The Pinstripe Dynasty Collection

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In the winter of 1959, the Kansas City A’s traded rightfielder Roger Maris to New York where the sweet-swinging lefty was no longer able to hide from the spotlight. Maris took home A.L. MVP and Gold Glove awards in each of his first two seasons wearing pinstripes. He is best remembered, of course, for hitting 61 in ’61 to set the single-season home run record which most purists argue should still stand. The chase to catch Babe Ruth’s 60, as his flashier and more beloved teammate Mickey Mantle matched him dinger for dinger, should have been a glorious pursuit for Maris. Yet it grew into an almost unbearable saga for the quiet man of high integrity who cared more about winning than headlines. Roger smacked 33 homers and drove in another 100 runs in 1962, helping lead the Yankees to back-to-back World Series titles. The team would retire his number 9 in 1984, cementing his legacy as an all-time great within the holy confines of Yankee Stadium.

Featured here the fiberglass Yankees helmet donned by Maris in the batter's box during that historic window, circa 1960-62. The American Baseball Cap manufacturer’s label appears on the interior roof indicating size 7-1/2 and “PITTSBURGH 35, PENNA.” ABC added post office zip codes starting in 1963 (according to game-used authenticator John Taube). Affixed inside at the rear is a piece of white athletic tape with “Maris 9” in bold black marker -- a pattern typical of Yankees longtime equipment manager Pete Sheehy. The interior foam roof and leather side padding is well-worn and the outer shell surface shows consistent use with some white scuff marks. The white-painted “NY” interlocking logo on the front may have been touched up by the team, along with some navy sections of the brim and shell to cover areas of excessive use. The consignor of the Pinstripe Dynasty Collection attests to acquiring this helmet through a Yankees staff member years ago.

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