June 5th, 2022 Summer Games Auction (#58)
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Eddie Cicotte was one of the most dominant pitchers of his era, and would have been considered among the game’s greatest of all-time had he not agreed to throw the 1919 World Series. Cicotte was a brilliant pitcher that overpowered hitters with his pinpoint control when delivering his repertoire of deceptive pitches. The older Cicotte got, the better he became, and was nearly unhittable for much of his last four seasons. In 1917, the year of this jersey, Cicotte led the league with 28 victories and a 1.53 ERA. Cicotte’s dominance continued into the 1917 World Series where he helped the White Sox defeat the New York Giants. Two seasons later, Cicotte continued his dominance and became concerned with his family’s financial security moving forward. A clause in Cicotte’s 1919 contract granted him a $10,000 bonus if he was able to win 30 or more games for the season. Cicotte had won 29 games with several weeks remaining in the regular season, but was promptly benched to supposedly afford him the proper rest needed to perform in the upcoming World Series. Having recently purchased a farm for his family, Cicotte had counted on the bonus to help pay off the mortgage. Cicotte agreed to participate in the World Series “fix” and betray the game of baseball for the betterment of his family. Suspicions increased after the White Sox and the Reds met on October 1 for the first game of what was then a best-of-nine World Series. After hitting a batter with one of his first pitches, supposedly a signal that the fix was on, Cicotte went on to make a series of uncharacteristic errors from the mound. Everything was proceeding as planned, yet according to later accounts, many of the Sox players had begun to grow restless. They had purportedly arranged to receive their bribes in five $20,000 installments, one after each loss, but the gamblers had failed to deliver the full amount. After game five, the furious ballplayers supposedly called off the fix and resolved to play to win for the rest of the series. The Sox won both of the next two games to put themselves back in the race for the championship but ultimately fell to the Reds. Presented is Cicotte’s 1917 flannel jersey consigned by the family. The jersey is photo-matched to a famous Bettmann photo as well as the 1917 World Series. Stitched into the front left tail is the player name “Cicotte”. An outline in the collar from a manufacturer’s tag is present. An incredibly rare American flag patch is on the left sleeve to honor the military during the first world war. On the left chest reads “SOX” in black felt. The “S” is original to the garment however the “O” and “X” have been professionally restored. The jersey remains in outstanding condition considering its age. This museum quality piece is one of the finest items in regards to historical significance. This jersey is properly tagged, was presented to us as game-used and in our opinion shows excellent use. Accompanied by a Photo-Match.com LOA and a SGC Grob LOA.
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Minimum Bid: $25,000
Current Bid: $48,718
Number Bids:7
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