1976 Hank Aaron Milwaukee Brewers Signed Road Uniform Dating from His Final Season - The Last Road Uniform He Ever Wore - With Letter of Authenticity

Sold For: $9,480

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1199

Item Year: 1976

Category: Game-Used Jerseys & Equipment

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Historically significant 1976 Milwaukee Braves road uniform (jersey and pants) worn by Hank Aaron during his final season in baseball. This garment represents the last road uniform ever worn by "Hammerin' Hank" during his legendary career and is accompanied by a one-page typed letter, signed by Aaron, in which he fully attests to that fact. In his letter, dated April 26, 1997, and addressed "To Whom It May Concern," Aaron writes in part: "This letter is in regard to my 1976 Milwaukee Brewers road baseball jersey and pants worn by me during my final season in baseball. This is the last road uniform ever worn by me in the major leagues...I hope this uniform and pants of my last season in baseball brings you enjoyment and will add to your great collection." It is signed in blue ink (grading "10") by "Hank Aaron." (The entire letter can be viewed on our website.) The blue-knit jersey is lettered "Brewers" across the front and features the number "44" on the left breast and reverse. All letters and numerals have been appliqu├ęd in blue on gold tackle twill. Located on the left front tail are a Sand-Knit exclusivity label, reading "Designed & Tailored Exclusively for the Milwaukee Brewers American League by Sand-Knit," a combination size ("44") and laundry tag, and a blue strip tag that reads "Aaron 76 44" (with the numbers denoting the year, and size). Aaron has signed the jersey vertically in blue marker ("7") on the front, just below the number. The matching blue-knit pants feature blue-and-gold piping down each side. Located in the waistband is a Sand-Knit exclusivity label (identical to that on the jersey), a combination size ("36") and laundry tag, and a blue strip tag that reads "Aaron 76 36 26" (with the numbers denoting the year, size, and inseam length). Both the jersey and pants are original and unaltered, with each displaying moderate wear, including a few small, light stains on the front of the jersey.

One of the things that is not made entirely clear in Aaron's letter relates to his use of the word "last." When he writes "This is the last road uniform ever worn by me in the major leagues" does he mean that in the general sense, in that it dates from his final season, or does he literally mean this is the last road uniform he ever wore. If he means the latter, which seems to be the case, then this uniform was worn by Aaron on September 29, 1976, in a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Memorial Stadium. Aaron, batting fourth in the lineup as the designated hitter, managed one hit in four at bats: a double in the eighth inning off of Scott McGregor. It would be his eighth and final double of the season, and the 624th of his career, which ranks tenth all time. The Brewers' final three games of the season were at home against Detroit. Aaron sat out the first two games and made his final appearance at the plate on October 3rd at County Stadium. Aaron started the game as the designated hitter and grounded out in his first two at bats. In the sixth inning he singled off of Dave Roberts to drive in Charlie Moore. At that point Aaron was replaced in the game by pinch runner Jim Gantnor, bringing a close to one of the greatest careers in baseball history.

Aaron hit ten home runs in his final season with Milwaukee, four of which were hit on the road: #747 at Baltimore on May 19th; #749 at California on June 16th; #750 at Oakland on June 18th; and #751 at Oakland on June 19th. Could one, or possibly all, of those home runs been hit by Aaron while wearing this uniform? If we assume that players received two sets of home and away jerseys for a season, then it seems probable that this uniform bore witness to at least one of those home runs, making this jersey all the more significant. Our consignor purchased this uniform at public auction in 2000 and it has remained in his possession since that time. This is an exceptional Aaron jersey, with equally impressive provenance, dating from his final season. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $9,480

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