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    Gifted to a sportswriter during spring training of World Championship season

    1954 Willie Mays Game Worn New York Giants Cap. If there was ever a ballplayer famous for his cap, it was this superstar center fielder for the New York Giants, arguably the greatest five-tool player ever to wear one. The consummate showman, Mays intentionally avoided a perfect fit so that his hat would tumble dramatically from his head as he ran, as if it was unable to match its owner's blazing foot speed out in the sprawling acreage of the Polo Grounds' center field. The most famous example of Mays popping his top was likewise the most celebrated defensive play in the sport's history, a thrilling display of speed and agility in the opening game of the 1954 World Series known simply as "The Catch." After snaring Cleveland Indians outfielder Vic Wertz' gargantuan drive 420 feet from its launching pad, Mays whirled out from under his hat as he heaved the ball back toward the infield to preserve the tie. Soon, on sandlots nationwide, boys were buying their caps too big or too small in the flattery of imitation.

    Listed is a cap dating to that very season, worn as Mays was shaking off the cobwebs after nearly two seasons of Major League inactivity due to military service. The cap exhibits excellent wear, with "Mays" written in vintage marker on the interior leather headband, stamped to a size "7 1/8." Mays' famous number "24" is likewise written under the visor. A modern silver sharpie signature (9/10) appears on top of the bill, notated "1954." No manufacturer's markings are apparent within.

    Rock-solid provenance appears in the form of two signed letters, the first from J.D. Kailer, sports editor for the Albuquerque Journal. He attests that, while covering the Giants' 1954 spring training in Phoenix, he approached the Giants' clubhouse manager Eddie Logan to request a gift for his son, and was given this cap. Also here is a signed letter from Mays himself, attesting to the authenticity of this important game used relic. Letter of provenance from J.D. Kailer. Letter of provenance from Willie Mays. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph).

    1954 Willie Mays Game Worn New York Giants Cap.

    *A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,889

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