1997 Greg Maddux Atlanta Braves Signed Game-Used Jersey with Team Provenance
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $2,666.25
Atlanta Braves home jersey worn by future Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux in a game against the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field on September 12, 1997. This jersey was obtained directly from the Atlanta Braves and is accompanied by a COA, dated 9/13/97, signed by Danny Goodwin, Executive Director of the Atlanta Braves Foundation. The white knit jersey is lettered "Braves" across the front, below which is the team's tomahawk logo. Displayed on the reverse are the number "31" and the name "Maddux." All letters and numerals are appliquéd in red on navy tackle twill with the exception of the name on the reverse, which is appliquéd in navy tackle twill. A special Jackie Robinson commemorative patch (celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of his 1947 debut), which was worn by every Major League team in 1997, adorns the right sleeve. Located on the left front tail are a "Wilson" label and the year, "97," which is stitched in navy on a white strip tag. Located directly below the Wilson label are two flag tags: one denoting the size, "44," and the other reading "2 inch X-Length." Maddux has signed the jersey in black Sharpie (grading "9") on the numeral "3." The jersey is original, with no alterations, and displays moderate wear, including a few light stains on the front and reverse.
Maddux was at his best while wearing this jersey on September 12, 1997. The four-time Cy Young Award winner limited Colorado to just four hits, with no walks, through eight innings. With the Braves holding a 1-0 lead, Maddux gave way to closer Mark Wohlers to start the ninth. Unfortunately, Wohlers failed to hold the lead, allowing three runs and absorbing the loss in the club's 3-1 defeat. Wohlers blown save was especially frustrating for Maddux, as it ultimately cost him a twenty-win season. Maddux finished the year with a record of 19-4, a 2.20 ERA, and a league-leading .826 winning percentage. Those numbers resulted in a second-place finish in the Cy Young Award voting at year's end. One of the greatest pitchers of the modern era, Maddux won 355 games during his twenty-three year career (1986-2008), eleven of which were spent in Atlanta. In addition to winning four consecutive Cy Young Awards (1992-1995), Maddux also won eighteen Gold Glove Awards, four ERA titles, and made eight All-Star appearances. Maddux will appear on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in 2014 and it is a near certainty that he will be inducted in his first year of eligibility.
This is an outstanding Greg Maddux game-used jersey dating from the height of his illustrious career, and one in which the ideal provenance should be of great consideration. Modern-era jerseys (dating from 1987 and later) are extremely challenging to authenticate, especially in distinguishing between those that are game used and those that are "team issued" (or purely fabricated). This jersey, coming directly from the team, provides collectors with supreme reassurance of not only its game-used status, but the specific nature of its use, including the exact game in which it was worn. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $2,666.25