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    1951 New York Giants Number 24 Jersey Attributed to Willie Mays. Could it truly be a Willie Mays rookie jersey? The answer is almost certainly yes, though we may never be able to determine this definitively. The facts that build the case are quite compelling, however.

    We know this much for sure: the jersey was made for, and originally issued to, Jack Maguire, who appeared in sixteen games for the 1951 Giants before being selected off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates in late May. It was at this time that the twenty year-old rookie Willie Mays assumed Maguire's number "24," digits that would be retired one day due to the brilliance he would display over the coming twenty-one and a half seasons he would wear them.

    The road grey flannel features the classic old english "New York" in black and orange felt on the chest, and a bold number "24" on verso. "Maguire 24" is embroidered on a grey swatch affixed to interior collar, below the "A.G. Spalding & Bros [size] 42" labeling. The number "51" is embroidered in black thread directly into the body at the front left exterior tail.

    It is hardly a leap to assume that the five-foot eleven inch, 180 pound Mays would simply inherit the five-foot eleven, 170 pound Maguire's jersey after the latter's departure. This was standard throughout baseball at the time, and the fact that Mays was a rookie, and an African-American one at that, would only further the theory that he would be issued a "hand me down" shirt.

    The jersey is original and unaltered except for the removal of the 1951 sleeve patch commemorating the National League's 75th anniversary, the diamond-shaped stitching outline still clearly visible. This removal could suggest use in the 1951 World Series, action during the subsequent 1952 season, or very possibly both. Wear is solid but the jersey lacks the condition problems so often seen in period flannels. There are no moth holes or ratty identifiers. It's still ready to step into the batter's box for some more action.

    Included are a pair of matching pants, primarily for display purposes. These were issued to second baseman Wayne Terwilliger in 1956, with all noteworthy identifiers embroidered inside the waistband, along with "Tim McAuliffe" labeling. Short of one major team repair at right hamstring, these pants match the jersey for fine condition and aesthetics. LOA from Lou Lampson.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2009
    23rd-24th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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