The only known and authenticated Joe DiMaggio jersey from the 1942 Wartime season is expected to set a record price when it hits the auction block in the Goldin Auctions 2015 Winter Auction scheduled for Jan. 12-Feb. 7 at www.GoldinAuctions.com.
The jersey is historically significant for many reasons. It would be the last jersey "The Yankee Clipper" would wear before he enlisted in the U.S Army from 1943-45 to serve his country during World War II.
"We are thrilled to offer this new find to collectors for the first time," said Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions. "It's not only incredible that this jersey is being offered for public sale for the first time ever after all of these years, but it's a minor miracle that any jersey, let alone a DiMaggio jersey, survived from the 1942 season, as Wartime rationing severely restricted sports supplies and uniforms were recycled even more frequently than during the depression years."
In 1941 Joe DiMaggio was coming off the most historic season of his career, having won the MVP award and hit in his record 56 consecutive games, capped off by a World Series victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers. He followed that up with a fine performance in 1942 hitting 21 home runs with 114 RBI and led the Yankees to another World Series appearance. When he took off this jersey for the last time in 1942, it would be four years until #5 was worn again, when Joltin' Joe made his return from the war in 1946.
The jersey has been authenticated by MEARS as one worn by DiMaggio during the 1942 season. Although it is rare to successfully photo match a jersey that is 70 years old due to the poor quality of photography available, MEARS did find 1942-dated photographs of the Yankee Clipper and established that he wore two different home jerseys that summer, noted as "Jersey #1" and "Jersey #2". The pinstripes found on the Yankees home jersey act almost as fingerprints, as the famous blue stripes fall differently in relation to the graphics, sleeves and placket on each jersey. MEARS was able to state "there is a very high probability that the jersey identified as Jersey #2 could be the offered jersey" and their illustrated worksheet documents their findings.
The front of the classic home pinstripe jersey features the timeless intertwined "NY" in navy felt. The buttons are deemed to be the original ones and are still firmly affixed to the jersey. The Spalding label is sewn inside the collar along with a size "44" strip tag. "Joe DiMaggio" is chain stitched in black on a white strip tag sewn below the size. A faded "Joe DiMaggio" signature is just below that. The left sleeve features a patriotic shield patch with three stars on a navy blue field above the word "HEALTH". This patch was worn during the 1942 season by all players as part of the nation-wide "Hale America" program to promote physical fitness. To further date the jersey, the year "42" is chain stitched in navy blue on the inside rear tail of the jersey. The back has DiMaggio's famed number "5" in navy blue felt.
Goldin Auction will offer offer items from the collection of Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez and Jose Altuve. Some of the highlights from each are listed below.
Gary Carter Collection, Lots 62-69. Highlights Include:
– Gary Carter Game Used and Signed First New York Mets Helmet ( PSA/DNA )
– 1986 Gary Carter World Series Game Used Catchers Mitt with Photo Match (PSA/DNA)
– 1986 Gary Carter Game Used and Signed Shin Guards and Chest Protector
– 1985 Gary Carter Game Used and Signed Career Hit 1500 Bat PSA/DNA GU 10
Keith Hernandez Collection, Lots 69-85. Highlights Include:
– 1980 Keith Hernandez National League Silver Slugger Award (Hernandez LOA)
– Keith Hernandez 1979 Missouri Athletic Club Sports Personality of the Year Award (Hernandez LOA)
– 1979 Keith Hernandez Kansas City Sports Writers Player of the Year Award (Hernandez LOA)
– 1982 Keith Hernandez St. Louis Cardinals World Series Championship Trophy (Hernandez LOA)
Jose Altuve Collection, Lots 154-171. Highlights Include:
– 2014 Jose Altuve Game Worn and Signed Houston Astros Home Jersey From Game He Passed Biggio to Break Astros Single-Season Hit Record (MLB Authenticated)
– Jose Altuve 2014 All-Star Game Used and Signed Fielder's Glove (MLB Authenticated)
– Jose Altuve 2014 211th hit Game Used and Signed Helmet (MLB Authenticated)
– Jose Altuve 2014 Game Used and Signed Cleats from 211th Hit Game (MLB Authenticated)
For more details and images of the items and the 1,400-plus lots of memorabilia, or to receive a free auction catalog, visit www.GoldinAuctions.com.