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1962-63 Gene Freese Cincinnati Reds Signed Game-Used Road Jersey and Pants
Starting Bid - $200.00 , Sold For - $2,937.50
Addendum: The printed catalog description (below) dates this jersey to precisely 1961, but further research by MEARS indicates that this jersey is actually a 1962 or 1963 jersey, and was manufactured utilizing a 1961 shell.
Cincinnati Reds flannel road jersey, graded a perfect A10 by MEARS, and matching pants worn by third baseman Gene Freese in 1961. The gray vest-style jersey is lettered "Cincinnati" across the front and features the number "12" on both the left breast and reverse. All letters and numerals are appliquéd in red on navy tackle twill. A "MacGregor" manufacturer's label appears in the collar. Freese has signed the jersey in blue fine-point marker (grading "6") on the left breast, directly below the number. The jersey is completely original, with no alterations, and displays moderate wear throughout. Our consignor long ago purchased this jersey along with two others, both of which are in this auction, directly from Gene Freese. Despite the lack of a year or name tag, this jersey can be definitely attributed to Freese in 1961 for a number of reasons: First, Freese only played with Cincinnati between the years 1961 and 1963, during which time he wore number "12." Secondly, the Reds only employed this style jersey between the years 1961 and 1966. Those two facts, combined with the knowledge that the MacGregor label found in the collar was only used by the company between the years 1957 and 1961, pinpoints this jersey to the 1961 season. Freese was the only player to wear number "12" in 1961. The Reds were National League champions in 1961, but were defeated by the New York Yankees in the World Series. Based upon the fact that players were normally issued only two sets of home and away jerseys each season, there is a fifty percent chance that Freese wore this jersey in the 1961 World Series. Freese enjoyed perhaps the finest season of his career in 1961, batting .277 with 26 home runs and 87 RBI. Accompanying the jersey is a matching pair of Cincinnati flannel road pants that are attributed to Freese and have been deemed "Authentic" by MEARS (pants are not graded by the company). The gray pants display red piping down the side of each leg. The player's number, waist size, and inseam ("12 34 24") are chain-stitched in red upon a white strip tag in the waist. A "MacGregor 34" label appears in the front of the waistband. The pants are completely original, with no alterations, and display moderate-to-heavy wear. Unlike the jersey, these pants can only be narrowed to the years 1957 through 1961 (again, based upon the manufacturer's label). However, given that they bear Freese's number and were acquired by our consignor with the jersey, it stands to reason that the two garments comprise a complete 1961 Cincinnati Reds uniform. LOAs from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $2,937.50
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