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Lot # 20 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1940 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox Game-Used Home Flannel Jersey

Starting Bid - $10,000.00, Sold For - $34,800.00

Ted Williams wore this Boston Red Sox home flannel jersey in 1940, his second season of Major League baseball, during which he hit 23 home runs, 113 RBIs, scored a lead-leading 134 runs, and batted .344. Quite a few Ted Williams jerseys have survived, but almost all date from the 1950s. This is one of the most special of all Ted Williams jerseys in existence, because this jersey dates from so early in his career. Williams was a rookie in 1939. This jersey was given as a gift by Ted Williams himself to a friend, who years later passed it on his grandson, now a retired Massachusetts State trooper. Spalding records show that only two home jerseys were made for Ted Williams in 1940. It is a miracle that one has survived from so early in Ted Williams' glorious career. Even a common player jersey from 1940 would be a great rarity. This is one of the earliest and most significant Ted Williams game-worn items in existence. "Ted Williams" is embroidered in the neck of this home jersey in red chain stitch. Below this is the Spalding label and adjacent the size tag "44." Inside the back tail is the year "40" which is also in red chain stitch. Across the front of the jersey is "Red Sox" and on the back is the player number "9." The letters and numbers are red on blue felt. On the back of the jersey is an outline of a larger number "9." The "9" which is now on the back of the jersey is a slightly smaller replaced vintage "9" which has been professionally affixed to the shirt. We are not sure if this is a vintage team change, or a more recent number change. The fact that the shirt was gifted directly by Ted Williams suggests that the replaced number "9" may be a team-executed change. The sleeves have been custom-cut and hemmed to Ted Williams' special specifications. There is a repaired area (6 x 4.5 inches) on the lower right front tail of the shirt. The jersey shows substantial game use and, with the exception of the number change and custom tailoring, the jersey has no alterations. The market has always valued jerseys with number changes at some subjective discount in value to those with no alterations, all other things being equal. While there is sometimes no making sense of exactly what impact various alterations on uniforms have in the eyes of collectors, we can't help but be overwhelmed with how this Ted Williams jersey stacks up, by any measure, with all other known examples, with or without a vintage number change on the reverse. We have tried to find photographic verification that this very slightly smaller replaced number "9" dates from 1940, but have so far have not found precisely dated 1940 photos of Ted on the field from the proper angle for verification. If this is exactly how Ted wore the jersey in 1940, the number change would not be considered an issue at all. If the smaller number "9" was added as a replacement years later, it would have some subjective impact on the value of the jersey. All things being equal, an original number is always better than a replacement. Either way, in our eyes, we can only ask how much better can a Ted Williams jersey get? Home jersey, dated 1940-style (second year in Majors), provenance tracing directly to Ted Williams, the only surviving 1940 Ted Williams jersey known to exist, and a style that allows Ted Williams' full name to display in the collar. While we'd be thrilled to offer a Ted Williams game-used jersey from any era, offering one from 1940 is a special privilege and opportunity. SCD Authentic Grade: A6. Please note that the SCD Authentic worksheet details that this jersey would have received a grade of A10, but lost three points on their grading scale simply due to the number change, and one point for a minor tail restoration. Replacement with a full-sized vintage number "9" on the reverse, which could easily be done, would add a grading point. LOA from Dave Bushing & Dan Knoll/SCD Authentic. Reserve $10,000. Estimate $20,000/$30,000. SOLD FOR $34,800.00

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