Circa 1945 Billy Hitchcock Signed WWII Service Uniform

Sold For: $1,645

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1328

Item Year: 1945

Category: Game-Used Jerseys & Equipment

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Rare Army Air Force baseball uniform (jersey and pants) worn by journeyman Major League infielder Billy Hitchcock while stationed in Tinian during World War II. It was from the Air Force base at Tinian that the United States launched its two atomic-bomb attacks against Japan in 1945. The gray flannel jersey features the letters "AAF" on the front and the number "20" on the reverse. All letters and numerals are appliqued in blue felt. A "44" size tag appears in the collar. This uniform originates directly from Billy Hitchcock and he has personally attested to its provenance by inscribing the jersey in black marker (grading "8") on the front: "Billy Hitchcock - WWII." Ideally, the uniform is accompanied by an original photo of Hitchcock wearing this very uniform as he poses with teammates Joe Gordon, Birdie Tebbetts, and base commander Brigadier General Kimble. Given the abundance of talent pictured here, its quite probable that the AAF baseball team was the class of the Pacific during World War II. Despite losing three years due to military service (1943-1945), Hitchcock enjoyed a sold nine-year career in the Major Leagues (1942-1953). Playing all four infield positions at some point in his career, he retired in 1953 with .243 lifetime average. Both the jersey and matching pants (size "38" tag in the waist) display moderate-to-heavy wear, including light stains and fading to the number on the reverse. World War II service baseball uniforms worn by Major League players are very rare. This is the first we have seen and it is an outstanding example, with both photographic and direct player provenance, as well as one with historical significance relating to both the Nagasaki and Hiroshima atomic bombings. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $100. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,645

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