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    The Duke claims his sole National League Home Run Crown

    1956 Duke Snider Game Worn Brooklyn Dodgers Jersey. It was the most storied age of New York City baseball, with three top-tier teams waging a protracted battle for Major League supremacy. The Yankees, Giants and Dodgers had shared a city subway since the Highlanders came to town in 1903, and the 1920's battles between the Yankees and Giants were the stuff of legend, but only during the decade of the 1950's did all three franchises share a piece of World Championship glory. The Big Apple was divided into distinct tribes, with allegiances as preciously held as religions, the players somewhere between clergy and deity.

    No point of debate was more feverishly contested than that of center field preeminence, each Hall of Fame legend held in such familial adoration that they were known simply as "Willie, Mickey and the Duke." While Mantle was having a season for the ages in the American League, claiming the Triple Crown and the MVP Award, the man who suited up in this home white jersey was likewise painting his own stat sheet in the bold ink of Senior Circuit-leading power numbers.

    Snider's forty-three (43) long balls during the 1956 season earned the beloved Bum his sole Home Run Crown, though it was the fourth of five consecutive seasons he'd record forty or more. Likewise best in the National League were his tallies for slugging (.598) and bases on balls (99), the latter a testament to the fear he struck into opposing pitching. His 101 runs batted in led the Dodgers to their second consecutive National League pennant, setting the stage for the last Subway Series until the year 2000.

    The Bums would famously fall to the Yankees in seven games in the 1956 World Series, the fifth contest earning immortality for Don Larsen's perfecto. We would be remiss, however, if we failed to mention that the Dodgers, like the Yankees, were known to order new jerseys for World Series play to be carried over for wear the following regular season. Many believe that these jerseys were tagged for that subsequent season, suggesting the possibility that this white flannel beauty made its debut during the glorious Fall Classic of 1955.

    Certainly a full season's wear is apparent in the historic Ebbets Field relic, the style instantly transporting us back to Flatbush Avenue. A blue felt "Dodgers" rises across the chest in classic script above the long-since retired number "4," that digit repeated in blue on reverse. Lower left front tail holds proper "Spalding [size] 44" labeling, with "Snider" embroidered directly into the jersey body below. Interior tail holds washing instructions label, anchoring a "Set 1 1956" flap tag. Sleeves are factory shortened, as favored by many of the leading sluggers of the day, Snider included.

    A small area of fabric loss appears just above the letters "o" and "d" at the chest of the jersey, and another above the capital "D," but our catalog imagery should convey that these distractions are minor. Otherwise the garment displays perfectly, and serves as a tribute to the Boys of Summer as evocative as any we have had the good fortune to offer. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2016
    20th-21st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,587

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