Offered here is one of the finest Willie Mays game-used gloves in the hobby, based upon its condition, unique markings, and, most importantly, its impeccable provenance, which includes a full LOA from Willie Mays himself. This glove originates from a former San Francisco Giants batboy, Ron Davis, who has provided a letter of provenance detailing its history. In full: "I Ron Davis was the San Francisco Giants batboy from 1968 to 1971. I also helped the clubhouse attendant Lou Brinson, and other clubhouse personnel from 1971 to 1987. The following MacGregor glove was used by Willie Mays in the late 60's while playing for the San Francisco Giants. I obtained the glove from Lou Brinson." The MacGregor right-handed fielder's glove, model KC1, is a top-of-the-line pro-model glove and displays outstanding evidence of game use. Despite the amount of use, the glove was obviously well maintained, with the leather still supple and all of the lacing intact. Mays' name and uniform number ("Mays 24") are written in vintage black marker on the outside of the pinky. The name "Mays" is also written in vintage black marker on the outside of the thumb. Mays later signed the glove in black Sharpie (grading "9") on the interior pinky.
According to Mays, both of the vintage identifiers on the glove are in his hand, which he acknowledges in his accompanying LOA. The one-page letter, typed on San Francisco Giants letterhead, reads as follows:
To Whom It May Concern: I have personally inspected this San Francisco Giants glove and deem it to be authentic as used by me. This game worn glove has all of the characteristics as preferred by me. The glove was manufactured by MacGregor and Made in the USA. It is a model KC1. The glove shows much use from being used by me in many professional games. It is manufactured from the top of the line Kangaroo hide. Mays 24 appears on the outside finger and "Mays" again appears on the thumb. All writing was originally placed there by me. This is a very special game worn glove and worthy of any first class baseball collection.
The letter is signed by Mays in blue fine-point marker (grading "10"). In addition to the letters from both the former bat boy and Mays, the glove is also accompanied by an LOA from noted glove expert Dennis Eskin. With apologies to Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and others, many feel that Willie Mays was the single greatest ballplayer to ever take the field. Statistics don't lie. The "Say Hey Kid" finished a brilliant twenty-two-season career with 660 home runs, 1,903 RBI, a .302 batting average, 338 stolen bases and the well-earned reputation for being the greatest centerfielder ever. Mays won a World Series ring in 1954 and was named NL MVP in 1954 and 1965. Willie was the complete package on the baseball diamond and is one of only five players to collect 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. In addition to his incredible offensive powers, it is testimony to Mays' all-around brilliance on the field that he is as highly respected for his defensive skills, so much so that the single item which might best represent his great legend for many is a glove as opposed to a bat. The image of Mays making his great catch in the 1954 World Series, or demonstrating his trademark "basket catch" is powerfully ingrained in the collective consciousness of baseball memories. This is one of the key tools of his trade, one of the finest Willie Mays gloves in existence, and a worthy centerpiece to even the most advanced baseball memorabilia collection. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Pre certified by Steve Grad and Brian Sobrero/Beckett Authentication. Opening Bid $5,000. Estimate $20,000+.
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