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1972 Willie Mays Game-Used Flip Sunglasses with Provenance Plus 1954 WS Ticket "The Catch"
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $3,258.75
This collection of Willie Mays memorabilia is highlighted by a pair of Willie Mays' trademark flip sunglasses dating from the 1972 season. The glasses originate from Joe Deer, who was the assistant trainer for the New York Mets between the years 1964 and 1978. Deer was with the Mets when Mays was traded to the club from San Francisco on May 11, 1972. In an accompanying copy of a one-page typed-signed letter, dated 11/14/97, Deer details the history of the glasses. In full: "It was my pleasure to be assistant trainer of the New York Mets from 1964 to 1978. During that time I had close relationships with players, managers, & coaches both on the Mets and in the National League. The item(s) below was obtained by me in the manner described as follows: Willie Mays' Giants' Black Sleeves & Flip Sunglasses - Obtained by me directly from Mays upon his trade to Mets in May 1972. These items were brought over by Mays in his equipment bag, but not of the style suitable for the Mets. Sleeves have MAYS written with laundry marker in collar." Our consignor was a neighbor of Deer's, which is how he obtained these glasses. The reason the letter is a copy, and not the signed original, is because our consignor still owns the black-sleeved shirt mentioned in the letter. (REA saw the original signed letter and we made the copy in our office.) The letter is also accompanied by a copy of an autographed photo of Deer inscribed to our consignor. Deer was indeed the assistant trainer for the Mets and he can be seen in numerous team pictures from the era. The glasses, which remain fully functional, are well worn and feature a vintage tape reinforcement along both ends of the elastic strap where it attaches to the glasses. While the nature of glasses is such that they do not lend themselves to authentication in exactly the same manner as bats and jerseys, the provenance here is extremely credible and we have absolutely no doubt these are Willie Mays' sunglasses. The balance of the collection is as follows: 1) Willie Mays signed 1954 World Series ticket stub (4.25 x 2.25 inches) for Game 1. Mays has signed the ticket in black fountain pen (grading "8/9") on the front. This was the game in which Mays made "The Catch" off the bat of Vic Wertz in the eighth inning, which helped preserve the 2-2 tie, and allowed the Giants to win the game in ten innings. VG, with creases. 2) New York Mets ticket stub (1.5 x 3.25 inches) from Willie Mays' debut with the club on May 14, 1972. Ex. 3) 1954 Western Union Press Message (8 x 10.5 inches) with coverage of Game 2 of the 1954 World Series. The press statement opens by mentioning Mays' catch from the game before. Gd-Vg, with tears along the right border. Total: 4 items (glasses, two ticket stubs, press message). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,258.75
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