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Lot # 1377 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1940s Mickey Owen Signed Game-Used Catcher's Mitt

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $705

Catcher's mitt once used by former Brooklyn Dodgers backstop Mickey Owen, who is best remembered today for one of the most famous miscues in World Series history. With the Dodgers leading the Yankees 4-3 with two out in the top of the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 1941 World Series, it seemed that the Dodgers had the victory well in hand. All that stood in the way of the Dodgers knotting the Series at two games apiece was the Yankees Tommy Henrich. After working the count to 3-2 against Dodgers hurler Hugh Casey, Henrich swung and missed at the final offering. The only problem for the Dodgers was that Owen missed the ball as well. As it scooted under Owen's glove, Henrich raced to first to keep the Yankees inning alive. As fate would have it, the Yankees, given new life, proceeded to score four runs, building a lead they would not relinquish. Demoralized, the Dodgers dropped the next game, and the Series, to the Yankees, leaving Owen to endure one of the longest winters in Brooklyn history. Actually, in looking at this glove, which is small and primitive compared with the huge catcher's mitts of today, one can easily forgive Owen for his defensive lapse. The well-worn glove, the web of which is simply a few strands of leather tied with tape, displays tremendous use, so much so that nearly all of the manufacturer's stampings are no longer visible. The only stampings that are still discernible appear on the reverse and read "Nu-Grip/Streamlined." The provenance for this glove is provided by Owen himself, twice. Owen has signed the front perimeter of the glove in silver paint pen (grading "5"), "Mickey Owen/This was my glove I gave John Orlando." That same inscription, written in black ink ("10"), appears on the reverse of an accompanying 6 x 4-inch index card. This is a fascinating piece of Brooklyn Dodger's history, and, even though we have no reason to believe it is THE glove, one that still tells the famous story of the Mickey Owens passed ball that will forever be remembered as one of baseball's most legendary blunders. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $705

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