Yankees Legend Don Larsen: Time Is Right To Auction Off 1956 Perfect Game Jersey
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NEW YORK (WFAN) – Baseball fans with deep pockets will soon have a chance to own an ultra-rare piece of baseball memorabilia.
The jersey worn by Yankees great Don Larsen during his legendary perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series will be put up for auction this fall. His performance stands as the only perfecto in World Series history, which will surely mean big bucks.
The auction will be conducted by Steiner Sports. A circa 1920 Yankees uniform top worn by Babe Ruth fetched more than $4.4 million in May.
“Some of these things are moving pretty good, so I thought it’d be time to do it,” Larsen told WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Thursday.
“I’ll use the proceeds to send my grandkids to college, so that’ll be taken care of,” he added. “It’s a relief on me too. And if we have anything left over I’m gonna take the family for a little trip.”
LISTEN: Larsen with Boomer & Carton
Larsen pitched his perfect game on October 8, 1956 at Yankee Stadium. It was an amazing bounce back performance from his sub-par effort in Game 2, as the Yankees went on to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games.
Broadcaster Bob Wolff, who called the historic game, fittingly phoned in to share this moment with Larsen.
“It was my first World Series broadcast and it sort of opened up the door for me,” said Wolff. “So it was a great moment in my career as well.”
“I told you before,” Larsen said, “that we both had a great day!”
The 56-day auction will begin on October 8, the 56th anniversary of Larsen’s 1956 perfect game. Steiner Sports executive vice president Steve Costello said bidding will start at $56,000.
Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess.
“We really don’t know what the market is,” said Costello. “It’s just one of the only things of its kind.”
Larsen said he took the jersey home after the series, where it stayed until he gave it on loan to the San Diego Hall of Champions sports museum.
As for the ball? Yankees catcher Yogi Berra gave it to him in the clubhouse following the game, but Larsen admitted he got rid of it in a package deal “years ago.”
“I probably shouldn’t have,” he told Boomer & Carton. “Maybe a little too early.”
The No. 8 jersey worn by Berra when he jumped into Larsen’s arms can be seen at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Montclair, N.J.
The 82-year-old was an open book and touched on a number of topics during the wide-ranging interview, including performance enhancing and recreational drugs, something he holds a certain distaste for.
“I don’t appreciate that stuff a bit,” said the Yankees legend, who wouldn’t say whether those fingered as steroid users should be elected into the Hall of Fame. “We didn’t have much of that in my time, and I wasn’t familiar with that stuff at all. I smoked a little marijuana when I was a kid, it made me sick! And I couldn’t understand why everybody enjoyed that so much.”
How much do you see the perfecto jersey going for? Make your prediction below!