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    Rajah earns his first of two consecutive American League MVP's!

    1960 Roger Maris Game Worn New York Yankees Jersey, MEARS A7.5. "Let me tell you about him," said manager Casey Stengel when asked about his new outfielder Roger Maris. "I gave him one point for speed. I do this because he can run fast. I give him another point because he can slide fast. Then I give him a point because he can bunt. I also give him a point because he can field, very good around the fences, even on top of the fences. Next, I gave him a point because he can throw. A right fielder has to be a thrower or he's not a right fielder. So I add up my points and I've got five for him before I even come to his hitting. I would say this is a good man."

    His friend, teammate and rival in the historic 1961 home run chase echoed Stengel's sentiments, calling Maris, "as good a man and as good a ballplayer as there ever was," and many count the former (and many would say, legitimate) single-season Home Run King among the most worthy of Hall of Fame candidates still lacking the distinction. But even if Cooperstown isn't listening, Rajah is finally getting his due respect among educated collectors, who will surely come out in force to compete for this special relic.

    For reasons that aren't entirely clear, the population of surviving gamers from Maris' Yankee years falls far below that of his early 1960's teammates, a statement substantiated by the fact that this is the first example to appear at auction since 2004, when his 1960 home pinstriper commanded $302,000. This is likewise just the second Yankees Maris ever to earn MEARS authentication.

    Chalk it up to Big Apple magic, but this debut season in the Bronx saw a sharp spike in the former Kansas City Athletic's power numbers that we would unquestionably chalk up to pharmaceuticals if it were to happen today. Maris' American League-topping .581 slugging percentage was a full 117 points higher than his career-best, responsible for driving in 112 Yankee runs, likewise tops in the Junior Circuit. His tally of thirty-nine home runs was one fewer than his M&M Boys counterpart, but still eleven better than his own personal record to date. To characterize the 1960 campaign as a "transitional" one for Maris is a bold understatement.

    This exceedingly rare garment from the first of two consecutive American League MVP seasons survives in 99% original and unaltered condition, diverging from its time with Maris only by a single replacement button. The "New York" spanning the chest in deep navy blue felt, and the fabled number "9" on verso, are the same that Maris showcased on his travels through the American League. The experts at MEARS acknowledge that the staining around the front and back identifiers suggests adhesive from athletic felt backing, but their careful examination with both UV and natural light finds no hint of earlier stitching paths. This staining accounts for a two-point deduction from the final grade, with the replaced button the cause for the last half-point.

    Lower left front tail supplies an embroidered swatch identifying the garment by original owner and vintage, affixed just above the proper "Wilson [size] 40" manufacturer's label. The ultra-cropped sleeves that showcased Maris' farmboy biceps provide the final, unmistakable link to this unlikely big city hero. A thrilling opportunity--and quite possibly your last--to acquire the very toughest gamer of all Monument Park players. LOA from MEARS, A7.5. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 26
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,913

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