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Lot # 1361 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1979 Thurman Munson New York Yankees Game-Used Cap

Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $4,740

New York Yankees cap worn by former team captain Thurman Munson. This cap has been consigned directly by Bill Hongach, who was a former batboy with the New York Yankees in 1972 and 1973 and longtime close friend of Munson. Included with the cap is a one-page handwritten letter of provenance from Hongach, as well as a copy of an autographed photo from Munson picturing the pair posing together at Yankee Stadium. Although Hongach was only employed with the Yankees as a batboy for the two-year period 1972-1973, he remained very close friends with the Yankee catcher right until the time of Munson's tragic death in 1979. Hongach received many of Munson's game-used items during the 1970s, including his 1976 World Series road uniform. Because of that, he doesn't remember exactly when this hat was gifted to him, other than it was definitely well after his days as a bat boy. Fortunately, this particular style of cap can be photo matched to the 1979 season, which was Munson's final year in baseball. In comparison of Yankee caps from 1970 to 1979, the only year in which we see this particular style "NY" is during the 1979 season. Of course, it is possible that this style cap might have been introduced in late 1978, but we have been unable to find any photographs that would verify such a dating. The blue wool cap features the Yankees "NY" logo embroidered in white on the front. Munson's uniform number ("15") is written on the underside of the brim in faded black marker. Both a "New Era" label and a "7 1/4" size tag are located in the headband. The hat displays heavy wear throughout, including white perspiration stains on the exterior and soiling to the headband. (Munson normally wore his hat, and not a helmet, when catching, as noted by period photographs.) Any Thurman Munson game-used items are exceedingly rare, with caps no exception. This is one of only a few we have ever seen at auction. The fact that it most likely dates from Munson's final season in pinstripes only adds to its significance. As most collectors are aware, the ironclad authentication of game-used caps is nearly impossible without some significant and well-documented chain of ownership. For that reason, this particular hat, coming directly from a former batboy and close friend of Munson's, stands out as one of the finest examples that could possibly exist. As a point of reference, a Thurman Munson game-used cap, originating directly from the Munson family, sold at auction for $32,000 in 2008. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,740

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