September 27, 2006
The following information was gathered via the MEARS Jersey Grading and Authentication Worksheet, copyright 2005/06. Hologram #304015 was issued. Our methods included the physical examination of the jersey, recording detailed information via the worksheet, comparing the information to our database, preparing full scale (1:1 ratio) color prints for examination, photographing of actual jersey for use for imagery analysis, and finally preparing the completed letter of opinion.
Item inspected: 1954 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Home Jersey manufactured by McAuliffe
MEARS authenticators Dave Bushing and Troy R. Kinunen conducted the physical examination of the jersey while LTC MEARS Auth, LLC provided his own opinion in regards to
1. Visual Aspects of Distinction
2. Answering of some fundamental questions regarding the supplier of Yankees jerseys for the period
5. Possible use during the 1953 World Series
His complete findings are noted and included in the final Letter of Opinion for MEARS item #304015
Jersey Physical Description
The player inspected is Mickey Mantle, year 1954. The jersey was issued as the pinstripe version to be worn for home games. The jersey is manufactured from a cream pinstriped flannel material consistent with other New York Yankees jerseys manufactured to be worn by Major League baseball players during the era. The pinstripes are dyed in one-inch increments. The jersey is similar in consistency of materials to other examples of major league home jerseys we have examined. We have examined jerseys from the era manufactured by both Wilson and McAuliffe. Previous McAuliffe examples examined and used for comparison were:
1954 Giants Home Don Liddle McAuliffe
1954 Giants Road Dusty Roads McAuliffe
1954 Red Sox Home Ted Williams McAuliffe
The inspection of these jerseys allowed us to examine material and tagging and this McAuliffe manufactured jersey compared favorably.
The style was button down which was standard on major league jerseys from this era. Seven pearl buttons (4 hole) were used. All buttons are original with none missing. The buttonholes are reinforced with white thread.
The sleeves were full length and set in. They remain original as issued and have not been trimmed or altered.
The jersey is manufactured by Tim McAuliffe and tagged on the outside of the left lower tail. The rectangular 1”x2” tag reads, “TIM McAULIFFE inc., Quality Athletic Equipment, 24 Lincoln St., Boston, MASS.” Sewn underneath is a ½” x ½” Dry Clean Only tag. To the left of the dry cleaning tag is another ½” x ½” box size tag. The size 44 appears in red numbering.
The style of the Tim McAuliffe tag can be found in the MEARS tagging database and was determined to be consistent with McAuliffe tags issued for the 1946-56 time frame.
Also, for the specific year 1954, the style of the tag was consistent with other known authentic examples and can be verified via:
1954 Giants Home Don Liddel McAuliffe (Mastro 4/04)
1954 Giants Road Dusty Rhodes McAuliffe (Mastro 4/05)
1954 Red Sox Home Ted Williams McAuliffe (Lelands 12/00)
1954 Red Sox Road Ted Williams McAuliffe (Lelands 12/00)
These four examples allowed for us to determine that the McAuliffe tagging was correct and consistent for a jersey manufactured for major league use during the 1954 season. The manufacture, dry clean, and size tags were all anchored with a white professional straight stitch. All tagging is original with no signs of tampering.
The jersey is boxed tagged as size 44. Per MEARS Auth, LLC’s findings, the size of the jersey is appropriate and consistent for Mickey Mantle game worn jerseys from this time frame. Other examples of documented game worn Mickey Mantle jerseys supporting this size include:
1952 Home, Spalding Size 44
1952 Road, Spalding Size 44
1954 Road, Wilson Size 44
1954 Home, Spalding Size 44
1955 Home, Spalding Size 44
Therefore, it is established that size 44 is a correct size for Mickey Mantle jerseys from the period.
The player identifier attributing this jersey to Mickey Mantle comes in the form of his name and year swiss embroidered into the left front outer tail. A stylized “Mantle” measuring 1” x 3” serves as the player I.D.. Below is the year, “’54” applied in the same manner.
When examining all game worn jerseys that have entered the hobby, (27,456 entries in the MEARS database) no other 1954 Yankees home jerseys have been seen in the hobby, therefore no points of comparison are available to examine the style and appearance of the swiss embroidered name and year. Careful examination does reveal the stitching to appear original and unaltered.
Team Crest Logo
The team crest was very important in the evaluation of this 1954 Mickey Mantle home jersey. Measuring 4 ½” x 4 7/8” and applied in a double straight stitch, the style of “NY” is more consistent with a McAuliffe manufactured uniform. LTC MEARS Auth, LLC finding’s regarding the visual aspects of distinction found:
…”This style of NY crest is atypical for New York Yankees home jerseys manufactured by either Wilson and Spalding. The only other example I have found of this style crest featuring a more flared “Y” is in the form of a 1953 NY Yankees home jersey of Johnny Sain. This jersey was manufactured by McAuliffe.”
Therefore by distinguishing the difference between Wilson, Spalding, and McAuliffe manufactured NY crest logos, inspection determined that several referenced photos of Yankees players can be seen wearing the McAuliffe manufactured NY crest logo.
When examining the NY crest logo on the light table, it was determined the logo is all original with no signs of tampering. Slight puckering can be seen. Puckering is a very positive and desirable trait that indicates the crest is all original and placed there at the time of original issuance. When a jersey has been restored, the puckering effect is lost. Therefore, the examination of the professional sewing with the pull through stitches along with the puckering effect, this jersey has remained all original and was not sent down to the minor leagues to be recycled which was a common occurrence for Yankees jerseys from this era.
It was very important to determine the difference in logos and identify which style McAuliffe manufactured. Once this identification was made, we were able to verify the difference in style in the photos we examined and positively I.D.’d the McAuliffe style NY in the photos examined, thus determing McAuliffe was a manufacture of Yankees jerseys during 1954.
Mantle’s famous number 7 appears on the reverse of the jersey. The number is correct for Mickey Mantle to wear during the 1954 season and was cut from heavy felt. The number measures 7 ¼” in height. The number is applied with a double row of straight stitching. When examined on the light table, no signs of another number are present, thus establishing the number was original as issued. The same puckering was present as seen in the crest. No signs of alteration were present. LTC MEARS Auth, LLC noted that the Diamond point numerals on reverse was an atypical style for New York Yankees home jerseys. This style cut is most often associated with McAuliffe products.
No patches or outlines of patches were found on the sleeves or other areas. This was checked via an inspection of both the inside and outside of the jersey. If a patch had been applied, the outline from the removal of the stitching would be present. No patches were issued for Yankees jerseys from this year, so patches nor outlines should not be found on a jersey worn by Mickey Mantle or any Yankee from this season.
Another feature of this jersey is the convex tail opening, which is hemmed with a reinforced seam. This is consistent with both Yankees and McAuliffe jerseys from the period.
A large Mickey Mantle black sharpie signature appears in the tail.
The jersey exhibits moderate and even wear. The wear is consistent with the amount expected to be found on a jersey issued to be worn during one season. There is no evidence of fading or staining. The fabric does show even wear, but there are no signs of overuse, no thinning, nor no holes. Overuse, thinning, and extreme holes are typically associated with jerseys being sent to the minor leagues. Therefore, this jersey is in the same condition as last used at the professional level. The Yankees are noted for recycling their jerseys through the minor leagues, and surviving examples are quite rare. No 1954 home Yankees jerseys have been seen in the hobby.
Our physical examination of the jersey included inspection of the NY logo crest, McAuliffe tag, buttons, number 7, stitching, and we looked for alterations. Based on the total evaluation of the jersey presented to us, certification number 304015, MEARS is confident to state this is an all original, properly tagged, styled, and numbered 1954 New York Yankees home Mickey Mantle jersey exhibiting moderate game wear. With this being the only 1954 Yankees home jersey known and once being issued to be worn by Mickey Mantle, this makes this a truly historic item.
Troy R. Kinunen
Imagery Analysis: 1954 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Home Jersey
I was not able to physically inspect this jersey but have performed imagery analysis on it having been provided full color copies of this jersey.
It is important to state up front that the full color copies of the jersey I was provided are just that. They are not photographs of the items; rather actual reproductions done at a 1:1 scale on a color copy machine. This is critical in that the size and scale of these is not open to interpretation.
This jersey appears to have entered the hobby and is listed in the Grey Flannel May 2006 Catalog as lot # 4, page 11.
Visual Aspects of Distinction:
Visual aspects of distinction are those items that serve as a basis for comparison and or reference. In some cases, they can be used to identify either a manufacturer or year/period of wear.
1. Jersey construction with set-in sleeves. Pinstripes run perpendicular to body pinstripes in the shoulder area made apparent by the presence of set-in versus Raglan sleeves. Set in sleeves also offer an adjoining shoulder seem that makes it possible to ascertain some information about the sleeve length.
2. Diamond point numeral on reverse. This style of numeral is atypical for New York Yankees jerseys home jerseys manufactured by either Wilson and Spalding. This style or cut is most often associated with McAulliffe products.
3. “NY” crest design and style. This style of NY crest is atypical for New York Yankees home jerseys manufactured by either Wilson and Spalding. The only other example I have found of this style crest featuring a more flared “Y” is in the form of a 1953 NY Yankees home jersey of Johnny Sain. This jersey was manufactured by McAulliffe. (SEE ATTACHED EXAMPLES and listing for the Sain Jersey)
1. Is McAulliffe a supplier of Yankee’s Uniforms during this period?Photographic and exemplar evidence supports the claim that McAulliffe supplied the uniforms to the Yankees during this time frame. As mentioned earlier, the diamond point numeral font and “flared NY” can be found in 1953, with numerous indicators from the 1953 World Series. Corbis images confirm that McAulliffe uniforms where also worn at some point the in 1954 (Casey Stengel, July 6 1954, image # U1258836INP) as evidence of the “flared NY”. Although not mentioned in the Grey Flannel auction description, the “flared NY” is far more significant than the numeral style in that the numeral style will only be apparent for certain players where the crest style will be common to all if they are wearing a McAulliffe jersey. In addition to flare at the upper portions of “Y”, the crest is also wider at the point where the branches meet the base. (SEE ENCLOSED REFERENCES) The crest style is also easier to locate in team photos as the players backs are not shown. This also has bearing on the ability to identify McAulliffe jerseys that where worn at times after the 1953 World Series. This is important since the jersey in question is tagged “1954.”
2. Is the manufacturers tagging consistent for what you would expect from this the period? The McAuliffe manufacturers label can be found in this style from approximately 1946-1965. I have not seen another 1954 Yankees home jersey manufactured by McAuliffe so I am without an example to compare the supplemental tagging such as size, year, and player identification with. The 1953 Johnny Sain McAuliffe home has a chain stitched “53-1” and “46-5” in dark blue or black thread.
3. Is the size of the jersey appropriate for the player at this point in his career? A size 44 is appropriate and consistent for Mickey Mantle during this time frame. Other examples supporting this include:
1952 Home, Spalding Size 44
1952 Road, Spalding Size 44
1954 Road, Wilson Size 44
1954 Home, Spalding Size 44
1955 Home, Spalding Size 44
4. Did the New York Yankees wear the 1954 jerseys in the 1953 World Series? While it is certainly possible that this may have occurred as it has been the case with other teams, it is not possible for me to offer a conclusive opinion on this since the Yankees also wore McAulliffe jersey during the regular season in 1953. The “theory” about the “red tagging” is in, my opinion without any real objective substantiation. If this were a Yankee preference, then you would expect to see many more of these in the hobby. The Yankees played in eight (8) World Series in the 1950s. Of the over 50 Yankees home and road flannels I have seen from this period, this example is only the second McAulliffe and the only one with the “red stitching.” Some of these same jersey have also been attributed to World Series wear and can be identified as such in years 1951 and 1952 as they are without the signs of a sleeve patch have being applied. None of them where stitched in red. In looking at other McAulliffe teams from this period, such as the NY Giants and Boston Red Sox, you will find identification stitching done in both red and black/navy blue.
Based on a study of the full color to scale plates of this 1954 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees home jersey, various other photographic references (SEE REFERENCE LISTING), known exemplars from the New York Yankees from this period as well as other McAulliffe products from this time frame, I have no reason to question the authenticity of this jersey, but cannot confirm or refute any attribution to wear during the 1953 World Series at this point.
I offer no opinion on the degree of use or wear as I have not physically inspected the actual jersey. This should not be construed in any manner to support or refute the findings of the other members of the MEARS staff. This is only offered to ensure that owner and any future owner understands what my findings are and what as served as the basis for this opinion.
DAVID W. GROB
PHOTOGRAPHIC REFERENCES CONSULTED
a. 150 Years of Baseball by Stephen Hanks
b. Baseball: A Celebration by James Buckley Jr. and Jim Gigliotti
c. Baseball: An Illustrated History of America’s Game by Donald Honig
d. Baseball: An Illustrated History by Geoffrey Ward and Ken Burns
e. Greats of the Game: The Players, Games, and Managers That Made Baseball History by Ray Robinson and Christopher Jennison.
f. The Golden Age of Baseball: 1941-1964 by Bill Gutman
g. The Golden Age of Baseball ; Paul Adomites, Robert Cassidy, Bruce Herman, Dan Schlossberg, and Saul Wisnia
h. The History of the World Series by Gene Schoor
i. The Image of Their Greatness: An Illustrated History of Baseball from 1900 to the Present by Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig.
j. The Illustrated History of Baseball by Robert Smith
k. The Ultimate Baseball Book by Daniel Okrent and Harris Lewine
l. Mickey Mantle: Baseball Legends by Mark and Neil Gallager
m. One Hundred Years: New York Yankees. The Official Retrospective by Mark Vancil and Mark Mandrake
n. The Story of Baseball: A Completely Illustrated and Exciting History of America’s National Game by John M. Rosenburg.
On Line References
NY Yankee Team Photos from 1952-1955
Vintage scrapbooks in my personal collection