A 1954 graduate of Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles, Don Drysdale was a lanky, 6’ 5” hurler recruited right out of high school by the Brooklyn Dodgers. He signed with the team as an amateur free agent for a $4,000 bonus and a salary of $600 per month. He made his MLB debut less than two years later, at age 19, when he pitched the ninth inning of a game against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on April 17, 1956. He gave up no hits, no runs and walked one batter as the Phillies hung on for an 8-6 win. He would soon become one of the most dominating pitchers in Major League Baseball history. In 1954, during his first professional season of baseball, Drysdale pitched for Brooklyn’s Class C affiliate, the Bakersfield Indians. Just 17, Drysdale started 14 games for the Indians, posting an 8-5 record, 3.46 ERA and striking out 73 batters. Appearing in 20 games overall, Drysdale also showed off his hitting prowess by batting .294 (15-for-51) and driving in 14 runs.
This lot features Drysdale’s actual 1954 Bakersfield Indians game-worn home uniform. The size 44 white flannel jersey includes the proper Wilson manufacturer’s tag and size flag tag on the inside rear collar and demonstrates game use with some fraying and puckering of the letters and numbers on front and back. The team name – “Indians” – is spelled out in script across the front in red embroidery. Unless his MLB jersey number 53, this one sports Drysdale original number “38” on the reverse in seven-inch tall numbers. Red piping outlines the around the collar and encircles both short sleeve openings. The club’s Indians logo adorns the left sleeve and all seven original buttons down the front remain intact.
The matching flannel pants are also properly marked with the Wilson’s manufacturer’s tag and inseam length “38” flag tag on the inside right fly. Some small stains are evident on the front and back which only goes to demonstrate Drysdale’s wear and tear. Red piping stretches the length of both legs and all seven original buttons (five on the fly and one for each back pocket) are still intact. This uniform marks the very start of what became one most dominant right-handed pitching careers in professional baseball history.
Includes LOA from the Drysdale Family.