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    First A's season in Oakland, and of a Hall of Fame career

    1968 Reggie Jackson Game Worn Oakland Athletics Rookie Jersey, MEARS A10. "God, do I love to hit that little round son-of-a-bitch out of the park and make 'em say 'Wow!'" explained Reggie Jackson, and he made them say "Wow" a lot. Five hundred sixty-three times, to be exact, and that doesn't even count those World Series blasts that earned him the nickname "Mr. October." A player with that kind of power, especially when it counts, will never be forgotten, and Reggie's Hall of Fame plaque further assures this fact. While most of us may remember him for that incredible Yankee performance in the clinching Game Six of the '78 Series, when he took three swings, and three free jogs around the bases, there are folks in Oakland who still think of Reggie as theirs -- they even brought him back for his final season, at age forty-one, just to prove it to the world. Their boy was home.

    Here's where it all began, for the man and the Oakland chapter in the history of the team founded by Connie Mack in the first year of the twentieth century. After thirteen hapless seasons as the American League's whipping boy in Kansas City, the westward migration of the White Elephants instantly changed the fortunes of the perpetual cellar dwellers, who added twenty games to its win column in the first season of its Bay area residence. A few years later, they'd be kings of the baseball world.

    Jackson had made thirty-five appearances for Kansas City in 1967, but the 1968 season is his true rookie campaign, and it was an auspicious start. Subscribing to the Ruthian ethic of "swing big, hit big, miss big," Jackson more than tripled all other 1968 A's with twenty-nine (29) home runs, while leading the American League with 171 strike outs. But his daring approach earned Jackson instant popularity in the cheap seats of Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, a perfect compliment to owner Charlie O. Finley's own brash style.

    We see evidence of that playful madness in the bright yellow color of the provided flannel vest, a style that Finley first debuted in 1963, inspiring Mickey Mantle to remark, "They should have come out of the dugout on tippy-toes, holding hands and singing." But visionaries are always in the minority, or they wouldn't be visionaries, and Finley has long since earned his place in history with Bill Veeck as an essential pioneer. "Oakland" arches gently across the chest in predictably unusual font, with the number "9" applied to reverse the only nod to baseball formality. Lower left front tail bears "Tim McAuliffe Inc." tagging with sub-labels reporting vintage "'68" and size "44."

    The experts at MEARS confirm solid game wear and 100% originality, other than the period addition of a bold black marker signature from a young slugging sensation. It is, in short, one of the finest Major League jerseys of the past half century, worthy of a place of honor in the finest of private collections. LOA from MEARS, A10. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authenticaton. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2016
    20th-21st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,213

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