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    1924-26 Charlie Gehringer Game Worn Detroit Tigers Rookie Jersey. "You wind him up Opening Day and forget him," once quipped teammate Doc Cramer, explaining how the Tigers' Hall of Fame second baseman earned the nickname "The Mechanical Man." Gehringer posted seven seasons with 200+ hits and led all American League second basemen in fielding percentage half a dozen times, all while twice completing 500+ consecutive game streaks. This history of reliability and brilliance would open the gates of Cooperstown for Gehringer in 1949.

    The presented pinstriped style was utilized by the Tigers franchise from 1921 through 1926, with a single exception as the club went to a solid white fabric for the 1925 season. The young Gehringer made his Major League debut on September 22, 1924, playing in just five games that year (and only eight in 1925) before becoming a regular with 123 appearances for the 1926 squad. In 1927, Detroit adopted a Tiger head logo patch to replace the letter "D" over the heart, abandoning this fashion forever.

    The young infielder's late season call-up in 1924 effectively ensures this jersey dates to his "official" 1926 rookie campaign, as the embroidered "Gehringer" in the lower right exterior tail of the heavy pinstriped flannel would be more suited to a regular player. He had been hand-picked by player/manager Ty Cobb himself, who had been so impressed with his try-out that he persuaded Frank Navin to hire him on the spot. "I knew Charlie would hit and I was so anxious to sign him that I didn't even take the time to change out of my uniform before rushing him into the front office to sign a contract." Though Gehringer and Cobb would have a falling out in later years, the young infielder would recall that Cobb "was like a father to me" in those early days before the Peach's 1927 departure for Philadelphia.

    The experts at MEARS note "Heavy" playing use, further bolstering the theory of 1926 vintage, and adding still further appeal to an artifact with no shortage thereof. The original Old English "D" over the heart remains complete, unaltered and undamaged, rare for jerseys of this vintage. There is no number on verso, as proper for mid-1920's gamers. The "Spalding" label remains affixed at interior collar, with a faded secondary tag below partially disattached from the stitching. MEARS also notes carefully trimmed sleeves, the removal of the sun collar and very minor bleeding around the logo "D" as the entirety of condition issues, taking just a single point from the base ten grade for a final rating of MEARS A9. A simply spectacular Hall of Fame prewar flannel from Ty Cobb's prized pupil! LOA from MEARS. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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