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A gift to Mo's old roommate from one of the most fateful seasons in Yankees history2001 Mariano Rivera Game Used Fielder's Glove. Only now, over a decade later, are Yankees fans finally coming to grips with it. Their hearts already broken by the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the citizens of New York sought refuge in the exploits of their pinstriped pals in the Bronx, representing the American League for the fourth consecutive season in World Series competition. Twice the Yanks scrambled back from the brink of defeat with late home run heroics to take a three games to two lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series. A crushing defeat in Game Six left the World Championship to hang in the balance of a single contest. Ultimately that game would come down to the bottom of the ninth inning in Phoenix, with the game's most feared and decorated closer on the mound, needing just three outs to run the Yankee World Championship streak to four.
While certainly nobody could reasonably compare the result of a sporting event to the devastation of the Twin Towers, the weak Luis Gonzalez blooper that fell behind a drawn-in infield landed like a ton of bricks on the Yankee fanbase. Most shocking of all was that it had happened to the invincible Rivera, whose save success ranked just below death and taxes in certainty. And so, in an odd way, that 2001 season is considered by many the most memorable of Mo's Hall of Fame career, the exception that proves the rule.
A signed letter from noted player Domingo Jean discusses the provenance of the piece:
"The glove that accompanies this letter was given to me by Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees during Major League Spring Training in 2002. I was invited to participate in Spring Training that year and was in the locker room with my friend and teammate, Mariano. We had been roommates during Minor League Spring Training in 1992 and Major League Spring Training in 1993. I remember going to Mariano's locker and sitting down with him. I asked my friend who had been playing so well, if he would give me a pair of pants for 'good luck' for the year ahead, as we were both pitchers. He not only gave me two pairs of pants, but also the glove he used during the 2001 season and possibly World Series and several other items."
The Rawlings PRO-R42 exhibits heavy wear with "Mariano Rivera" embroidered in white on the thumb. Inscribed in 9/10 silver sharpie on index and middle finger is "Mariano Rivera #42, Game Used 2001." Included with Jean's letter of provenance are photos of him with Rivera and the glove. Letter of provenance & photographs from Domingo Jean. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph). Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph).
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas