And so ends another baseball season. No matter who is playing in the World Series, my hope each year is that it goes a full seven games. For once the final out is made, winter begins in my book. With the Giants making it to the fall classic on the last day of the season, it was inevitable that the team would be linked to that euphoric 1951 call by Russ Hodges… “the Giants win the pennant-the Giants win the pennant.”
All of this made me start to think about an item I picked up not too long ago on E-Bay. In my frequent searches for “flannel jersey”, “vintage wool baseball,” “antique baseball uniform” and the like, I stumbled across a late 1940s-1950s New York Giants youth baseball jersey. I was intrigued by the uniform and was especially interested in the tagging. The label in the collar clearly identified it as a New York Giants offering and one sold via Sax Fifth Avenue. As soon as I saw it, I just had to have it.
One of my favorite pictures from the period of the 1950s shows the rough and tumble Leo “the Lip” Durocher sharing a warm moment with his son Chris. While I don’t know anything about their personal relationship, that photograph always spoke baseball to me. Fathers and sons…heroes and idols on the diamond…the magic of the post season. I just couldn’t wait to get the shirt.
When the finally jersey arrived, I was not disappointed. It proved to be a fairly well made garment, albiet of a lesser quality flannel than a major league offering. This was to be expected. Although small (17 inches at the chest and 23 inches along the torso), the jersey was well constructed with a five button front, four hole vented underarm gussets, set in sleeves, high quality orange and black soutache along the sleeve trim and collar. The jersey even included a dry cleaning tag similar to those found in professional quality products from the late 1940s and early 1950s. In short, this was a “top of line” kid gotta have it or I’ll die sort of deal at the time.
I say this in both jest and retrospect, because when you’re a kid…you feel this way about the team you’ve given your heart to for the season. In 1951, it all ended poorly for the Giants along the Harlem River…almost 60 years later it ended rather well for the Giants by the Bay. As you settle in for the winter, the hot stove league, and whatever your collecting passion is…try to keep a little bit of that little kid in you. I know I always try to. If you can, you will always collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
MEARS Auth, LLC
POST SCRIPT: Congratulations Dan
For questions and comments on this article, please feel free to contact me at DaveGrob1@aol.com