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Lot # 1329 (of 1727)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1919 Muddy Ruel New York Yankees Home Jersey and Miller Huggins New York Yankees Home Pants

Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $11,750

This Muddy Ruel New York Yankees home jersey and Miller Huggins New York Yankees home pants hold the special distinction of being the earliest player-identified New York Yankees garment (in its respective category) listed in the entire MEARS population report. They also share a unique and fascinating provenance. Both recently surfaced and were purchased by our consignor at an estate auction in Ohio featuring the belongings of the Harry M. Stevens family. These were the only two baseball-related items in the sale. The lot is accompanied by the original auction flyer from the sale which duly notes that items from the auction are from the Harry M. Stevens mansion; and the contents, which once belonged to Harry M. Stevens, remained in the mansion when purchased by its current owners in the 1970s. As most collectors are aware, Harry M. Stevens popularized the selling of hot dogs at the ballpark and was the founder of the nation's leading sports concessionaire during the first half of the twentieth century. His long-standing relationship with the Yankees is no doubt related to how this Yankees uniform ensemble happened to be found in his residence during the liquidation of the family's belongings. Each is an extraordinary find. We are keeping the jersey and pants together, just as they have survived all these years, and just as they were discovered in October 2009 among the items in the Stevens estate. 1) Muddy Ruel 1919-1920 New York Yankees Game-Used Home Jersey. The white pinstripe flannel jersey (predating uniform numbers) features the name "Ruel" chain-stitched in red in the collar. Also located in the collar is a "Spalding" label. The jersey displays heavy use, including staining on the reverse, a missing button, and player/team alterations. Both sleeves, as well as the tail, have been trimmed to their current lengths and were not hemmed. Also, the sun collar has been removed. Ruel played sparingly with the Yankees in 1917 and 1918, but served as the club's regular backstop in 1919 and 1920, batting .240 and .268, respectively, those two seasons. The following season he was traded to Boston in a deal that brought Waite Hoyt to the Yankees. Ruel achieved his greatest success with the Senators during the 1920s and finished his nineteen-year career with .275 lifetime average. Graded A6.5 by MEARS (10 point base grade, with 1 point deducted for the cut tail, 1 point deducted for the removed sun collar, and a half point each for the missing button, the staining on the reverse, and the cut sleeves). This is earliest player-identified New York Yankees jersey listed in the MEARS census. It is also the second earliest Yankee jersey of any kind ever graded by the company, second only to a circa 1915-1916 home jersey. 2) 1918-1922 Miller Huggins New York Yankees Game-Used Home Pants. The white pinstripe flannel pants feature the name "Huggins" chain-stitched in red in the interior waistband. There is evidence that a manufacturer's tag (most likely a "Spalding" tag) may have been removed from the rear of the waistband. While MEARS cannot conclusively date the pants any more narrowly than the five-year period 1918-1922, it does note in its accompanying LOA that these pants bear remarkable similarities (very possible photo match) to a pair of pants worn by Huggins in a photo dating from 1921. The pants display light-to-moderate use, including a small stain (possibly green paint) on the reverse. Labeled AUTHENTIC by MEARS (the company does not grade pants). After a successful thirteen-year career as a second baseman in the National League, Huggins took over the helm of the New York Yankees in 1918. During the next twelve seasons he guided the Yankees to six pennants and three World Championships, including consecutive titles in 1927 and 1928. Unfortunately, Huggins past away prematurely in 1929 at the age of fifty. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964. This is the earliest pair of New York Yankees pants, player-identified or otherwise, listed in the MEARS census. It is also the only Miller Huggins garment (jersey or pants) ever evaluated by the company. This is a remarkable offering of two exceedingly rare and heretofore unknown Yankee garments that are being offered to the collecting community for the very first time. Total: 2 items (jersey and pants). LOA from Troy Kinunen and Dave Grob/MEARS. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $11,750

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