2021 SUMMER PREMIER AUCTION

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/9/2021

Once each generation, a ballplayer hits a home run in a game changing situation that becomes baseball legend: Babe Ruth’s called shot in the 1932 World Series, Bobby Thomson’s bottom of the 9th shot that beat Brooklyn, Kirk Gibson’s pennant winning home run in 1988. This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of Reggie Jackson – no stranger to game changing home runs – hitting a home run that fans, ballplayers and historians still talk about. It still stands today as the 3rd longest home run in MLB history.

The situation was this: it was the bottom of the 3rd inning of the 1971 All-Star Game. For two innings, Pittsburgh’s Doc Ellis, sporting an ERA of 2.11, held the AL’s best bats silent while his National League teammates jumped ahead to a 3-0 lead. The game had been an NL home run exhibition so far, first with Cincinnati’s Johnny Bench hitting a tape measure 2-run shot followed by a solo homer by Hank Aaron. Both promised to be highlight-reel material – that is until Reggie Jackson entered the game.

Though just 25, Reggie had already made a name for himself as one of the AL’s brightest stars. A bad year in 1970 left him off the All-Star roster, but he came roaring back in 1971, and now with a runner on first base and the eyes of the baseball world watching, he was sent into pinch hit for Vida Blue. Sizing up Doc Ellis, who had given up just four home runs in the regular season, Reggie let a fastball way on the outside corner go for a ball. Then he got ahold of the second pitch and sent it screaming up into the Detroit night. TV cameras swung to cover the ball and everyone in Tiger Stadium craned their necks to follow its majestic trajectory. As Reggie circled the bases, announcer Curt Gowdy’s call was one of confusion: “That one is going, way up!- (pause)- it is- (pause)- off the roof?- (pause)- that hit the transformer up there.”

Johnny Bench, whose 2-run homer was the longest he’d ever hit and had put the NL on the board in the 2nd, stood helpless behind the plate and watched Reggie’s shot exit the stadium. “I was so happy about my home run going so far” he told reporters. “Then Reggie hit his. I said, 'Oops, mine just went from the sports headlines to the obituary page.'” Almost as impressive as Reggie’s home run were the accolades lauded on him by his peers. “It wasn’t even at its peak when it hit the transformer” said Al Kaline. Frank Howard, no stranger to tape measure home runs opined, “I think it would’ve gone 600 feet” and Sparky Anderson, not one who was quick to compliment a player from a rival team later said, “For me, that’s the hardest home run I’ve ever seen.” Reggie’s prodigious home run cut the NL’s lead to 1-run and unnerved Doc Ellis so much that he walked Rod Carew and gave up a home run to Frank Robinson, putting the AL ahead for good.

In 2017, Bleacher Report ranked Reggie’s 539-foot All-Star Game homer as number 3 on their list of “The Longest Home Runs In MLB History,” right behind Mantle’s 565 foot shot in 1953 and Babe Ruth’s 575 foot blast in 1921. And while Reggie’s Mid-Summer Classic home run became baseball legend as soon as he hit it, it wasn’t until this year that a photo match was made identifying this A’s jersey as the one Jackson wore while hitting that historic blast.  

The white flannel home vest has the Oakland “A’s” logo and Jackson’s number “9” in green and gold tackle twill across the chest. A wrinkle in the cross bar of the “A” is one of the unique identifying elements that led to this jersey being photo matched to Reggie’s great moment. Another unique identifier is the imperfections found on the green and gold trim that circles the sleeve openings. These can both be seen in photos taken during and after the 1971 game. The back of the jersey has “JACKSON” across the shoulders in green tackle twill and his number “9” below in A’s green and gold. A McAuliffe label with year (71) and size (44) hang tags is found in the lower left front tail of the jersey. The vest shows great game use, with light staining throughout and wear to the tackle twill from repeated laundering – exactly what you would expect to see on the uniform of a player of Jackson’s stature. The Hall of Famer has completed this historic All-Star gamer with a flawless navy blue marker signature with “H.O.F. 93” below the A’s logo on the front.

The vest has been definitively photo matched to the 1971 All-Star Game by Resolution Photomatching and graded a perfect A10 by MEARS. Following a Jackson A’s jersey with a photomatch to a common home run selling for $148K at auction in May, we expect this jersey will reach another level altogether. The opportunity to own an artifact photo matched to a single moment in which history was made rarely comes around – and this outstanding jersey is undoubtedly one of them.

ESTIMATE: $250,000+

This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.
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Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $35,000
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Number Bids: 15
Auction closed on Friday, July 9, 2021.
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