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    1947 Joe DiMaggio World Series Game Five Worn & Signed New York Yankees Jersey, MEARS A9-Photo Matched! In some parallel universe, surely, the most historic trade in Major League Baseball history proceeded as agreed, forever altering the divergent team trajectories of Championship deluge and drought. But, in this one, decades would pass before the baseball world learned of the scotch-drenched negotiations between Yankees general manager Larry MacPhail and Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey to swap Joe DiMaggio for Ted Williams before the 1947 season, a trade which would have rewritten the history books in ways one can only imagine today. While the logic behind the transaction seemed sound enough-the Green Monster and his brother for DiMaggio, and a short right field porch for Williams-the insistence upon a rookie Yogi Berra to sweeten the pot was reportedly the deal breaker. And so the Bronx would continue its glorious reign for years to come and Boston would languish on beneath the Curse of its most infamous transaction with their pinstriped rival.

    Surely, MacPhail found himself awash in feelings of relief at the dissolution of those preseason trade talks as the Yankees reclaimed the pennant from the BoSox, clinching in mid-September of 1947 due in large degree to the brilliance of Joltin' Joe's third and final American League MVP effort. And, just like his previous Most Valuable Player campaign of 1941, the season finale would come in the form of a Fall Classic meeting with the Yankees' plucky neighbors to the south, the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    It is from this seventh Big Apple "Subway Series" that the offered garment derives, a road grey flannel beauty that saw action on the same ground hallowed by Jackie Robinson's historic debut just six months earlier. The included MEARS paperwork photographically links the garment to the opening innings of Game Five on October 4, 1947 at Ebbets Field, a contest which saw the Yankee Clipper's fifth inning solo shot prove to be the difference in a two-to-one Yankees victory to step within a single game of the franchise's eleventh World Championship.

    For reasons known only to DiMaggio himself, he had changed jerseys by the time he victimized Bums ace Rex Barney with that fifth inning long ball, and nowhere else in the Series or in the subsequent season do we find the Hall of Fame center fielder wearing this garment, capping its full service to baseball royalty at four innings maximum. One suspects that the jersey felt either uncomfortable or unlucky to DiMaggio, but the unique shape of the letters "W" and "R" in "NEW YORK," and the particular placement of the "Y" in relation to the button nearest to it, are unmistakable in early game footage, establishing this as one of a literal handful of unaltered, photo matched Joe DiMaggio gamers.

    The lengthy MEARS letter of opinion, available in full at our online listing, finds former staffer Dave Grob deducting three points for the minimal apparent wear, but Troy Kinunen corrects this ruling in his reevaluation. He properly defends the condition as appropriate for the unusual circumstances, much like the MEARS A10 rating he assigned to the Red Sox jersey sold in our August 2018 Platinum Night auction, which was worn for two games at most before Ted Williams answered the Korean War call in 1952. The official A9 rating for this DiMaggio gamer is, in our estimation, a far more equitable assessment for the garment in its historical context.

    Otherwise, as previously stated, the jersey earns every available point, exactly matching footage from that Saturday afternoon on Flatbush Avenue. "New York" stands in classic navy blue felt block lettering on the chest, with the immortal number "5" balancing the design on verso. Interior collar holds proper "Spalding [size] 44" tagging above an embroidered "DiMaggio" swatch. A bold blue sharpie signature on the lower left chest, applied shortly before DiMaggio's 1999 passing, rates 9/10.

    Veteran hobbyists have long puzzled and despaired at the rarity of game worn jerseys from a man who commanded the brightest spotlight throughout each of his thirteen Major League seasons, and while this garment's relationship with DiMaggio was unusually short, the same could be said of his marriage to Marilyn Monroe, and neither is any the weaker for it. Far more than simply a commemoration of a man featured upon the Mount Rushmore of Yankee greatness, this remarkable artifact--worn by the son of Italian immigrants to face the first black Major Leaguer in a city that was both the capital of the baseball world and the quintessence of the American experience--serves as the ultimate validation that "our national pastime" is a distinction fully earned. LOA from MEARS, A9. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from SGC Authentic.


    Guide Value or Estimate: $400,000 - up.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2018
    18th-19th Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,129

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