600 HRC – The Shirt Off Their Backs
Written by Jim Rednour   
Monday, 30 March 2009

Members’ Game-Worn Jerseys Demand Historical Bids at Auction

By the time the members of the 600 Home Run Club (“Say Hey” Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey, Jr. achieved their remarkable tally of 600+ longballs, it had become common for Major Leaguers to have numerous home and away jerseys, but they are still rare commoditites …especially when personally signed or worn during the achievement of a significant landmark.

1994 Ken Griffey, Jr. Game-Worn Jersey A Bargain at $1,064.00

Junior won another Gold Glove and clubbed forty homers to lead the American League in a strike-shortened 1994 season.  Home white jersey announces "Mariners" on the chest, with "Griffey 24" on verso. The jersey’s pristine condition is remarkable considering that he was a Gold Glove defensive player every year from 1990-99; known for his frequent, diving plays in outfield and reputation for getting dirty in search of extra bases.

The shirt features Seattle’s team logo and "MLB 125th Anniversary" patches on each sleeve. Autographed in black Sharpie on verso, and accompanied by letter of authenticity from Junior himself.
It was purchased in auction in 2004.  Now that he has returned to conclude his career in Seattle starting in 2009, and hit more than 600 home runs (611 and counting), his game-worn shirts will undoubtedly begin to skyrocket in value…just like his career homerun count.

2004 Sammy Sosa Game-Worn Cubs Jersey

A great gamer from Sosa's days in the Friendly Confines, “Slammin’ Sammy’s 2004 jersey sold at auction in 2008 for a Cubs fan’s dream of $759.00.  Sosa signed his name and marked the jersey as “G/U” Game Used in 2004.  

Sosa enjoyed an allegiance of fans when he called the Windy City home. The only man ever to slug 60+ home runs in three seasons, Sosa clubbed 35 bombs in 2004 and was also a team captain, as evidenced by a "C" patch on the left sleeve. The front includes an oversized Cubs patch.  



1972 Willie Mays Game-Issued Giants Jersey, From Final Season In San Francisco

The incomparable Willie Mays already had his 600 homers and 3000 hits under his belt as he headed into his penultimate season that began in San Francisco and ended in New York.

Seen here is the new, spongy white, Giants home, button-down knits of 1972, with black felt on orange twill and back numerals, and a felt collar name swatch featuring ‘Mays’ in bold chain link script. The lower left front tail featured a McAuliffe label sewn with a 1972 year tag. It sold for $3,705 on June of 2007.

1979 Willie Mays Game Worn Coaches Jersey

One of just a rare few Willie Mays jerseys ever to be made available at auction, this grey pull-over style specimen worn by the game's greatest all-around player during his tenure as a Mets coach. On the chest is "Mets" in cursive style blue on orange tackle twill above his number, "24". Across the shoulders on a matching gray nameplate is, "Mays," with "24" below. The left sleeve, trimmed with an orange and blue ribbed knit, sports a circular team patch and similar trim can be found again around the neckline. Inside the front tail is "Rawlings [size] 42" tagging, "Set 1 1979" flag tag, and "42 79 24" blue chain-stitched plate. Measurable use can found throughout.  It sold for $4,000 in June of 2004.