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Lot # 1226 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1971 Jim French Washington Senators Signed Game-Used Home Jersey

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,293

1971 Washington Senators home jersey worn by catcher Jim French during the club's final season in Washington. Graded A10 by MEARS. The white flannel jersey is lettered "Senators" across the front and features the number "10" on the reverse. All letters and numerals are appliquéd in red on navy tackle twill. A "Wilson 42" label appears in the collar, while "1971 - Set 2" is chain-stitched in black on the left front tail. French has signed the jersey vertically in black marker (grading "8") on the left front tail. Original and unaltered, the jersey displays light wear. The lack of apparent use is not surprising, considering the fact that French only appeared in fourteen games that season. 1971 was not only the Senators' final year in Washington (the franchise moved to Texas the following year and became the Texas Rangers) but French's final season as well. French, a diminutive good field, no hit catch-and-throw type, was a personal favorite of manager Ted Williams and had served as the club's backup catcher for seven seasons. Despite a feeble .196 career batting average, French compiled a very respectable .328 on-base percentage. He managed that feat thanks in large part to his short stature. At only 5’7”, French had a small strike zone to begin with, and batted from a crouch. The result was that he received a lot of walks. So many in fact that he is one of the few players in history to have reached base more times by walks (121) than hits (119). The expansion version of the Washington Senators joined the League in 1961, but this particular style home jersey was only worn by the club during its last three seasons (1969-1971). Graded A10 by MEARS. This is one of only ten expansion-era Washington Senators jerseys (1961-1971) listed in the MEARS census, with only four others graded at this level. LOAs from Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+ SOLD FOR $1,293

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