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    Description

    Likely worn during the final Yankees vs. Dodgers "Subway Series"

    1956 Roy Campanella Game Worn Brooklyn Dodgers Uniform, MEARS A8. The humble backstop may not have garnered the attention that followed Jackie, Pee Wee and the Duke during that most glorious era of New York City baseball, but there was arguably no more essential component in the sustained success of those last Brooklyn Dodgers teams than Roy Campanella. "He was always doing something to help you win a game, whether it was digging out a low pitch, throwing out a baserunner, or hitting a home run," explained Dodgers manager, Walt Alston, reporting the facts that earned Campy three National League MVP Awards during the first half of the 1950's.

    The tragic 1957 automobile accident that brought a sudden end to his Major League service failed to block Campanella's path to Cooperstown, but succeeded in establishing game used artifacts from his historic decade at Ebbets to be among the toughest of post-war Hall of Famers. And yet even within that sparse population, this full home white flannel uniform distinguishes itself as a particularly special representation.

    Our 2006 offering of an effectively identical full 1956 uniform from Campanella's teammate Randy "Ransom" Jackson sheds some light on the history of the ensemble and the reason for the light game use that serves as the basis for the two-point deduction in the MEARS assessment. At the time Jackson sold his uniform, he provided a letter of provenance which detailed that the uniform had been issued to him for use in the late regular season and subsequent 1956 World Series, accounting for the certain but limited wear that characterize both the Jackson and the Campanella representations.

    That thrilling World Series, best remembered for Don Larsen's Game Five perfecto, ended with Games Six and Seven at Ebbets Field, strongly suggesting the possibility that Campanella may have worn the presented uniform in the very last Fall Classic engagement between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees.

    The classic style is instantly recognizable, with "Dodgers" rising across the chest in blue felt script, and the long-since-retired number "39" applied below in red. Those digits reappear on reverse in blue, with fabric abrasions running between them indicative of the protective vest strap of Campy's standard armor. Lower left front tail is tagged "Rawlings [size] 44" above "Campanella" embroidered directly into the jersey body in blue. Inside tail holds a "Set 1 1956" flap tag anchored at right seam of a washing instructions label. MEARS directs our attention to the particularly short sleeves of the jersey, a classic Campanella trait seen in period photography.

    Matching pants are tagged "Spalding" at interior waistband with a "Set 1 1956" flap below and a washing instructions label to the left. Just below, applied to a white felt swatch, is a blue embroidered "Campanella 56." Both jersey and pants exhibit light soiling, quite likely attributable to game wear, that do no harm to the magnificent aesthetics. A pair of blue wool stirrups, one slightly torn at the cuff, bear no physical attribution to Campanella but were sourced with the uniform and thus almost certainly are his.

    Our consignor acquired the uniform over half a century ago at a 1960 school fundraising auction to which Campy had personally donated the uniform, and he has stored it perfectly since then, avoiding the pitfalls of moth damage and staining that plaques so many other gamers of the period. With peerless display value, royal parentage and thrilling probable association to the last Dodgers vs. Yankees "Subway Series," this stands as one of the most significant uniform "finds" in recent auction history. LOA from MEARS, A8. LOA from Heritage Auctions.






    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,860

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