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    1960 Ted Williams Game Worn Jersey. Like a classic Hollywood film, the career of the legendary Ted Williams ended, on Wednesday, September 28, 1960, with a glorious last burst of greatness. No longer The Kid anymore, Williams' relationship with the Fenway fanatics had grown ever more combative as his Hall of Fame skills diminished from years of tough play and tours of combat in two wars. His numbers, amazing by any other standard, fell short of what was expected from a man capable of hitting for power and average unlike anyone the game had ever seen. But in his final at-bat, the legend reminded the crowd assembled at the venerable Boston ballpark that he still was, and always would be, the greatest hitter that ever lived. An instant after Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jack Fisher delivered a one and one pitch in the bottom of the eighth, the Splendid Splinter connected with a tremendous crack of his bat, depositing the ball into the right center field seats behind the Boston bullpen, four hundred fifty feet away. Williams did not tip his hat as he rounded the bases to the roaring ovation, nor did he step from the dugout as the crowd called his name. A substitute was sent into the field for Ted in the ninth. And with that, one of the greatest careers in the history of the sport of baseball is over.

    While we are certainly not presenting this historic flannel as the one that the Red Sox icon was wearing as he clubbed the last of his 521 home runs on the final day of his playing career, we likewise cannot state definitively that it is not. It's just one component in the incredible appeal of this jersey, that there is the distinct possibility that it rode the powerful shoulders of this supreme baseball legend around the diamond at Fenway for the very last time. Clearly the importance of this piece is tremendous even in the absence of an answer to this question, as is the importance of any game worn artifact consecrated by the touch of Ted. The heroic number "9" on the verso, never to be worn in Boston again, strikes a deep chord with any baseball fan, Red Sox or otherwise.

    Speaking to the specifics of the piece itself, we begin with the classic red on midnight navy felt that makes up the classic Old English "Red Sox" arching gently across the chest, and that unforgettable number "9" on verso. Red piping surrounds each sleeve end and also runs a dual course of the entire neckline and the button path. Two points of interest germane to authenticity determinants of this jersey as a Williams gamer should be stressed in the analysis of the jersey body:

    1. The sleeves are cut extremely short which was the preferred style by Williams throughout much of his career. The underarm gusset seams on this jersey are stout and factory customized. In turn, the undersleeve and shoulder panel girth both are significantly smaller than normally found on a size 48 jersey. This, in fact, was a Williams customization feature.

    2. Williams stood 6'3" and weighed over 220 at the end of his career. Williams wore a late career size 48 (he was predominantly 44 in the 40's and 46 in the 50's), and this jersey has at least 4-5" extra length. Most well documented Williams' gamers dating back to the 1940's had significant extra length. In the group of Red Sox 60's jerseys which were sourced with this Williams, standard size 48's were 29" in length. Another "extra length" size 48 belonging to Haywood Sullivan was 31" and this Williams was 34" in length, apropos for his gamers.

    It should be noted that the numeral is straight stitch affixed and its interior stitching pattern matches that of the jersey front (R-E-D S-O-X) identifier. The interior stitching has been reinforced in a 2-1/4" vertical area on the right side of the nine and an inch section of the top of the horizontally dominant enclosed rectangle that forms the top of the nine. There are three other sub 1/8" reinforcing threads but the remainder of the approximately 36" of circumference thread is intact and original. In total, about 9% of the affixing has been reinforced, leaving over 90% intact. The reinforcing thread appears to be period or shortly thereafter, and it probably accounts for the slight irregularity on the outer felt lines. In fact, it is quite consistent with most two-color, all felt, numeric identifiers from the era.

    The lower left front tail sports the Tim McAuliffe principle label with two additional designators, a size label (48) and a year label Swiss embroidered in red color ('60). Of note is the fact that the size label is small and this style was used back in the '40's and early '50's as both a size designator as well as a 1940 year designator. All are intact, unaltered and original.

    Overall, a solid Ted Williams home flannel from his final season with the requisite extra length and shortened sleeve customization features. The reinforced back numeral does not affect the jersey's authenticity, although it would put it into the category of having a "slight" team instituted alteration, probably at the minor league level in the ensuing seasons. LOA from Lou Lampson.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2005
    29th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,645

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