Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for TBO.com on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.
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Larsen will auction perfect game jersey, pants
Posted May 27, 2012 by Bob D'Angelo
Updated May 27, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Don Larsen has the perfect solution to pay for his grandsons’ college education.
Larsen, the architect of the only perfect game in World Series history, will auction off the jersey and pants he wore when he beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 2-0 in Game 5 at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 8, 1956.
Steiner Sports Marketing & Memorabilia (www.steinersports.com) will handle the Larsen artifacts. Fittingly, the bidding will begin on Oct. 8, 2012—the 56th anniversary of the perfect game—and will end on Dec. 2. The duration of the auction? Fifty-six days.
On Friday, Larsen told The New York Times by telephone from his home in Hayden Lake, Idaho, that he was selling the jersey and pants to raise enough money for his two grandsons’ college expenses.
“What the uniform actually sells for is not that important to me; whatever happens, happens,” the 82-year-old told the Times. “I’m just hoping for enough to help the grandkids.”
According to the Times, the uniform of Yogi Berra, who caught Larsen’s gem and leaped into the pitcher’s arms after pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell was called out on strikes to end the game, sold for $565,000 in an auction. Dr. Richard Angrist, a memorabilia collector, bought the uniform and lent it to the Yogi Berra Museum in New Jersey.
Whether Larsen’s No. 18 jersey fetches anywhere near the price that was paid for Yogi’s is debatable. That perfect game is probably the greatest World Series achievement, but Berra’s jersey had more value because he is a Hall of Famer. Still, don’t be surprised if Larsen’s items fetch a price somewhere in the six-figure range. I’d be surprised if they didn’t.
“I really don’t know what it is worth,” Larsen told the Times. “But what I do know is that in terms of historic importance, my uniform is a part of one of the greatest moments in the history of sports. I have thought about that perfect game, more than once a day, every day of my life since the day I threw it.”
In 2002, Larsen auctioned the cap, glove, shoes and the baseball used for the final out of the game. The Times reported he sold them for $120,750 and did not get more because the items were bronzed.
I’m thinking he’ll be able to pay for his grandsons’ college education after this auction ends.