1914 Les Mann Boston Braves Jacket - Only Known Example - with Photo Documentation!

Sold For: $21,330

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1184

Item Year: 1914

Category: Game-Used Jerseys & Equipment

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While the adjective "Miracle" is certainly apropos when describing the 1914 Boston Braves, what might be even more miraculous is the survival of this rare artifact from that championship season: a 1914 Boston Braves team jacket worn by outfielder Les Mann. This is the only 1914 Boston Braves jacket we have ever seen and is most likely the only surviving example. Incredibly, it is accompanied by an original team photo of the 1914 Braves in which Mann (standing third from the left, directly in front of Maranville) can be seen wearing this very jacket (all of the photographic comparisons to "key" reference points on the offered jacket match up perfectly). Ideally, the photo (9.5 x 7.25 inches; Vg) pictures all twenty-six members of the club wearing their team jackets, including Stallings, Maranville, and Evers, so one can easily see that the jackets all differ slightly with regard to the alignment of the striped patterns, thereby allowing for a conclusive photo match. The photographic documentation notwithstanding, the jacket's attribution to Mann is further evidenced by his name, "Mann," chain-stitched in gold in the collar. No other identifiers, including team or manufacturer, are present on the garment. The double-breasted jacket displays heavy wear commensurate with its age and former use, including a tear along the back collar, and a number of small holes throughout. All five original buttons remain firmly attached (four on the front; one on the attached belt); however, two on the front have broken in half. Mann played with the Braves in 1913 and 1914 before jumping to the Federal League in 1915. He later returned to the Braves for two more terms (1919-1920 and 1924-1927). 1914 was the only season in which Mann and Evers played together with the Braves, which allows for an accurate dating of the accompanying photo.

The 1914 Boston Braves are one of baseball's legendary clubs. On July 18, 1914, the Braves were in last place and trailed the first place Giants by eleven games. Miraculously, the team then went on a remarkable winning streak that saw them post a record of 60-16 to close out the season and capture the pennant. Dubbed “The Miracle Braves,” the team continued to work its magic in the World Series by sweeping the heavily favored Athletics in four straight games. Mann appeared in 126 games with the Braves in 1914, finishing the year with 4 home runs, 40 RBI, and a .247 batting average. In three World Series games, Mann batted .286 with one RBI to help lead the Braves to their first World Championship in franchise history. This jacket is one of the most significant items we have ever handled relating to The Miracle Braves, especially given the fact that no 1914 Braves uniform has ever surfaced. The fact that it can be definitively attributed to Mann, one of the team's starting outfielders, only adds to its appeal. It should be noted that team jackets are exceedingly rare, especially those dating from the dead-ball era. We cannot recall exactly how many team jackets we have seen from this time period, but the number is extremely low, probably fewer than five in total. This is an extraordinary piece in all respects and one of the most desirable items in existence commemorating the 1914 Miracle Braves. The 1914 Miracle Braves panoramic team photo that accompanies, in addition to being a tremendous compliment to the 1914 Miracle Braves jacket, is a very substantial and valuable item in its own right. In addition to the 1914 panoramic team photo, the jacket is also accompanied by a 2003 LOA from Dave Bushing and Dan Knoll as experts for Global Authentication. Reserve $10,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $21,330

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