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Circa 1930s to 1950s New York Yankees Game-Used Jersey Collection (4) - Murphy, Lindell, Coleman, and Leja
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,280
Collection of four New York Yankees home jerseys, dating from the 1930s to the 1950s, all of which have the unique provenance of having once been displayed at Al Schacht's restaurant in New York City. Al Schacht, known as "The Clown Prince of Baseball," opened his New York eatery in 1942, which soon became a popular destination for local sports stars and celebrities. Because the restaurant featured a baseball theme, Schacht decorated it with various pieces of sports memorabilia, including many game-used garments. (As most collectors will remember, a 1938 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees road jersey that appeared as Lot 7 in our May 2007 auction was once displayed at the restaurant.) According to our consignor, his father-in-law was passing by the restaurant a short time after it had closed for good and witnessed workers bringing out piles of garbage to the dumpster on the street. Among the debris being carried out were many old uniforms. Being a baseball fan, he politely asked one of the workers if he could take some of the uniforms they were throwing away and was told to help himself. These jersey are four that he grabbed that day (all of the others are offered as four separate lots in this auction) and they have remained in the family's possession since that time.
Three of the jerseys display either changes or removals to the original numbers and or logo on the front, but all four still display the original player identification. The jerseys offered here are the following: 1) Circa 1930s/1940s Johnny Murphy Yankees home jersey. The number "19" appears on the reverse in blue felt; however, the "NY" logo on the front has been removed (outline still visible). "J Murphy" is chain-stitched in blue on a white strip tag in the collar, above which are a "Wilson" label and "46" size tag. Murphy wore number #19 during his entire Yankees career (1934-1947). Moderate-to-heavy wear, but no significant defects to the material. 2) 1940s Johnny Lindell Yankees home jersey. The jersey displays the "NY" logo on the front, but the original number has been replaced on the reverse with the number "3." (Lindell never wore number "3" prior to its retirement in 1948 in honor of Babe Ruth.) The name "Lindell" is chain-stitched in blue on a white strip tag in the collar. Also located in the collar, directly above the name tag, are a "Spalding " label, a "44" size tag, and a laundry tag. Lindell played with the Yankees from 1941 to1950. Moderate-to-heavy wear, with a few small tears, but no significant defects to the material. 3) 1955 Frank Leja Yankees home jersey. "NY" logo on the front and "51" on the reverse, both in blue felt. A "Spalding" label and "44" size tag appear in the collar. Leja's name, year, and uniform number ("Leja 55-51") are chain-stitched in blue on the left front tail. Heavy wear, including a few small tears and heavy blue staining on the left front tail. 4) 1955 Jerry Coleman Yankees home jersey. "NY" logo on the front and a replaced "52" on the reverse, both in blue felt (Coleman wore number "42" in 1955). A "Spalding" label and "42" size tag appear in the collar. Coleman's name, year, and uniform number ("Coleman 55-42") are chain-stitched in blue on the left front tail. Heavy wear, including a few tears. Total: 4 jerseys. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,280
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