Atlanta Braves flannel home jersey worn by Hall of Fame first baseman Orlando Cepeda during the 1969 season. Graded A9.5 by MEARS. Cepeda is a particularly rare Hall of Famer flannel. This is also a very scarce "style" jersey, as it was only worn by the Braves for the four-year period 1968-1971. The white-pinstripe jersey is lettered "Braves" across the front and features the number "30" on the reverse. All letters and numerals are appliquéd in navy blue tackle twill. A Braves team patch appears on the left sleeve, while a Major League Baseball "100th Anniversary" patch adorns the opposite sleeve. Cepeda's name, the year, and set number ("Cepeda 1971-set 1") are chain-stitched in black upon a white strip tag located in the collar. A "Wilson 44" label is situated on the left front tail. According to MEARS, the jersey has been customized for Cepeda by the addition of three extra inches to the tail and the shortening of each sleeve by one inch. Aside from those factory customizations, the jersey is completely original, with no alterations, and displays light wear throughout, including a few minor stains on the left side of the jersey, just under the sleeve. On March 17, 1969, the Braves and Cardinals conducted a blockbuster trade that saw Orlando Cepeda come to Atlanta in exchange for Joe Torre. While Torre went on to enjoy two of the finest seasons of his career with St. Louis in 1970 and 1971, the immediate return went to the Braves. Cepeda batted .257 with 22 home runs and 88 RBI in his first year in Atlanta, numbers which helped lead the Braves to their first division title in franchise history. The Cardinals, on the other hand, finished in fourth place, thirteen games behind the New York Mets in the newly formed National League East. (1969 was the first season in which each league was realigned into two divisions as a result of Major League expansion.) The "Baby Bull" was even more impressive during the National League Championship Series, where he led all starting players with a .455 average in the club's three-game loss to the Mets. One of the top sluggers of his era, Cepeda retired in 1974 with 379 home runs, 1,365 RBI, and a .297 batting average. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999. Graded A9.5 by MEARS (10 point base grade, minus a half point for the light staining under the left sleeve). This is one of only three Orlando Cepeda jerseys listed in the MEARS census, and just one of two dating from his active playing career (the other two examples are a 1969 Braves road jersey, graded A9.5, and a 1980 White Sox coach's jersey, graded A10). The A9.5 1969 Braves road jersey appeared in REA's May 2008 auction as lot #1383 and sold for $7,050.
LOA from Troy Kinunen and Dave Grob/MEARS. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+.
SOLD FOR $3,525
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