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    Mays launches career-best fifty-two homers en route to second and final National League MVP!

    1965 Willie Mays Game Worn San Francisco Giants Jersey, MEARS A9. He was rated number two on The Sporting News' list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players of the Twentieth Century, topped only by the iconic Babe Ruth. There are many who would contend that it was Mays deserved top billing--in the end, it comes down to your particular definition of "greatness." That Babe Ruth was the most noteworthy figure in twentieth century baseball is impossible to dispute. And it's true that he was the game's premier pitcher before he became the game's premier slugger. But if baseball's "five tools" is the metric--hitting for average, hitting for power, baserunning, throwing and fielding--Mays' superiority is clear.

    Win, place or show, the Say Hey Kid is properly considered an essential component of any quality baseball collection, and those with a concentration in game used flannel should be deeply tempted by this elite specimen, arguably the most desirable representation subsequent to the Giants' 1958 relocation. The evidence backing this claim is difficult to dispute, as 1965 represents Mays' second and final National League MVP season, the first having come during the glorious World Championship campaign of 1954 in the Big Apple.

    The Hall of Fame outfielder's stat line for '65 is awash in the bold ink of Senior Circuit supremacy, Mays' fifty-two long balls likewise a personal best. His .645 slugging percentage and 360 total bases likewise led the National League.

    This home white beauty exhibits "moderate to heavy wear" from a tense pennant race with fellow California transplants the Los Angeles Dodgers, who would ultimately edge out the Giants by two games. But the classic design is effectively unchanged from those Polo Grounds days, with black-on-orange identifiers announcing "Giants" on the chest and the fabled number "24" on verso, properly retired by the franchise in 1972. The minor separation of stitching on these rear digits accounts for the sole point deducted in MEARS' soaring assessment. "Mays" appears in embroidered script on a felt swatch affixed to interior collar, while a "Tim McAuliffe" label rests atop twin subtags denoting vintage ('65) and size (42). And we should direct attention to the stubby sleeves favored by 1960's sluggers, abridged to showcase Mays' bulging biceps on those rare warm days that the northern California climate allowed.

    In every regard, this is a Cooperstown-quality garment that finds the greatest talent of the post-war era at the absolute pinnacle of his peerless abilities. LOA from MEARS, A9. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    Guide Value or Estimate: $150,000 - up.

    Auction Info

    Bidding Begins Approx.
    31st Friday
    Auction Dates
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Begins Approx.
    70 Days
    Internet/Mail Bids: N/A
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 31
    Auction Type
    Signature Internet Extended Bid: These Auctions are presented via catalog and online. Bidding is taken through our website or via phone. There are two phases of bidding during this type of auction: 1) Normal bidding: Bids are taken up until 10 PM CT the night the auction closes. 2) 30 Minute Ending: On a lot-by-lot basis, starting at 10:00 PM CT, any person who has bid on the lot previously may continue to bid on that lot until there are no more bids for 30 minutes. For example, if you bid on a lot during Normal Bidding, you could participate during Extended Bidding for that lot, but not on lots you did not bid on previously. If a bid was placed at 10:15, the new end time for that lot would become 10:45. If no other bids were placed before 10:45, the lot would close. If you are the high bidder on a lot, changing your bid will not extend the bidding during the 30 Minute Ending phase (only a bid from another bidder will extend bidding). If you are the only bidder at 10 PM, you will automatically win the lot at 10:30. Important: After normal bidding ends, you must be signed-on to the Heritage site to see the bidding option on lots where you qualify for extended bidding.
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