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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/11/2022

The quintessential five-tool player, Willie Mays is widely regarded as the greatest all-around baseball player in history. His run of twelve consecutive Gold Gloves will never be matched by a centerfielder. The “Say Hey Kid” played 22 seasons in the big leagues, the first twenty with the New York turned San Francisco Giants. The 24-time All-Star belted 660 career homers and knocked in 1,903 runs to go along with a .302 lifetime batting average, the final tallies occurring back in the Big Apple. On May 11, 1972 (five days after his 41st birthday), the Giants traded Willie to the Mets and the aging veteran could still swing it. During the strike-shortened '72 season, he batted .267 with eight home runs in 195 at-bats. 1973 would be his final MLB campaign. Of course, Mays only had to wait the minimum five years before his Hall of Fame induction in '79.

Featured here is Mays’ 1972 N.Y. Mets road jersey worn in his second-to-last season in the majors, with outstanding provenance to boot. This fine exemplar has received the second highest SGC grade possible (Excellent/Superior) from expert jersey authenticator, Dave Grob. The gray knit button-down has "NEW YORK" and his famous No. “24” across the chest in blue-on-orange tackle twill, with a larger number "24" in the same format on the back. The Classic Mets crest sporting the NYC skyline adorns the left sleeve. The inside rear collar has a gray strip tag chain-stitched with "24 44 72" to represent jersey number, size and season. On the front left tail is a Wilson size “44” manufacturer’s tag with washing instructions. The laundered jersey shows appropriate wear with puckered letters and numbers, light pilling and signs of perspiration and spot soiling on the interior.

During a Mets road trip that went through Chicago in ’72, this jersey was gifted by the Mets traveling secretary to the VP/GM of the visiting team hotel as a token of gratitude. (The Cubs hosted the Mets at Wrigley for three series that season: May 23-25, August 11-13, and September 15-17.) From the mid-1960’s to the late 70’s, MLB teams all stayed at Executive House downtown when they came to the Windy City to play the Cubs or White Sox. A detailed letter of provenance is provided, both from the recipient and his son who has consigned it. Also included is SGC’s thick professional authentication booklet explaining the jersey and its corresponding evaluation.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $25,076
Number Bids:13
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