Tuesday, April 03, 2007

American Memorabilia Auction: Campanella Jersey

Sometimes I wish I had the means to afford something like this. American Memorabilia recently closed their most recent auction that included a vintage game-used flannel jersey from Dodger catcher Roy Campanella. I'll let the auction house do the talking.

Precious few Campanella gamers have survived to the present, but this road jersey from his final season, 1957, is a marvel. The gray flannel is an attractive blend of cotton and wool with even surface sheen. It's accentuated by double royal blue arm piping, along with single button-path and collar piping. The “Dodgers” underscored script, in royal blue felt, is bold and intact. There is the slightest of edge fraying outside of the straight-stitch affixing in minor spots, but the nominal degradation does not detract from the identifier’s beauty. The tail beams with '50s fashion; a period Spalding label is sewn in tandem with a size 44 label. Beneath sits the royal blue chain-link name “Campanella” which, in turn, is positioned atop a "57" year identifier. Both match contemporary Dodgers and other Spalding exemplars to a tee, and serve as an outstanding identifier for impressive display. Beneath the tail flap is a washing instructions label with a “Set 1 1957” flag tag -- original and fully intact.

As was the destiny of most flannels, this jersey was relegated to non-major league duty after the ’57 season (Vero Beach, in this case) where it underwent a routine number change. Ironically, #24 in period blue felt and proper font, was administered (which was the jersey number of another Dodger immortal, Walt Alston). After minimal use at that level of competition, the jersey was included in an equipment/uniform donation that the Dodgers provided to a local American Legion team. The jersey's long-time owner (the original recipient) had the luxury of choosing this one from those of Junior Gilliam, Jackie Robinson, Johnny Podres, Gil Hodges and a buffet of others. As should be expected, the young Legion catcher chose Campy’s jersey, wore it for two seasons, and then simply stored it away. There are a few minor moth holes but the jersey is eminently displayable. The overall condition is illustrates the respect shown the historic garment by the young central Florida baseballer, and AMI is proud to offer it as Campy’s final season gamer.
It sold for $40,703.00.

Auction Link: AmericanMemorabilia.com:
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