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1924 Vic Aldridge Chicago Cubs Game-Used Road Jersey and Pants
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $10,073
Rare Chicago Cubs road jersey worn by pitcher Vic Aldridge in 1924. Accompanied by a pair of Chicago Cubs road pants worn by pitcher Pat Malone during the club's National League Championship season of 1929. Both of these garments are new to the hobby and were recently discovered in a house on Catalina Island, located off the coast of California. While that might seem a long way off from Chicago, it should be noted that Catalina Island was the longtime spring-training home of the Chicago Cubs (1912-1951). The island was owned by William Wrigley Jr., who also owned the Cubs, and in 1921 he made it the team's spring-training headquarters in order to generate publicity and help promote tourism. Obviously, these garments were left behind at some point and never made it back to the mainland. The fact that they have been sitting in storage for nearly ninety years is amazing given the rarity of 1920s game-used major league uniforms in general. Specifically, we can only recall having seen two other 1920s Chicago Cubs jerseys at auction. A 1922 Bernie Friberg road jersey sold for $30,162 in 2003, while a 1927 Sparky Adams home jersey (with mismatched pants) brought $13,225 in 2010.
The gray flannel road jersey is lettered "Cubs" on the front, with all letters appliquéd in black felt. A "Thos. E. Wilson & Co." label appears in the collar, while the name "Aldridge" is chain-stitched in faded green along the left front tail. The jersey is complete with its original black sun collar, but three of the original four buttons are missing on the front (two of the buttons are vintage team replacements). Aside from the two replaced buttons, the jersey is all original, with no alterations, and displays heavy overall wear, including a few moderate tears (the two largest of which, one on the right shoulder and the other on the reverse, were repaired by the team). Although no year designation is present, Aldridge's tenure with the club, combined with the style of the garment, allows us to pinpoint its year of issue to 1924. Aldridge compiled a 15-12 record with a 3.50 ERA for the Cubs in 1924, which was his final season with the club. In his nine major league seasons (intermittently spanning the years 1917-1928) Aldridge compiled a lifetime record of 97-80 with a 3.76 ERA.
The gray-flannel road pants feature a "Spalding" label in the waistband. The name "Malone" and the numbers "3" and "29" (most likely denoting the set number and year) are chain-stitched in black along the button panel. Faded piping adorns the side of each leg. One of the four buttons appears to have been replaced (vintage team replacement); otherwise the pants are all original, with no other alterations. Significant overall wear is displayed, including numerous tears of varying degrees, many of which were repaired by the team. Pat Malone was the ace of the Cubs staff in 1929, winning a league-high 22 games (with a 3.57 ERA) to help lead his team to its first pennant since 1918. Malone also led the National League in wins (20) the following year as well. He eventually finished his ten-year career (1928-1937) with a lifetime record of 134-92 and a 3.74 ERA. This is an exceptional newly discovered 1920s Chicago Cubs uniform, albeit a mismatched set, highlighted by the exceedingly rare 1924 jersey. Total: 2 items (1924 Cubs road jersey and 1929 Cubs road pants). LOA from Dave Bushing. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000++. SOLD FOR $10,073
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