Description1956 Stan Musial Game Worn & Signed St. Louis Cardinals Jersey, MEARS A9--Ultra-Rare Single-Season Style! Everybody makes mistakes. Check Mark Okkonen's essential "Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century" and you'll find the fabled "birds and bat" version of the St. Louis Cardinals jersey worn every year from 1928 to present, except once. And here is that "once," the result of an inexplicably poor decision to abandon one of the sport's sartorial masterpieces. In 1957, the birds and bat were back again to stay, establishing this single-season ugly duckling as a Holy Grail among Cardinals collectors.
To be fair, it's not that this style is actually unattractive, but rather that it represents a particularly egregious assault upon the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" doctrine that has kept fans of teams like the Yankees and Red Sox happy for decades. We do love the chenille bird patch on the left sleeve, and the scripted team name on the chest works fine for teams like the Dodgers. The number "6" on the back is applied in the same red-on-navy felt as used on front.
It's pure overkill that this ultra-rare format was once worn by a Hall of Fame legend, who led the National League in 1956 with 109 runs batted in and may have worn this jersey in that season's Griffith Stadium All-Star Game. Musial's surname and "56" year indicator are embroidered into the lower left front tail beneath "Rawlings Hall of Fame Flannel [size] 44" tagging. Middle torso is autographed in bold black sharpie. The jersey remains in 100% original and unaltered condition (but for the autograph), with the MEARS grade resulting from half-point deductions for light to moderate use and minor staining respectively. The style and the player make this an absolute unicorn for the advanced uniform collector. LOA from MEARS, A9. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Full LOA from Beckett Authentication Services. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.
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