Summer Premier Auction 2020

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

Long before the Los Angeles Angels became a Major League franchise in 1961, they were the darlings of the Pacific Coast League. One of the PCL’s charter members, the “Looloos” or “Seraphs” – as they were often called – won 12 pennants from 1903 to 1957. From the 1930s to the mid-50s, the PCL (AA and AAA) was widely regarded as the “third” major league (after the AL and NL), providing a high level of play garnished by the blaze of Tinseltown celebrities in the stands whenever the Angels or Hollywood Stars hosted their games at Wrigley Field in South L.A. Presented here is an Angels team jacket worn by fabled PCL slugger Steve Bilko.

The power-hitting first baseman, often referred to as "the Babe Ruth of the PCL", had his best years with the Angels from 1955–57 when he donned this jacket. His greatest season came in 1956 when he won the Triple Crown with a .360 batting average, 55 home runs and 164 RBI and led the Seraphs to their final PCL title. The following year, he blasted 56 homers and drove in 140. "He was just as popular as Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant," recalled a former minor league team president. "He was just as mobbed on the streets as any of those actors." Bilko had two productive seasons in the big leagues, first with the Cardinals in '53 when he hit 21 dingers and drove in 84 runs (also led the NL in K's), and later with the '61 L.A. Angels in their inaugural MLB season when he knocked 20 out of the yard in just 294 at-bats. "Stout Steve", as the lumbering 6' 1", 230-lb. slugger was called, died of a heart attack in 1978 at age 50 and was inducted into the PCL Hall of Fame in 2003 posthumously.

The navy blue, thick wool letterman’s style jacket has red and navy ribbing around the collar, tail and sleeve ends. The iconic PCL club’s “LA” logo is sewn over the heart in raised red fabric outlined in white. The back is blank, but inside the rear collar is "Bilko" handwritten in black marker. Tim McAuliffe manufacturer's tagging is found within the right outer pocket; inside the left outer pocket is a "54" year strip tag to denote when the jacket was made. (Bilko spent all of 1954 in the majors, with the Cards and Cubs, and team-issued gear was carried over multiple years in those days.) The jacket exhibits solid evidence of wear, but remains in outstanding overall shape with all buttons present and no holes or tears in the fabric. Only the ribbing shows signs of of excessive wear and aging. A classic L.A. Angels team jacket from the team's last PCL dynasty worn by their most prestigious star whose namesake became the title of Phil Silvers' main character "Sgt. Bilko" in the hit 1955-59 TV show. The jacket was sourced from the esteemed Dick Dobbins Collection (the "mother" of all PCL collections) over two decades ago and has remained with the same owner ever since.

Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $750
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,319
Number Bids: 5
Auction closed on Friday, August 28, 2020.
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