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1967 Tug McGraw New York Mets Game-Used Home Jersey
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $4,406
New York Mets home jersey worn by legendary relief pitcher Tug McGraw in 1967. The white pinstripe flannel jersey is lettered "Mets" across the front and features the number "45" on the left breast and reverse. All letters and numerals are appliquéd in blue felt on orange tackle twill. A New York Mets team patch appears on the left sleeve. The jersey size, year, and jersey number ("40 67 45") are chain-stitched in blue upon a white strip tag in the collar. Located on the left front tail are a "Spalding" label, a "40" size tag, a laundry tag, and an adjacent flag tag reading "set 1 1967." All of the numerals (front and back), as well as the sleeve patch, have been restored with non-period replacements; otherwise, the jersey is original as issued. Moderate-to-heavy wear is evident throughout, including a small stain on the front of the jersey in the center of the button line. In the almost fifty-year history of the New York Mets, few players are more identified with the club than reliever Tug McGraw. A member of both the Mets' 1969 World Championship club and the 1973 pennant winners, McGraw was the quintessential "lefty," both on the field and off. Known for his screwball on the field, and as a screwball off the field, McGraw was one of the most free-spirited players in team history and highly quotable, traits which made him extremely popular with both the New York press and fans. With his trademark glove slapping, he was also one of the most high-profile players of his era and in 1973 he became famous for coining the club's celebrated battle cry of "You gotta believe!" The offered jersey dates from McGraw's third season with the club, when he was still just a struggling young starter trying to crack the rotation. McGraw made only four starts for the Mets in 1967, compiling a record of 0-3 with a 7.79 ERA before he was sent down to the minors to finish the season with Jacksonville of the International League, the Mets' triple A affiliate. McGraw remained in Jacksonville for all of the 1968 season and did not return to the Mets until 1969, at which time he had perfected his screwball to became one of the team's top relievers. Graded A6.5 by MEARS (10 point base grade, but minus 3 points combined for the replaced numbers on the front and back, and the replaced patch, and minus a half point for the light stain on the front). Tug McGraw New York Mets jerseys are extremely rare. This is one of only two listed in the MEARS census, the only flannel, and it is by far the earliest example (the other is a 1972 knit home jersey). This is the first Tug McGraw jersey we have ever offered and we cannot recall having ever seen an earlier example. LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000++. SOLD FOR $4,406
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