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    With letter of provenance from owner since 1970's...

    1970 Nolan Ryan Game Worn New York Mets Jersey, MEARS A10. Never at a loss for quotable weirdness, first base coach Yogi Berra dubbed his 1969 Mets squad "overwhelming underdogs" as they waged their assault on the National League title. That was no understatement. Only in 1966 had the franchise ever ventured north of a .500 winning percentage after the season's third game, and the Summer of '69 had begun as inauspiciously as the others. After forty-one contests, the Mets had managed just eighteen victories, but then an unprecedented eleven-game winning streak suddenly developed, bringing unfamiliar hope to a fan base grown weary with frustration.

    Just like the 1906 Chicago White Sox, affectionately dubbed the "Hitless Wonders," the '69 Mets overcame their anemic offense with world class pitching, closing out the 1969 regular season at an astonishing combined ERA of 2.99. Twenty-two year old future Strike Out King Nolan Ryan worked out of the bullpen with a young Tug McGraw, and the flame-throwing Texan would complete that improbable and glorious 1969 campaign almost 5,500 strikeouts short of his ultimate career tally.

    This home white pinstriped flannel is the style worn as the New York Mets were celebrated at Shea Stadium as World Champs. Though the Mets were unable to maintain the red-hot streak that had led them to the promised land the previous season, Ryan personally captured the imagination of his Big Apple brethren in his first start of 1970, fanning fifteen in a complete game shutout victory over the Phillies at Shea on April 18th, a franchise record that remarkably stood just four days before Tom Seaver struck out nineteen Padres.

    Could this be the jersey he wore that dominant afternoon in Queens? The experts at MEARS characterize game wear as "Heavy," so the odds are good. "Mets 30" spans the chest in blue-on-orange felt, the digits repeated in larger format on verso. Left sleeve bears team logo patch. Lower left front tail holds "Spalding [size] 42" tagging and a washing instructions label anchoring a "Set 1 #8P 1970" flap tag. Interior collar holds embroidered swatch denoting, "42 70 30."

    The garment was consigned to this Platinum Night event along with our consignor's letter of provenance stating the jersey was part of the Mets' donation of uniforms to his church in the mid-1970's. Mets jerseys are the earliest and toughest of all Ryan exemplars, and this A10 example is the first we've offered. LOA from MEARS, A10. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Letter of provenance from consignor.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2020
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 30
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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