1939 Don Heffner Game Worn St. Louis Browns Uniform.Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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Description1939 Don Heffner Game Worn St. Louis Browns Uniform. Even after all these years in the business, we're still learning. We'd always thought that every Major League team wore the Centennial patch on their left sleeves during the 1939 season. But, as it turns out, there was a single exception.
Way down there, buried beneath the ignominy of a 111-loss season, the lowly St. Louis Browns were bucking the trend. They already had a patch in that spot--admittedly a stunning satin beauty--and they weren't moving it. So they shifted the Centennial patch over to the right sleeve instead, even trimming it in the piping of their team colors.
We can still see the stitching outline of that Centennial model--we suspect that either a second term in St. Louis or with a farm club necessitated its removal--but that glorious team patch remains at left, just one of a host of fine aesthetic choices that ensured that, even in defeat, the Browns remained dressed to impress. The team nickname is applied to the chest in three-dimensional chenille, the numeral "1" similarly affixed to verso (minor separation). "Rawlings St. Louis" maker's label appears at interior collar, which shows very heavy wear with some fabric loss, while zipper front remains fully-functional, a rather rare and welcome occurrence. "Heffner" is boldly embroidered into lower left front tail. A few team repairs lurk nearby.
Matching pants also show heavy wear, and provide only an embroidered "'39" at interior waistband in terms of tagging or identifiers. A pair of colorful, striped stirrups complete the package.
Don Heffner was the starting shortstop for the Browns between 1938 and 1941, a rather painful fall from World Championship glory with the New York Yankees of 1936 and 1937. The war years would allow him to continue playing past his prime, and he'd claw his way back up to the Majors after more than a decade of minor league coaching, rising as far as manager of the 1966 Reds. LOA from Heritage Auctions.
Guide Value or Estimate: $6,000 - up.
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