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    Quite possibly the hat Master Melvin was wearing as he became the third member of the 500 Home Run Club!

    1945-46 Mel Ott Game Worn New York Giants Cap. Turned down by the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association due to his diminutive size, Mel Ott might never have earned baseball immortality if not for the persistence of a gentleman named Harry Williams, owner of a semi-pro lumber company team in Patterson, Louisiana who saw Major League potential in his sixteen-year old slugger. It was Williams who purchased the train ticket for the scared kid's journey to New York and a Polo Grounds tryout where he bashed high curves and fastballs against the advertising signs beyond the right field fence. "That kid is remarkable. He's like a golfer; his body moves, but he keeps his head still with his eyes fixed on the ball. He's got the most natural swing I've seen in years," an impressed manager John McGraw told reporters, adding, "This lad is going to be one of the greatest left-hand hitters the National League has seen."

    Two decades after that 1925 tryout, that high-stepping swing made a trio of the most illustrious slugging brotherhood in the game, an August 1, 1945 solo blast at Coogan's Bluff off Boston Braves right-hander Johnny Hutchings to join Ruth and Foxx in the 500 Home Run Club. The Second World War was in its final days--in fact, the destruction of Hiroshima would come the same week--and the distinctive style of the presented cap, a departure from the standard black and orange team colors, was a patriotic war years diversion from the norm.

    Excepting the color palette, the cap's design remains the same as always, with the
    classic "NY" logo over the visor that endured from Matty to Mays. The real thrill comes at the interior leather headband however, where a vintage chain stitched "4 Ott" memorializes its legendary original owner. A stamped "MacGregor Goldsmith [size] 7" is correct for both the period and the girth of Ott's skull. The experts at MEARS characterize wear as "heavy," suggesting a full season's wear or more. The Giants did trot out this style for the first peacetime season after four seasons of war in 1946, opening the possibility that Ott's 511th and final long ball also appears on the garment's resume.

    Remarkably, the presented cap represents only the second Ott game worn uniform piece to reach the hobby's major auction block, the first having been a 1945 jersey that commanded $240,000 over seven years ago. With no indication that the jersey will reappear to tempt collectors any time soon, bidders are advised to consider this offering as a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure a relic from the wardrobe of this legendary long ball artist. LOA from MEARS, Authentic.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2014
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,487

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Feb 22, 2014 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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