One of the finest Willie Mays jerseys in the hobby has sold for more than $220,000 at Grey Flannel Auctions.
The game-worn New York Giants jersey was worn by Mays during the 1957 season, as the Giants prepared to make the journey west to San Francisco.
It was an eventful season for the ‘Say Hey Kid’ in his final year at the Polo Grounds, as he led the National League in triples, stolen bases and slugging percentage, won a Gold Glove Award and was named an All-Star for the fourth year running.
The consignor had owned the jersey for more than 60 years, having been lucky enough to acquire it directly from the Giants themselves in the late 1950s.
The Major League team were then in the process of promoting their farm team, the Tacoma Giants, and the grand opening of their new home at the Cheney Stadium. They sent a box of their old uniforms to a Tacoma department store for a promotional event, including the magical Mays jersey.
"They sent us a box of old uniforms, which were handed down from the pro level club from a few years prior," stated the consignor. "I was lucky enough to grab Mays’ jersey and Margoneri matching pants. When we were told that we could keep the uniforms, I immediately knew I had something special and put it away in a drawer for 60+ years."
Having remained completely untouched and unrestored since the day Mays took it off for the final time, the jersey sold for $222,036.
It was one of several pieces of baseball history to fetch impressive prices in the online auction.
Further notable examples included a 1952 Roy Campanella Brooklyn Dodgers game-used home jersey, which sold for $90,000; an early 1940s Joe DiMaggio New York Yankees game-used home pinstripe jersey, which sold for $85,602; a circa-1950s Yogi Berra New York Yankees game-used & autographed catcher’s mask, which sold for $29,586; a baseball bat used by Babe Ruth during the later years of his ‘Barnstorming’ career, circa 1939-43, which sold for $13,800; and a 2001 Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants game-used home run bat, which sold for $18,368.