November 30th, 2011 Holiday Catalog Auction (#32)
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
This road grey flannel jersey is quite historic. It was worn in 1966 by Dennis Ribant of the NY Mets. Where its journey leads from that point is as follows. A NY Times article of August 1967 announced that 13 farmhands were recalled by the NY Mets as part of the September roster expansion. One of the players listed was Nolan Ryan. Eleven times on September 1967 scorecards Ryan was listed as wearing number 30. The survey of Contemporary Data Sources suggests that the only player who did wear that number was Ryan. What this information thus far suggests is that the Mets had no reason to have ordered a uniform for number 30 at the start of the 1967 season. Ryan’s number “34” from the 1966 season was not available in September of 1967 as it was assigned to Cal Coonce. Special orders of uniforms for late season roster expansion were not to be expected as the Mets were known to recycle jerseys. Accommodating minor leaguers added to the ball club was not a cost effective pursuit. The Mets made extended use of previously purchased product. There were similarities in both height and weight between Ribant and Ryan which supports the premise that Ryan wore this jersey in 1967. The fact that the Mets retained product for extended organizational wear is a photo of Ryan from March, 16 1968 during the Mets spring training. The photo reveals an apparent photomatch of Ryan in this very jersey which when previously examined by others, no definitive answer was given as to a photomatch. The jersey is accompanied by a five page letter from Dave Grob with a final grade of A8.5 which goes into detail about this great shirt and its history. On the left front tail is the “Wilson” manufacturer’s tag with wash instructions and jersey size “40”. Attached are two flag tags, “SET 1” and “66”. Inside the collar is a strip tag with “30-40” embroidered in navy blue chain stitch indicating jersey number and size, respectively. Across the front is “NEW YORK”. Number “30” appears on both the front and back. All numbers and letters are done in blue on orange felt. On the left sleeve is the team embroidered disc patch. The jersey shows game-use and appears to have no alterations of any kind. We sold this shirt to our consignor twenty years ago as a Dennis Ribant jersey and he has had it ever since. At the time, we told him that there was an outside shot that this was worn by Nolan Ryan. This hobby is now so far advanced than it was twenty years ago in its infancy.
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