Fall Premier Auction 2017


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/4/2017

ADDENDUM: Please note that the jersey in this lot has been determined by MEARS to be Wally Berger's 1939 World Series game worn jersey. 

During his 11-year career in Major League Baseball Wally Berger played in 1,350 games and batted .300 with 242 home runs to his credit. Berger was selected to four consecutive National League All-Star teams beginning with the inaugural Mid-Summer Classic in 1933. The hard slugging centerfielder and sometimes first-baseman played in two World Series against Lou Gehrig and the Yankees in '37 and '39. In fact, Wally Berger made the final out in game four of the 1939 World Series when his line drive was snared by Frank Crosetti to give the Yankees the sweep and the title. That was Lou Gehrig’s last game in uniform.

A comprehensive analysis of the offered jersey by Dave Grob of MEARS indicates that this jersey was worn in the aforementioned 1939 World Series, with accompanying pants dating to 1940. An excerpt of Grob’s comments from the accompanying MEARS LOA is as follows;

1939 was the first year of this style jersey and Reds were provided regular season uniforms by both Spalding and Goldsmith. The 1939 Cincinnati regular season jerseys featured two distinctly different version of this REDS crest on the left breast. The 1939 regular season Goldsmith products featured the lettering of REDS without any sort of white boarder (pLATE I). Both the 1939 regular season uniforms featured the 1939 Centennial Anniversary patch.

The 1939 Cincinnati Reds ordered new home uniforms for the World Series. To the best of knowledge, no such special order was made for the road jerseys. Contemporary references, to include information provided by the P. Goldsmith and Sons Co indicates the Reds 1939 World Series home World Series uniforms (same for 1940) were provided by them, a local Cincinnati manufacturer.

Images from the 1939 World Series games at Crosley Field (Games 3-4) shows that the uniforms worn by the Cincinnati Reds did not feature the 1939 Centennial Anniversary patch and that the uniforms also featured a 2” hole, convex style Goldsmith style button. Examination of the sleeves of this jersey on both a light table and with a UV lighting, indicates that no 1939 Centennial Anniversary patch was ever affixed to this jersey.

The combination of these factors:

- Non-1939 regular season Goldsmith CREDS logo.

- Absence of any signs of the application of the 1939 Centennial Anniversary patch.

- Comparative imagery analysis

Leads me to conclude this offered jersey was ordered for the 1939 World Series.

Additional Grob comments regarding condition from the MEARS LOA are as follows;

With respect to condition, the top button is missing and the second and third buttons have been replaced. The jersey is heavily soiled and stained and there is a 2" section of stitch/fabric separation on the second numeral "2" on the rear of the jersey. The jersey is otherwise assessed as being all original. It should be noted that Berger did appear in all four games of the 1939 World Series.

A pair of 1940 tagged pants, attributable to Berger who was released after playing just two games with the Reds in 1940, has a “T” shaped tear on the right knee that has been repaired.  A pair of blue wool stirrups is also included. Any Cincinnati Reds flannel from this era is notable rarity, but finding a World Series worn specimen from a player of Wally Berger’s caliber is a significant hobby discovery.

LOA from MEARS with A5.5 grade based on condition as noted. Sourced from the estate of a former MLB player whose identity will remain anonymous.


Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $9,662
Number Bids:8
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