1919-20 Urban "Red" Faber Game Worn Chicago White Sox Unif...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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Direct from the most controversial Fall Classic in history!1919-20 Urban "Red" Faber Game Worn Chicago White Sox Uniform--Style Debuted in Notorious 1919 World Series! Victimized by the Spanish Flu pandemic that took the lives of an estimated five percent of the global population in the months surrounding the close of the First World War, the Chicago White Sox' star pitcher Red Faber proved too ill to participate in a World Series which would live in infamy and doom eight of his teammates to banishment from organized ball. Years later, catcher Ray Schalk would theorize that the fix might never have happened had Faber not been incapacitated, believing that the future Hall of Famer would never have taken the poisoned bait and would have assumed a couple of the tainted starts from Cicotte and Williams.
But the weakened and underweight future Hall of Famer was relegated to bench duty as the sport's greatest scandal unfolded before him, unaware that eight of his teammates had sold the World Championship to corrupt gamblers. Though penny-pinching team owner Charles Comiskey is widely assigned some culpability for the scandal--most notably for benching ace Eddie Cicotte to block him from claiming a victories bonus--the Hall of Fame owner sprung for new uniforms to debut in the 1919 World Series, and here we find the only known surviving home representation of that extraordinarily desirable format.
The gorgeous style--carried over for subsequent action in the 1920 regular season-- features the classic "SOX" over the heart and the key double White Sox logo on the left sleeve. Though the White Sox would take years to recover from the loss of the conspirators at the end of that 1920 campaign, never again emerging from the lower half of the American League during Faber's ensuing thirteen seasons in Chicago, the resilient right-hander pitched past his forty-fifth birthday to earn a 1964 induction in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The jersey remains in astonishingly fine condition, with a couple pinpricks of moth damage to the logo "SOX" over the heart and a 1/2" unrepaired tear on the back the only notable detractions. The charming felt patch on the left sleeve remains untouched, and the Chicago-based "Thos. E. Wilson & Co." label at interior collar is still firmly affixed. At lower left front tail, the name "Faber" is embroidered directly into the jersey body. The cuffs feature buttonholes to accomodate sleeve extensions, which were rarely utilized and are not present here.
The matching pants feature an identical "Wilson" label at interior waistband and "Faber" chain-stitched inside the fly. Like the jersey, the pants exhibit strong wear, most apparent in the team-instituted repair at the left knee and some tearing at the back right pocket. The ensemble is completed with the eponymous white socks, crafted from heavy wool and neatly darned in the stirrup areas.
The twin inducements of Hall of Fame ownership and earthshaking White Sox vintage makes this a most appealing target for the advanced uniform collector. Straddling the line between the Dead and Live Ball eras, with direct attribution to the Black Sox scandal, this uniform is one of the great survivors of baseball's most tumultuous age, commanding attention and respect from the educated baseball historian. LOA from MEARS, A8.5. LOA from Heritage Auctions.
Guide Value or Estimate: $100,000 - up.
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