1911 Jack Killilay Boston Red Sox Road Jersey

Sold For: $19,975

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1326

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This extremely rare Boston Red Sox road jersey, which was worn by pitcher Jack Killilay in 1911, represents the second earliest player-identified Major League baseball jersey (i.e., name stitched in the garment) ever recorded in the entire MEARS census. Graded A7 by MEARS. This museum-quality jersey is one of the very few uniforms from that era that still exist today; even the collection of the Baseball Hall of Fame boasts very few. To put its rarity into proper perspective it should be noted that this is one of only nine pre-1920 jerseys ever graded by MEARS. It also comes with the special provenance of having once resided in the fabled Barry Halper Collection, where it was one of the cornerstone pieces in his prewar jersey section. The gray, road flannel jersey is lettered “Boston” across the front in red felt letters. A “Wright & Ditson” label is located in the collar. The name “Killilay” is chain-stitched in faded green thread directly above the manufacturer’s label. Although no year tag is present, the jersey can be conclusively dated to 1911 due to the fact that Killilay only played in the Major Leagues for that one season. Killilay debuted with the Red Sox on May 13, 1911. Over the course of the next four months he appeared in fourteen games, seven as a starter, and finished the season and his career with a record of 4-2. The jersey, as one might expect for a garment of this age, displays moderate-to-heavy use and wear. The original lapel-style collar has been trimmed to its present state (possibly by the player) and the top button has been replaced. The front letters are lightly faded and the red dye of the felt has very slightly bled into the fabric of the shell. The jersey also displays a few tiny holes throughout, most of which appear along the front and rear tails. One of the interesting design features of this jersey is the presence of buttonholes along the edges of each sleeve for the attachment of a sleeve extender. Adjustable sleeves were common during the period and allowed the player to switch from short to long sleeves depending upon the weather. Graded A7 by MEARS (10 point base grade, with 1 point deducted for the bleeding, 1 point deducted for the small holes, a half point deducted for the trimmed collar, and another half point deducted for the replaced button). LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000/$10,000+.
SOLD FOR $19,975

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