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1963 Don Drysdale Los Angeles Dodgers Signed Game-Used Road Jersey - Only Graded Example
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $55,813
Rare Los Angeles Dodgers road jersey worn by Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale during the club's 1963 World Championship season. Graded A9.5 by MEARS. Don Drysdale game-used jerseys are among the rarest of all modern-era Hall of Famer players' jerseys. Their rarity is perhaps best communicated by the fact that, in addition to being the only example we have ever offered, this is the only Don Drysdale jersey ever graded by MEARS. Koufax and Drysdale together struck fear into opposing batters throughout the early to mid 1960s - especially Drysdale, who was well known for having selective "control issues" at times, especially when a "message" needed to be sent. The message was "Hit a home run against Don Drysdale at your own risk." Hitting batters was just part of Drysdale's arsenal of tricks to intimidate the opposition. Just the threat, and Drysdale's cavalier attitude, was more than enough. "I hate all hitters. I start a game mad and I stay that way until it's over." (Quotes by players were no more comforting: "Don Drysdale would consider an intentional walk a waste of three pitches. If he wants to put you on base, he can hit you with one pitch." -- Mike Shannon. "I hated to bat against Drysdale. After he hit you he'd come around, look at the bruise on your arm and say, 'Do you want me to sign it?'" -- Mickey Mantle). Drysdale scared a lot of batters, and probably hit more than a few, wearing this jersey enroute to one of his most successful seasons.
This is a spectacular jersey dating from the peak of Drysdale's career as one-half of the Dodgers' most legendary pitching duo. The gray flannel road jersey is lettered "Dodgers" across the front and features the number "53" on the left breast and reverse. All letters and the reverse number are appliquéd in blue felt; the front number is appliquéd in red felt. Both the name, "Drysdale," and the year, "63," are chain-stitched in blue on the left front tail. The number "1" (indicating the set number) is stamped in black directly to the right of Drysdale's name. Also located on the left front tail are a "Wilson 46" label and an adjacent tag bearing the letter "L" (Long). A wash tag and an adjacent flag tag reading, "Set 1 1963," appear on the interior front tail. The jersey is all original, with no alterations, and displays moderate wear throughout, including a few areas of minor separation to the stitching on both the front and reverse numbers, and slight loosening of the stitching on a small area of each shoulder seam. Don Drysdale enjoyed a spectacular fourteen-year career (1956-1969) with the Dodgers, twelve of which were spent in Los Angeles. Along with fellow Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, Drysdale anchored one of the best pitching staffs in baseball during the early 1960s, leading the Dodgers to four pennants and three World Championships between the years 1959 and 1966. 1963 marked another banner season for the ace right hander, as he finished the year with 19 wins, a 2.63 ERA, and a career-high 251 strikeouts. He was equally impressive on baseball's center stage that fall, tossing a three-hit shutout against the Yankees in Game 3 of the World Series in Los Angeles (the Dodgers swept the Yankees in four straight games in 1963). Drysdale retired with 209 wins and a lifetime ERA of 2.95. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984. Graded A9.5 by MEARS (10 point base grade, but minus a half point for the few small areas of loose stitching). LOAs from Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000+. SOLD FOR $55,813
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