Fall Premier Auction 2014

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/7/2014
He will forever be "Mr. Cub," the most popular player ever to roam the friendly confines of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. His sunny personality is legend, as is his refrain on a sunny day: "Let's play two!" The first black player on the Cubs, Banks came up as a shortstop, where he won consecutive MVP awards (1958-59), but actually played more games at first base. Like his contemporary, Hank Aaron, Banks didn't look like a typical slugger. He was slim, with powerful thighs, and he held his bat high, wiggling it nervously while waiting for the pitch. The look was deceiving at first, but 512 career homers later, no one questioned Banks' power hitting ability. Always a fan favorite with the Chicago Cubs during his playing days from 1953 to ’71, Banks even joined the Cubs coaching staff following his retirement. He holds team records for games played (2,528), at-bats (9,421), extra-base hits (1,009) and total bases (4,706). Conversely, having been a mainstay for the long-suffering Cubs, he also holds the major league record for most games played without a postseason appearance: 2,528.Today a bronze statue of Banks – aptly entitled “Mr. Cub” – sits out in front of Wrigley in his honor.

As most advanced flannel collectors know, Ernie Banks is considered the third rarest 500 HR Club member jersey behind Mel Ott and Jimmie Foxx in completely original, unaltered condition. Remarkably, it is widely believed that more Babe Ruth jerseys exist than those of Banks. One theory as to their extreme scarcity is that several of the handful of known original Banks jerseys were tragically dismantled by various card companies for use on “swatch” cards in recent decades. Among the few surviving original, unaltered Banks jerseys known, the offered 1969 Cubs home example ranks near the top. Largely unknown to the collecting community it has rested quietly for more than 20 years as the centerpiece to Bill Riddell’s esteemed collection. Accompanying documentation from veteran collector Mike Specht details how he acquired it in 1977 directly from former San Diego Padres bat boy Bill Griswold along with other items from Griswold’s personal collection including Riddell’s 1971 Clemente signed game bat (Lot 232). The letter further states that Griswold obtained this Banks jersey from the Chicago Cubs equipment manager after the 1969 season.

Stunningly beautiful, the jerseys impeccable technical details include a Wilson size 40 tag sewn on the front tail along with a black chain stitched “1969”. Inside the collar is a strip tag reading "14-69-1-40" in chain stitch indicating the jersey number, year of issue, set number and size. The embroidered circular Cubs logo is sewn onto the chest while Banks number “14” is sewn on the reverse in blue tackle twill. A Cubbie Bear patch appears on the left sleeve and its original MLB 100th Anniversary patch remains on the right sleeve. Banks has signed the front of the jersey in large black marker. With regard to quality, condition, rarity and provenance, we unabashedly rank this among the finest game worn flannels our firm has ever handled. It is worth noting that among the other known Banks jerseys is a similar 1969 home Set 2 (this is the Set 1). In spite of the Set 2 example having a replaced MLB Anniversary patch it sold at auction in 2012 for $169,000.

Includes LOAs from Mike Specht and Dick Dobbins. Additional LOA from MEARS (Graded A9.5).

Pre-certified by PSA/DNA.

Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $25,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $151,652
Number Bids: 17
Auction closed on Sunday, December 7, 2014.
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