MEARS Auction #100, Ends March 4th, 2017 10:00 PM CST w/ 30-Minute Rule Per Lot
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/4/2017
Considered the best pitcher of the decade, 1976 would mark Seaver’s last full season with the Mets. After winning 7 games in 1977, he would be traded to the Reds in a move which was dubbed by the New York press as “The Midnight Massacre“ which was inspired by the cities citizens fear of the latest murders by the .44 caliber killer.
During 1976, Seaver posted a 14-11 record, tallied 235K’s (led the NL earned him his fifth NL strikeout crown), finished with a 2.59 ERA (third in the league), appeared in his 9th All Star game, and finished the season with 182 career victories. He also extended his record to 200 whiffs in nine consecutive seasons. A superb example of a Tom Seaver from the end of his fabled time with the Mets.
Tom Seaver shirts are quite rare, and have become increasingly so during the past several years. Examples rarely entered the hobby. To date, MEARS has evaluated the following examples:
1973 Home (MEARS A10)
1974 Home (MEARS A10)
1976 Road (MEARS A7.5)
1977 Road (MEARS A10)
To date, this is the only known 1976 home example that has entered the hobby. For this auction, MEARS has evaluated and graded this shirt, our findings:
Style: White pin striped home shirt (seven 4-hole pearl buttons) button down front. Set in sleeves, rounded tail. The Mets skyline patch is found on the left sleeve (original), and the 1976 NL Bi-Centennial Patch (restored) is on the right. The left sleeve has an original black memorial arm band, issued in honor of the deaths of Joan Payson (owner) and Casey Stengel. The style of the shirt was verified as being correct by comparison to period images.
Manufacturer (Rawlings): Per the Official MEARS Tagging Database (Grob PDF), the style of the Rawlings tag dates to the 1976 season. Per examples which have entered the hobby, MEARS verified that Rawlings was the correct supplier of 1976 home Mets shirts. They include:
1976 (home) John Milner
1976 (home) Craig Swan
1976 (home) Benny Ayala
Therefore, by comparison to other examples we were able to confirm Rawlings as being the correct supplier of 1976 home shirts.
Size 46: Measurement of the actual shirt confirms it is consistent with the tagged size of 46. Seaver shirts vary from size 44-46 during the era, and this examples falls within the acceptable size range.
Game Wear: Shirt exhibits moderate game wear. Examination on a light table revealed the numbers were original to the shirt and there were no signs of alteration. Examination of the arm band and Mets patch found no signs of alterations. Examination of the Centennial patch found evidence of it being replaced with a period patch.
Autograph: The autograph has been evaluated by JSA and deemed authentic. On the front under the “41” it is signed “My ’76 gamer, Tom Seaver”, in black sharpie.
Final Grade (MEARS A9.5): After evaluation per the five categories found on the MEARS Grading & Authentication Official Worksheet, the only deduction was minus ½ point for the replaced centennial patch with a vintage one.
(JSA Auction Letter; MEARS LOA)
1976 Tom Seaver New York Mets Game Worn Home Jersey W/ Black Memorial Arm Band For Club owner Joan Payson and former manager Casey Stengel (MEARS A9.5)(JSA)
Click above for larger image.