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1948 Mario Picone New York Giants Home Jersey - One-Year Style Jersey
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $840
New York Giants home jersey issued to pitcher Mario Picone in 1948. The white flannel jersey features "Giants" across the front and the number "43" on the reverse. All letters and numerals are appliquéd in black on orange felt. A "MacGregor/Goldsmith 44" label appears in the collar. The numerals "1 48" (denoting the set number and year) are chain-stitched in orange upon a small white strip tag located on the interior left front tail. The jersey, which is original as issued, with no alterations, displays moderate wear, including a few loose threads to the front lettering and a broken button (bottom button). Mario Picone played very briefly for the Giants in 1947, 1952, and 1954 before his contract was sold to the Reds during the middle of the 1954 season (which was his final season in the major leagues). Since this is a 1948 jersey, it was obviously not worn by Picone during that year because he did not make the club. The number "43" was never used by the Giants prior to 1948 (in fact, it was never worn by an official roster player until 1954), which means that this jersey was most likely made up for Picone either during spring training one year, or as reserve jersey in anticipation of him being called up at some point during the year. While this jersey may never have been worn during a regular season game, it is still significant because it represents a rare one-year style that was only used by the Giants for the 1948 season. The design features which distinguish it as such are the button front in combination with the black-and-orange piping running down either side of the button panel.
Additionally, this jersey comes with 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. This jersey is just one of a number 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. This particular garment even retains the original wire hook on the left sleeve that was applied so that it could be hung on the wall of the restaurant! Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $840
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