1977 Phil Niekro Atlanta Braves Game-Used Road Jersey

Sold For: $1,763

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1344

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Atlanta Braves road jersey worn by Hall of Fame knuckleball pitcher Phil Niekro in 1977. Graded A9 by MEARS. In addition to is Hall of Fame pedigree, this is also a scarce "style" jersey, worn by the Braves only for the four-year period 1976 through 1979. The gray knit jersey is lettered "Atlanta" across the front and features the number "35" on both the left breast and reverse. All letters and numerals are appliqu├ęd in blue-on-white tackle twill, edged with red embroidery. A Braves team-logo patch appears on the left sleeve. Both the year and jersey size ("77 44") are chain-stitched in blue upon a gray strip tag in the collar. Located directly above the strip tag is a "Wilson 44" label. The jersey is completely original, with no alterations, and displays light wear throughout. Despite striking out both a career and league-high 262 batters in 1977, Niekro finished the season with a 16-20 record. That less-than-stellar performance probably reflects more on the last-place Braves, who lost 101 games, than Niekro's pitching skills. Niekro was a workhorse that summer, starting forty-three games and leading the league in both complete games (20) and innings pitched (330). He finished the year with a 4.03 ERA. One of only twenty-three pitchers to win 300 or more games, Niekro was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997. Graded A9 by MEARS (base grade of 10, with 1 point subtracted for the light use). This is one of just six Phil Niekro jerseys listed in the MEARS census and it represents the second-earliest example ever graded by the company. LOA from Troy Kinunen and Dave Grob/MEARS. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500+. SOLD FOR $1,763

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