Lot 81104 View Catalog
Just like the 1906 Chicago White Sox, affectionately dubbed the "Hitless Wonders," the '69 Mets overcame their anemic offense with world class pitching, closing out the 1969 regular season at an astonishing combined ERA of 2.99. Twenty-two year old future Strike Out King Nolan Ryan worked out of the bullpen with a young Tug McGraw, and Jerry Koosman, who had lost a tight race for National League Rookie of the Year a season earlier to Johnny Bench, served as the number two starter. The number one spot in the rotation was occupied by the man who wore the presented home white pinstriped jersey, Tom Terrific, whose League-leading twenty-five victories in 1969 earned him his first of three career Cy Young Awards.
While any Hall of Fame flannel demands collectors' rapt attention, this Seaver model, burnished with Cy Young and World Championship pedigree, shines more brightly than almost any other post-war specimen. The pinstriped design affords provenance that is both ironclad and ideal, as the unique intersections of striping and identifiers allow us to match the jersey to photographs from the September 24th locker room celebration following the Mets' National League East-clinching game, as well as World Series Game Four action, a complete ten-inning game one-run victory.
The shirt exhibits solid wear throughout, with "Mets 41" applied to the pinstriped chest in classic blue and orange felt, and number "41" repeated on verso. The rear numeral has spot reinforcement at several points, and period photography will establish that the team moved the Centennial sleeve patch from left to right (where it currently appears) for the World Series, installing a Mets team logo patch in its place. "Spalding [size] 44" labeling appears in lower left front tail, with washing instruction label and "Set 1 1969" flap tag below. Here we also find a 10/10 blue sharpie signature from Seaver, which the consignor acquired personally, videotaping the signing. Interior collar holds embroidered swatch denoting size, year and jersey number: "43 69 41." The stitching is loose along the lower edge, but the swatch remains firmly affixed at sides and top.
The summer of 1969 stands as one of the most turbulent and memorable periods of American history, punctuated by the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Woodstock music festival, the Manson murders and the growing anti-war movement. But for many, it was the Amazin' Mets that defined the age, and this is arguably the most important artifact ever made available from those lovable longshots. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph).