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    Circa 1946 Honus Wagner Game Worn Pittsburgh Pirates Coach's Jersey.
    "There is something Lincolnesque about him," Pulitzer Prize-winning sports journalist Arthur Daley once wrote, "his rugged homeliness, his simplicity, his integrity, and his true nobility of character." Hall of Fame manager John McGraw considered him the greatest ballplayer of all time, and Ty Cobb recalled him as the one man he couldn't intimidate. While his primary hobby legacy today is his starring role on the Holy Grail of trading cards, even that coveted slab of cardboard could be considered downright common relative to known examples of game worn Wagner flannel.

    No playing-days models exist in the collectibles marketplace, hardly a surprise given the fact that it has been exactly a century since the Old Dutchman recorded the last of his 3,420 career hits. The offered garment elevates the known population of coaching models to a pair, with this the only home white example.

    It's a lovely five-season Pirates style (1942-46), but we can assign it to the final year of that range with high probability by the absence of a war-time sleeve patch, or the evidence of any removal thereof. The team's swashbuckling nickname thunders across the zipper-front chest in distinctive red on blue felt block lettering, those same colors piping the collar, zipper path and sleeve cuffs, with fraying of the soutache only at the very bottom where it would have made contact with the interior of Wagner's pants. A proper black "Wilson" label appears at interior collar, but the size flap tag has been lost at right edge. The jersey measures to a "48," correct for Wagner. Just below, an embroidered "H. Wagner" swatch appears, locked to the frame of the jersey by period stitching and unquestionably original to the garment.

    The numerals on back exhibit the standard effects of farm club alterations, each digit of the current "56" having been changed, but revealing the outlines of the original "33" that Wagner wore below. The garment shows the signs of multiple seasons of wear and the zipper is non-functional and slightly separated from the collar to the center of the chest lettering, but to little visual distraction.

    Note: The 1946 Wagner single signed baseball in this auction would make the perfect companion to this 1946 Wagner game worn jersey. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2018
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,012

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