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1950s Yogi Berra Signed Game-Used Catcher's Mask - With LOA From Berra
Starting Bid - $2,500.00, Sold For - $17,400.00
Offered here is perhaps the finest Yogi Berra game-used item in existence: his catcher's mask. This 1950s pro model catchers mask has not only been signed by the legendary Hall of Fame backstop, but is also accompanied by an LOA from Berra in which he personally attests to its former use. The mask, which was produced by Spalding exclusively for Berra, features both his name ("Yogi Berra") and the model number ("1514") stamped on the rear leather head strap. Written upon that same strap, in vintage black marker, is the letter "K." The complete unit is comprised of a black cast-iron face mask and interior leather padding. An elastic strap, with adjustable leather fasteners, is attached to the rear leather head strap. Evidence of former use is apparent throughout, including light soiling and wear to the leather padding, stress marks on the strap, and wear to the front iron mask. This piece was actually sent to Berra by Mears President Troy Kinunen for his personal examination. In the accompanying response letter, Berra writes: "Dear Troy, Thank you for sending me for my review and authentication the catcher's mask that you recently required [sic]. I have examined the Spalding Yogi Berra model catcher's mask and have determined that it was worn by me during the mid 1950s while I was playing for The World Champion New York Yankees. I am now autographing this mask at your request." Good to his word, Berra did sign the mask, scripting his name in silver Sharpie ("10") on the bottom of the front face mask. Pieces such as this are rarely seen, let alone authenticated with such absolute certainty. The fact that it was also used by one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, during the height of the Yankees 1950s dynasty, makes it one of the true "gems" in the realm of game-used equipment. This mask has been consigned to this auction directly from the personal collection of world-renowned authenticator David Bushing. LOAs from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez, Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000/$7,500. SOLD FOR $17,400.00
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