Luis Melendez was a 1970’s outfielder and pinch-hitter who played for both the St. Louis Cardinals (1970-76) and San Diego Padres (1976-77). A career .248 hitter, Melendez collected 366 hits during the course of his eight-year MLB career that included 50 doubles and 122 runs batted in.
This lot features a 1968 St. Louis Cardinals game-worn road jersey that was issued to Melendez but was not actually donned by the pinch-hitting outfielder until his MLB debut on Sept. 7, 1970, against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The beautifully preserved gray flannel jersey boasts proper "Rawlings" tagging (size 40) on the left front tail positioned just above red chain-stitching reading "68" to reflect the original season in which it was issued. Further, a washing instructions tag exists just below the chain-stitching and includes a sewn-on flag tag reading "SET 1 1968." The jersey features "Cardinals" embroidered across the chest in red-on-blue script lettering with the famed birds-on-bat logo highlighting the team name. Melendez's uniform number "26" can be found in double felt (red on navy blue) numbering stretching 4.25" tall on the left breast area. On the jersey's reverse can be found "MELENDEZ" in semi-circular fashion across the shoulders in restored red-on-blue felt lettering positioned just above his uniform number "25" which stretches seven inches tall. The jersey shows moderate use with some noticeable puckering around the letters and numbers evident on the front and back. All seven original buttons down the front of the jersey remain intact.
Part of the esteemed Delbert Mickel estate collection.