Summer Premier Auction 2020

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/28/2020

Hall of Fame hurler Don Sutton personified the sports expression, you can’t win if you don’t show up. In a 23-year career (1966-88) with five teams that both began and ended as a member of the L.A. Dodgers, “The Mechanic” stayed healthy through virtually all of it, starting 756 games and winning 324 (versus 256 losses) in spite of having just one 20-win season. Only once did he make fewer than 27 starts and log fewer than 191 innings (not counting strike-shortened 1981), and that was his final season at age 43 when he got his one and only World Series ring. The four-time All-Star threw 58 career shutouts and retired with a miniscule 3.26 ERA. He stands seventh all-time in both innings (5,282) and strikeouts (3,574), a testament to both his longevity and blue-collar, workmanlike devotion to his craft.

Presented here is a nearly complete Los Angeles Dodgers home uniform ensemble “donned” by Sutton in 1979. Don struggled by his standards in ’79, going 12-15 with a 3.82 ERA. But the next year he went 13-5 and led the majors with a 2.20 ERA and sub 1.00 WHIP. The only thing missing to outfit your Don Sutton manikin head-to-toe is his cleats. This entire set consisting of his cap, jersey, pants and stirrups was loaned to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY, where it was put on display for over a year (1998-99).

The white knit button-down jersey features the classic script "Dodgers" across the chest in blue tackle twill and Sutton's number "20" sewn on the left front in red tackle twill. An arched “SUTTON” in blue-on-white tackle twill is sewn directly on the polyester fabric across the back. Although shirttail tagging is not present, the shirt can be accurately dated by the unique W.A. Goodman & Sons tagging behind the collar; only in 1979-80 were some Dodgers jerseys jointly tagged by “Mizuno Corporation – Osaka, Japan” as the label indicates. Because the left sleeve is missing the 1980 All-Star Game patch, jersey evaluator MEARS has dated the shirt to 1979. No size is listed, but according to MEARS it measures comparably to Sutton’s standard size 42. Don autographed the back post-career in black marker and mistakenly inscribed the wrong year (“1974”). The all-original jersey displays light to moderate wear consistent with that of a pitcher.

The matching pair of pants are similarly labeled by Goodman/Mizuno inside the rear waistband. An adjacent white strip tag reads “Sutton 33/24 [W/L] Set B ‘79” in blue stitching. The legs show light spot soiling and heavy pilling from repeated game use. The Dodger blue cap with the classic “LA” logo in white has Sutton’s No. “20” handwritten under the brim in black. Proper New Era tagging with size “7-?” (rest of size obscured by manufacturer stitching) is labeled inside along the rear of the brown leather sweatband. It shows significant game wear with moderate soiling on the brim, front right, and rear. Well-worn blue stirrup socks with white stripes round out the ensemble.

Includes letter from MEARS with an almost perfect A9.5 grade; the .5-point deduction due to a missing button. Also comes with a group of four letters of correspondence between the Baseball Hall of Fame and the consignor (a family friend of Sutton’s who received the four uniform pieces as a gift) from Jan. 23, 1998 to March 19, 1999. COA from Beckett for the autograph.

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $4,673
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Friday, August 28, 2020.
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