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2002-2004 Mariano Rivera Signed Game-Used New York Yankees Road Jersey with Steiner Sports Provenance
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $4,113
New York Yankees road jersey, dating between the years 2002-2004, worn by future Hall of Fame reliever Mariano Rivera. Graded A10 by MEARS. This garment originates directly from Steiner Sports, the exclusive marketing agent for New York Yankees game-used equipment, and features both a "Steiner Sports Memorabilia" and a "Yankees Steiner Collectibles" hologram label affixed to the manufacturer's label. Ideally, the jersey's game-used provenance is also personally attested to by Rivera himself, who has inscribed it in blue Sharpie (grading "10") on the left breast, "Mariano Rivera #42/Game Used." The gray knit jersey is lettered "New York" on the front and features the number "42" on the reverse. All letters and numerals are appliquéd in blue on white tackle twill. Located on the left front tail are a "Russell Athletic" label, a "46" size tag, a flag tag reading "+2 inch Extra Length," and a year tag. The ambiguity regarding the precise dating of the jersey is because only the first three digits of the year, "200," are legible. The fourth digit has faded away. Despite that fact, the style of tagging on this garment conforms to the three-year period 2002-2004. As MEARS notes in its accompanying LOA, the 2003 Yankee jersey would have featured a 100th anniversary patch on it. Since that patch is not present here, nor is there any indication of it having been removed, it can be even more precisely dated as worn by Rivera in either 2002 or 2004. Original and unaltered, the jersey displays moderate wear throughout. Both seasons witnessed Rivera at the peak of his powers. In 2002 he finished seventh in the league with 28 saves and a 2.74 ERA. In 2004 he recorded a league- and career-high 53 saves with a 1.94 ERA. Those numbers helped him finish third in the Cy Young balloting that year. Considered by many to be the greatest reliever in baseball history, Rivera's Hall of Fame resume includes 559 saves (second on the all-time list), 1,051 strikeouts in 1,150 innings pitched, and a 2.23 ERA. He has also led the Yankees to seven pennants and five World Championships over the course of his fifteen seasons. Graded A10 by MEARS (5 point base grade plus 5 points for provenance). This is one of only five Mariano Rivera jerseys listed in the MEARS census, with just two others graded at this level. This is a superlative Rivera jersey, with ironclad provenance, dating from the prime of his remarkable career. LOAs from Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $4,113
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