Winter Premier Auction 2021

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/3/2021

The year 1941 saw one of, if not THE, greatest offensive feats in baseball history: Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. “The Streak,” as it would become known as, began on May 15 with a RBI single off Eddie Smith of the White Sox. A home run and triple the next day led to a single the next. DiMaggio would hit safely in 54 more consecutive games, stunning the sporting world and cementing his reputation as one of the most respected and admired ballplayers in history. Through it all the Yankees legend battled crushing pressure from the press and dozens of opposing pitchers who swore they would be the one that would put an end to “The Streak.”

However, it would not be a crafty pitcher who would get the credit of halting DiMaggio’s feat, but Cleveland’s stalwart third baseman, Ken Keltner. The Indians infielder had forged a reputation as the best third baseman in the American League, but had inadvertently been responsible for DiMaggio’s 17th consecutive game hit when his hard grounder tipped off his glove and continued into left field. A true student of the game, Keltner made a mental note of the play which he used to adjust his positioning when the Yankees came to Cleveland on June 1st. DiMaggio had run his streak to 56 consecutive games and was looking for 57. The mental note and lesson learned earlier enabled Keltner to be in position to make two outstanding diving plays that resulted in DiMaggio being thrown out at first by a fraction of a second. As Keltner told reporters after the game, “I played him deep tonight, maybe a little closer to the line than usual.” For his part, DiMaggio said of Keltner’s positioning, "Deep? My God, he was standing in left field." Though The Streak was over, DiMaggio had inspired millions across the country and had made Cleveland’s third baseman an unexpected star.

This is the glove Ken Keltner wore while putting an end to DiMaggio’s Streak. Knowing its historical significance, the third baseman held onto the glove long after his playing days ended. Upon his passing in 1991, Keltner’s family gifted the family heirloom to an aging Joe DiMaggio. The well-worn glove is a Rawlings Ken Keltner professional signature model with the third baseman’s signature stamped into its heel. Great surface wear is seen throughout and a period repair has been made to the interior thumb seam. The Rawlings label is affixed to the wrist strap though the graphics have worn off through use. The Rawlings wrist strap button is still attached and the “Ken Keltner” signature stamping remains legible. An incredible artifact that put a stop to one of the greatest feats of hitting ever seen with provenance to both Joe DiMaggio and Ken Keltner. The glove comes with an LOA from the DiMaggio family and MEARS. Originates from the Joe DiMaggio Family Collection.

Estimate: $50,000+

Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $10,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $21,260
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Saturday, April 3, 2021.
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