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    Description

    1963 Jim Umbricht Game Worn Houston Colt 45's Jersey Signed by the Entire Team.
    Jim Umbricht had a childhood dream of being a Major League player. An all-around athlete growing up, he won all-state honors in baseball and basketball while in high school. At the University of Georgia, he continued his two-sport mastery and was captain of both the baseball and basketball teams, once scoring fifty points versus future NBA Hall of Famer Bob Pettit and his LSU Tigers.

    In 1953, Jim paid his own way to a minor league tryout with the Waycross Bears. After he made the squad, the 6-4 215-pound shortstop was converted to a pitcher.

    Umbricht was thirty years old when he finally reached the Major Leagues, debuting for the Pirates in 1959. In 1962, he was selected by the Houston Colt 45's in the expansion draft. Over the next two seasons he made his mark as a relief pitcher, going 8-3 in sixty-nine appearances while posting a superb 2.33 ERA.

    Early in 1963, Jim was diagnosed with cancer but still managed to play through the pain and finish the season. Early in 1964, with his health deteriorating, he made an effort to participate in pre-Spring Training workouts but was forced to quit. His teammates knew he wanted to be there with them in Florida and hung his freshly cleaned and starched uniform in his locker waiting for him. When it was apparent that his days were numbered, Jim spoke with his teammates for the last time via a special pre-game radio connection. After that emotional call, Umbricht's jersey was passed around for the Colt 45 players, coaches and officials to sign. Sports writer Al Thomy then was entrusted to deliver it to Jim in his hospital room in Houston. One can only imagine how happy Jim must have been to receive that signed jersey in his final days.

    On offer here is that very jersey. One of the most spectacular and coveted flannel uniform designs ever conceived, this cream-colored home specimen has a seven-button front with "Colts" and a forty-five caliber pistol sewn across the chest in gorgeous orange/black/white chenille stitching. The verso, meanwhile, displays Jim's number "32" in black and orange felt. Tagging in the tail includes a large "Wilson 44" manufacturers/size tag and a year tag with "63" chain-link stitched on a stretchy white swatch.

    Game worn by Umbricht during his final season, yet still in remarkable condition, the jersey has forty-one signatures on its front in NRMT black laundry marker, including Joe Morgan (Hall of Famer), Rusty Staub (six-time All-Star), Pete Runnels (five-time All-Star), Jimmy Wynn (three-time All-Star), Dave Giusti, Jerry Grote, Sonny Jackson, Harry Craft (manager), Cot Deal (pitching coach), Jim Ewell (trainer), Whitey Diskin (clubhouse attendant), and Bill Giles (who helped found the team and served as its traveling secretary and publicity director). PSA/DNA deemed the Runnels autograph authentic, while SGC listed it a as clubhouse signature.

    Privately held by the Umbricht family since Jim passed away on April 8, 1964, this lot comes with the family's letter of provenance. The jersey is joined in our sale by Umbricht's personal traveling suit which is also from the family. The combination of this jersey's historical significance, coveted style, team signatures, and iron-clad provenance make it a truly one-of-a-kind offering. It should also be noted that Umbricht's number was the first number retired by the Houston Colt 45's/Astros organization. Letter of provenance from the Umbricht family. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2018
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,309

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