San Francisco Giants home uniform (jersey and pants) worn by Hall of Fame center fielder Willie Mays in 1969. Graded A10 by MEARS. This is the only 1969 Willie Mays home jersey we have ever seen and the fact that it includes the matching pants makes it especially desirable. The white flannel jersey is lettered "Giants" across the front and features the number "24" on the reverse. All letters and numerals are appliquéd in black felt on orange tackle twill. The name "Mays" is chain-stitched in black upon a white strip tag in the collar. A "McAuliffe" label appears on the left front tail, directly adjacent to which are a "42" size tag and "69" year tag. The Major League 100th Anniversary patch appears on the left sleeve. Mays has inscribed the jersey, "Willie Mays 24," in blue Sharpie (grading "9," slight brushing) just below the left breast. The jersey is accompanied by a matching pair of white flannel pants featuring an orange-and-black piping down the side of each leg. A "W. A. Goodman & Sons" label appears in the waistband, as does a long, white strip tag that features Mays' name, pant size, inseam length, and year ("Mays 32 1/2/25 1969") chain-stitched in black. Mays has inscribed the pants on the left leg, "Willie Mays 24," in blue Sharpie ("9," slight brushing). Both the jersey and pants are original as issued, with no alterations, and both display moderate wear.
1969 marked Mays' eighteenth season in the majors and he finished the year with 13 home runs, 58 RBI, and a .283 batting average. Of those thirteen home runs, seven were hit at home and represented career home run #590, 592, 594, 595, 597, 598, 599. Given the fact that most players received two home and two road uniforms during the year, it seems probable that one or more of those seven home runs were hit while wearing this very uniform. This is only the third Willie Mays flannel jersey we have ever offered and the first complete uniform. (The other two Mays flannel jerseys we offered were a 1951 Minneapolis Millers and a 1971 San Francisco Giants.) There are quite a few Mays knits dating from his final seasons but, as advanced collectors are well aware, flannels are particularly rare and far more desirable. Mays, of course, is one of the greatest all-around players in baseball history. One of only four players to amass over 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, his other honors/achievements include the 1951 Rookie of the Year Award, two MVP Awards, twelve Gold Gloves, and twenty-four All-Star Game appearances (for four seasons, 1959-1962, there were two All-Star Games per season). He also led the Giants to three pennants and one World Championship during his twenty-one seasons with the club. Following the 1969 season Mays was named the 1960's Player of the Decade by The Sporting News and it would be hard to imagine a finer 1960s Mays uniform than this extraordinary garment. Jersey graded A10 by MEARS (base grade of 10, with no deductions; MEARS does not grade pants, but they have been certified as "Authentic"). LOA from MEARS and auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Pre certified by Steve Grad and Brian Sobrero/Beckett Authentication. Opening Bid $10,000. Estimate $40,000+.
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