Circa Late 1960s Pittsburgh Pirates Batting Helmet

Sold For: $600

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 2065

Item Year: 1955

Category: Game-Used Jerseys & Equipment

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Addendum (4/6/17, 4:50 PM): This helmet most likely dates from the late 1960s, or possibly even from the early 1970s, not the 1950s as originally described. Also, because the initials and the number written on the interior do not match those of any Pirates player from the era, the possibility exists that this helmet might have been issued by a Pirates minor-league affiliate. Late 1960s Pittsburgh Pirates batting helmet. The black, fiberglass helmet, which does not have earflaps, features the team's distinctive gold "P" on the front. An American Baseball Cap (ABC) label is affixed to the interior, which also lists the size, "7." The initials "F. C." and the number "81" (or perhaps "18") are written in black marker on the interior top head pad. While batting helmets had been worn sparingly by Major League players in previous decades, the Pittsburgh Pirates, in 1953, became the first team to mandate the use of helmets for all of its players. (ABC was the company Pirates general manager Branch Rickey worked with to design and manufacture the helmet.) Three years later the National League required all its players to wear batting helmets at the plate and the American League adopted the same rule in 1958. Research indicates that no Pirates player with the initials "F. C." ever wore number "81" or "18" during the 1960s; therefore, no player attribution can be made for this particular helmet. It does, however, display extensive use, including chips to the brim, as well as both abrasions and scratches along the exterior. The leather headband displays a tear at the rear. In Good condition overall. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).


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