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    A legend in his prime...

    1966 Willie Mays Game Worn San Francisco Giants Jersey, MEARS A10. All eyes were on Willie Mays as he entered the 1966 with an unbroken consensus in recognition as the greatest player in the game. His 1965 performance--leading the National League in home runs (52) and total bases (360)--had delivered a second MVP Award to Mays' trophy case, edging even the great Sandy Koufax whose claim to the title was constructed on the firm foundation of a Cy Young Award, a pitching Triple Crown and a World Championship ring. But the mid-1960's found all five of Mays tools both razor-sharp and durable, supplying a daily boost to his club's fortunes that no pitcher could provide. Willie Mays was at this time, quite simply, the greatest complete player ever to wear the uniform of Major League Baseball.

    Even during the height of the Civil Rights movement, Mays' brilliance made him one of the most popular American athletes, the target of countless advertising executives looking for a powerful endorser. No player commanded more magazine covers of leading sports publications. It was the year 1966 that Mays made a cameo appearance on the popular television show, "Bewitched." Darrin Stephens asks if Mays is a warlock, to which his wife Samantha replies, "The way he hits? What else?"

    Presented is one of the most significant post-war garments that Heritage has had the privilege to present, a road grey flannel jersey dating to a 1966 season that Mays extended his 100+ RBI season streak to eight. Once again he'd end up on the medal platform in National League MVP voting, finishing third behind Roberto Clemente and Sandy Koufax. Mays would make his thirteenth consecutive All-Star appearance this year and claim his tenth of twelve career Gold Glove Awards.

    As the lofty MEARS assessment would indicate, the jersey remains in 100% original and unaltered condition, demonstrating solid game use but none of the problems of staining or moth damage that commonly diminish ancient flannel. The orange and black piping that adorns the cuffs and collar remains unharmed, perfectly matching the tackle twill "San Francisco" on the chest and fabled number "24" on reverse. Interior collar holds a grey felt swatch embroidered "Mays," while further embroidery reading "66 42" is applied directly to lower left front tail beneath a "Rawlings [size] 42" manufacturer's label. A washing instructions tag, anchoring a "Set 1 1966" flap, appears just above hem.

    While we've been trained to covet rookie jerseys above all else, it could be forcefully argued that the most appealing models are located at the peak, not at the start. We would humbly introduce this offering as exhibit number one in that argument, a peerless relic from the man named by The Sporting News as the 1960's "Player of the Decade." LOA from MEARS, A10. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2016
    20th-21st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,875

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

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