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1959 Hal Griggs Washington Senators Signed Game-Used Home Jersey - First Season with "Senators" on the Jersey!
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $1,320
Washington Senators home flannel jersey worn by pitcher Hal Griggs in 1959. The white pinstripe jersey, with zipper front, is lettered "Senators" across the front and features the number "24" on the reverse. All letters and numbers are appliquèd in blue on red tackle twill. A Minnesota Twins "Mr. Senator" patch adorns the left sleeve. The name "Griggs" is chain-stiched in black upon a white strip tag in the collar. Located on the left front tail are a "Wilson 42" label and white strip tag bearing the year ("1959") chain-stitched in black. Hal Griggs has signed the jersey in black marker (grading "7") below the year designation. The jersey is original as issued, with no alterations, and displays light wear, including a small repair to the stitching of the sleeve patch. This is a historically significant jersey in that 1959 was the first season the name "Senators" ever appeared on a Washington uniform.
The Washington American League franchise carried the official nickname of “Nationals” until 1957, when Calvin Griffith, the nephew and adopted son of Clark Griffith, longtime owner of the Nats, opted to put his own stamp on the team following his uncle’s passing. Fans had called them “Senators” for years anyway, so “Senators” became the official moniker. A new logo was designed by commercial artist Zang Auerbach (Red’s brother) that featured an old time frock-coated, cigar-smoking politician ("Mr. Senator"), and was visible on team publications that season. By 1959 Calvin Griffith decided to redesign the club’s uniforms, and after decades of wearing little more than a block “W” on either the sleeves or front of their jerseys, the new official nickname made its first appearance.
Harold Lloyd “Hal” Griggs was named after the famous silent-movie comedian, but never quite achieved similar stardom. Griggs had played football in high school, and at age twenty-one was working as a hotel bellhop in Florida. He carried the bags for the owner of the Hickory Rebels in the North Carolina State League, and talked himself into a tryout as a pitcher. He made the team, and in his rookie year led the league in losses and walks, but stayed around nonetheless. In 1952 his contract was sold to Washington, and after four more years in the minors, made the big league roster in 1956. Griggs’ career in the majors was brief, and unspectacular. The numbers speak for themselves: a 6-26 career won-lost record, and a 5.50 ERA. In 1959, his final big league season, he won back-to-back starts in early May against Cleveland and New York (shutting out the Yankees 7-0 on 2 hits!) that gave him a spotless 2-0 record with an 0.42 ERA. After that, however, he lost his next eight decisions. Out of his next twenty-seven appearances, Washington won only one game. He was dropped from the forty-man roster that winter, and after a few years in the minors, retired after the 1963 season. This outstanding jersey has a particularly impressive provenance: it hails from the personal collection of noted collector and universally respected jersey expert Phil Wood, and is accompanied by an LOA provided by Phil Wood.
Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $1,320
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