Circa 1949 Joe DiMaggio Jr. Signed New York Yankees Home Jersey

Sold For: $1,058

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1331

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This is an exceptionally unique Joe DiMaggio piece and one that directly relates to a side of his personal life that was rarely spoken of. This one-of-a-kind "Joe DiMaggio" New York Yankees home flannel jersey, bearing the number "5" on the reverse, is nearly identical to that worn by the famed "Yankee Clipper" during the late 1940s, save for its size. That's because it was worn not by the famed "Yankee Clipper," but by his son, Joe DiMaggio Jr., who wore it on numerous occasions during his youth. Joe Jr. has personally attested to the jersey's provenance by inscribing it in black marker on the right breast: "This shirt was a gift from my Dad. I loved it. As a boy I wore it to spring training and a Father-Son game on Father's Day at Yankee Stadium. - Joe DiMaggio Jr. - 5/24/81." The white flannel pinstripe jersey, which is a youth size, features the Yankees "NY" logo on the left breast and the number "5" on the reverse, each appliqued in navy felt. A "MacGregor 36" label appears on the left front tail. The jersey is completely original, with no alterations, and displays light use. This jersey first appeared at public auction in 1999 (a page from the original auction which appeared in Sports Collector's Digest accompanies), at which time the catalog description noted that it originated from the collection of Dick Dobbins. We do not find that fact surprising, as Dobbins was an extremely prominent and highly respected West Coast collector and he would certainly have been in contact with many members of the DiMaggio family over the years. (DiMaggio was from San Francisco and much of his extended family was also located there.) There are many photos of Joe DiMaggio and his son dating from his playing days, including some with Joe Jr. wearing what is probably this very jersey. While most of those pictures paint DiMaggio as a loving father, he was actually not very close with his son. In later years they became bitterly estranged, with Joe offering his son no monetary assistance whatsoever. Unfortunately, Joe Jr.'s sale of this piece in 1981 was most likely motivated solely by financial need, as he was often out of work and homeless during that time. Joe Jr. passed away August 6,1999, at the age of 57, just five months after the death of his father. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,058

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