1950s Willie Mays Day Booster Pin

Sold For: $2,015

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1166

Item Year: 1955

Category: Pins

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Exceedingly rare example of what is universally regarded as the premier Willie Mays pinback button: the Willie Mays Day Booster pin. This is one of the all time great "player day" pins, and one of the rarest of all baseball pinbacks. We have only seen one other example EVER! The orange pin features a portrait image of a smiling Willie Mays as a member of the New York Giants, with the black lettering around the perimeter reading "Booster Willie Mays Day." This is the first Willie Mays Day Booster pin we have ever offered. Its significance in the world of baseball pinbacks is illustrated by the fact that is one of the seven iconic pin rarities featured on the cover of the hobby's definitive reference work on the subject, Baseball Pinback Buttons (Great Oaks Press, North Carolina, 2004), written by Dr. Paul Muchinsky. While there may have been more than one Willie Mays Day over the years, the only one that our research could confirm occurred on August 8, 1954, at the Polo Grounds. Among the gifts that Mays received from the team that day were a television, an air conditioner, and a plot of land in the New York suburbs. The offered pinback button is one of the few souvenirs remaining from that memorable day. The button (two inches in diameter) has the slightest hint of surface unevenness detectable only to the touch (as made) and light oxidation on the reverse, none of which detracts from its overall spectacular Excellent appearance. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,015

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