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    Quite possibly the jersey worn in his final at-bat!

    1973 Willie Mays Game Worn New York Mets Jersey, MEARS A10. Film footage is grainy, and photography is limited, but the best image we could locate of the forty-two year old Say Hey Kid taking his hacks as a pinch hitter for Tug McGraw in the tenth inning of 1973 World Series Game Three appears to show a pinstripe pattern that matches the presented garment. After grounding out to end the Mets threat, the greatest five-tool player in the sport's history would never take the field again.

    We stress that, at the time our catalog goes to print, we are not ready to conclusively make the attribution of this jersey to Mays' final game, though we hope to reach a determination prior to the auction date and will update our online listing accordingly if we are successful. At worst, this is one of the last jerseys ever worn in competition by the man who trails only Babe Ruth on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Players in baseball history.

    The hobby has long held the bookends of great careers--rookie and farewell seasons--in the highest regard, and the offered jersey ranks with the most significant to represent the latter. Though Mays was unquestionably past his prime during this final tour of duty, lamenting, "Growing old is just a helpless hurt," he would add forty-four hits and six home runs to his staggering career tallies of 3,283 and 660 respectively. The last of each was recorded at Shea, furthering the elite potential significance of this garment.

    The classic style worn by the 1973 National League Champions is instantly familiar, with blue and orange tackle twill announcing "Mets 24" on the chest, and repeating the digits in larger format on reverse. Team logo patch remains affixed at left sleeve. Interior collar holds embroidered swatch reporting size, season and jersey number: "42 73 24." Lower right front tail reveals proper "Rawlings [size] 42" label. Obverse is autographed twice, in black and blue marker respectively, the latter somewhat more bold and bearing a "HOF 79" notation.

    The experts at MEARS report game wear consistent with Mays' limited workload of 1973, and confirm the garment is 100% original and unaltered, thus assigning their highest possible assessment. It's a fitting farewell for the closest thing to perfection that ever set foot upon a Major League diamond. LOA from MEARS, A10. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.

    More information about Willie Mays.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2016
    20th-21st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,416

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