News-Antique.com - Nov 14,2011 - WESTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Grey Flannel Auctions’ Holiday Auction 2011 is now under way and the heat is already on, with collectors placing early bids on Premier Lots including a 1948-49 Joe DiMaggio game-used Yankees jersey and a Sandy Koufax game-used jersey from the superstar pitcher’s 1966 Cy Young Award season with the Dodgers.
In all, 841 lots have been selected for the absentee and Internet auction that closes for bidding on Nov. 30, 2011. Virtually every major professional sport is represented in the complimentary printed catalog, as well as great Americana. In addition to game-used apparel and equipment, important autographed equipment and balls; awards, championship jewelry and personal ephemera that came directly from athletes are up for bid.
The aforementioned DiMaggio jersey, worn by Joltin’ Joe while on the road with the Yankees, has the number “5” on its back, “NEW YORK” on its front, and a grey felt strip tag with “DiMaggio” embroidered in navy blue chain stitch. It is accompanied by a photomatch of DiMaggio wearing the shirt in 1948. Written on the photo itself is “$100,000,” a reference to DiMaggio being the first baseball player ever to earn that amount for a single season. The jersey has already surpassed its reserve of $25,000.
Another frontrunner is the 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers flannel road jersey game-worn and autographed by pitching ace Sandy Koufax. “This jersey is especially significant because it comes from the World Series season in which Koufax won his third Cy Young Award by unanimous vote. It was also his final season in professional baseball,” said Richard E. Russek, president of Grey Flannel Auctions. In magnificent condition, the jersey has nearly doubled its $10,000 reserve in only a few days of bidding.
Athlete-signed Yankees equipment includes a 1966-67 Mickey Mantle game-used and autographed bat; and a coveted 1927 “Murderers Row” World Championship baseball signed by the team whose lineup of batters is considered “the best…ever.” The six hitters who struck fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Their signatures are written in blue ink and appear alongside those of their teammates on this ball, which opened with a $5,000 bid.
A hardcourt highlight is Hall of Famer Bill Russell’s NBA All-Star Game-used uniform from 1967, which is already well beyond its $10,000 reserve. With career distinctions that include NBA MVP (5 times) and NBA All-Star (12 times), Russell holds the record for most championships won by an athlete. “He was the nucleus of the Celtics dynasty, and his importance to the game of basketball cannot be overestimated,” said Russek.
Other items of game-used basketball apparel that are off to a running start include a rare 1973-74 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Milwaukee Bucks jersey, a circa-1971 Rick Barry New York Nets home uniform (only one known), and a 1977-78 Dennis Johnson Seattle SuperSonics NBA Finals road uniform (only one known). A very scarce 1966-67 ABA worn shooting shirt from the Anaheim Amigos comes with impeccable provenance in the form of an LOA from