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Lot # 1429 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1956 Tom Alston St. Louis Cardinals Game-Used Home Jersey - First African-American Player in Franchise History

Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $6,517.50

St. Louis Cardinals home jersey worn by first baseman Tom Alston in 1956. Although Tom Alston's Major League career was brief, he holds the distinction of being the first African-American player in St. Louis Cardinals franchise history. Alston made his Major League debut with the Cardinals on April 13, 1954, and spent his entire four-year Major League career in St. Louis. With Alston's arrival in 1954, the Cardinals became just the fifth National League team to promote an African-American player to its roster following Jackie Robinson's historic debut in 1947. The white flannel jersey is lettered "Cardinals" across the front and features the number "22" on the reverse. All letters and numerals are appliquéd in red on blue tackle twill. A Cardinals team patch appears on the left sleeve. A "Rawlings Hall of Fame Flannel" label appears on the left front tail, adjacent to which is a "44" size tag. Below that are the name "Alston" and the year "1956," each chain-stitched in red. Located on the interior left front tail are a wash tag and a flag tag reading "Set 1 1956." The jersey is original, with no alterations, and displays light wear throughout. The amount of wear is not surprising considering the fact that Alston only appeared in three games with the Cardinals in 1956. For his career, Alston appeared in ninety-one games and retired with 4 home runs, 36 RBI, and a .244 average. Just like all of the other African-American players who broke their respective teams' color barriers, Alston will never be judged by his numbers, but by the courage he showed in paving the way for integration in the field of professional sports. This is an outstanding, high-grade St. Louis Cardinals 1950s flannel jersey made all the more significant by its historical undertone. Adding to the jersey's appeal is its special provenance. This jersey once resided in the famed Barry Halper Collection and was purchased directly by our consignor at the Halper Sotheby's auction in 1999. Reserve $300. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $6,517.50

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