting, "Set 1, #8P, 1971." The jersey is autographed twice in black sharpie, boldly at upper chest and faintly at lower front tail.
Rose would notch 192 hits during the 1971 season, maintaining the staggering pace that would ultimately cement his legacy. He would conclude this 1971 season at age thirty with 1,724 hits, over 2,500 short of his world-beating destiny. LOA from MEARS, A9.5. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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