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Lot # 12 (of 1137)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1955 Ted Williams Boston Red Sox Game-Used Road Jersey - MEARS A9 - with Incredible Provenance!

Starting Bid - $40,000, Sold For - $77,025

Boston Red Sox road jersey worn by Hall of Fame outfielder Ted Williams in 1955. Graded A9 by MEARS. Presented is what by any measure is one of the finest Ted Williams jerseys in existence, with a particularly outstanding provenance. This is an ideal Ted Williams jersey worthy of Hall of Fame display! The gray flannel jersey is lettered "Boston" across the front and features the number "9" on the reverse. All letters and numerals have been appliquéd in navy felt. A "Tim McAuliffe" label appears on the left front tail. Also located on the left front tail, chain-stitched in navy, are the year ("55"), the size ("46"), the extra length ("2 ins"), and the uniform number ("9"). A wash tag is on the interior. A black armband originally affixed to the left sleeve (in honor of first baseman Harry Agganis, who died on June 27th of that year) has been removed. With the exception of that removal, the jersey is original as issued, with no alterations. Moderate wear is evident throughout, including a few light stains on both the front and back. The jersey is accompanied by a matching pair of 1956 Boston Red Sox road pants issued to Johnny Schmitz, plus a vintage black belt and a pair of red, white, and navy stirrup socks. The gray flannel pants feature a "Tim McAuliffe" label in the waist band along with the uniform number ("21"), year ("56"), size ("36"), and inseam measurement ("30 ins"), all of which are chain-stitched in navy. (Pitcher Johnny Schmitz was the only player who wore number "21" for the Red Sox in 1956.)

This is an exceptional Ted Williams jersey in all respects, and it is certainly the finest example we have ever seen or offered. This jersey (along with the pants, belt, and socks) appeared at auction as Lot 320 in Hunt Auctions' April 2012 sale of memorabilia from the Ted Williams Collection, where it realized a final price of $126,500. It has been consigned directly from the original purchaser, who is in the process of reorganizing his collection. Interestingly, this jersey, which was among the highlights of that sale, was one of the few items in the auction that did not originate directly from the Williams family. Of special note, however, is its remarkable provenance: This jersey was previously owned by a noncollector, Richard Berry, who acquired it nearly fifty years ago. In Berry's accompanying letter of provenance he relates that the jersey was acquired for $50 at a charity auction conducted by the Scituate Etrusco Associates in 1964. The winning bidder, Allen Wheeler (a philanthropist and a major contributor to the Jimmy Fund), immediately made a gift of the jersey to Berry, who was one of the volunteers working at the auction. The jersey then resided, quite unceremoniously, tucked away in a cedar chest until the time of its sale in recent years. Ted Williams jerseys of this quality are extremely rare. A new Ted Williams jersey world-record sale was recently set by a 1946-1948 Ted Williams jersey, also with outstanding provenance, that was presented as Lot 598 in the July 16, 2013, All Star Fan Fest live auction, and which sold for $184,000.

Williams briefly retired in 1955 but came back swinging as always. Appearing in just ninety-eight games, the legendary "Splendid Splinter" hit .356 with 28 home runs and 83 RBI, numbers which helped him finish fourth in the MVP balloting at season's end. He also compiled a .703 slugging percentage, which was the third-highest mark of his career. Graded A9 by MEARS (10 point base grade, with 1 point deducted for the removed armband). Ted Williams jerseys of this quality, especially those accompanied by strong provenance, are rare and we cannot imagine a finer example. This is a museum-quality example and one that would be the highlight of any advanced Hall of Fame uniform collection. LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $40,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $77,025

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