December 11th, 2021 Holiday Auction (#57)
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Before Tom Seaver’s 20-year Hall of Fame career where he compiled 311 wins and 3,640 strikeouts at the Major League level, he was a standout pitcher for the USC Trojans. After High School, Seaver spent six months of active duty in the Marine Corps Reserves and then enrolled at Fresno City College. In that time he had grown much stronger and threw with greater velocity and had excellent control of his pitches. The following year, he was recruited to pitch for the University of Southern California. In 1965 during his only season with the Trojans, Seaver posted a 10–2 record and was selected in the tenth round of the 1965 Major League Baseball draft. Presented here is the only known collegiate Seaver jersey sourced from the team’s student manager. The student manager notes "In the mid-1960s, I was a student manager on the USC baseball team. I assisted with equipment and some travel arrangements. I had the opportunity to sit on the bench during home games and once even got to warm up Tom Seaver between innings while the catcher was getting his gear on. After graduating in ’66, I procured a baseball uniform as a memento of my college years. At the time, I am pretty sure I was not aware of the significance of the number on the jersey and for years it just hung in our closet." Later passed down to his son, he recalls “I was always aware of the USC baseball uniform in my dad’s closet. I remember sneaking peeks at it from time to time when I was a kid and thinking the flannel was so cool. I’m certain I was unaware of the jersey’s significance at the time. After my dad informed me that it was Seaver’s, I immediately put it up on the wall in our game room.” On the front left tail is the Rawlings manufacturer’s tag size “44”. Inside the front left tail is a tag with washing instructions and an attached flag tag reading “SET 1 1965”. Across the front reads “Trojans” and on the back is the player number “37”. All numbering and lettering is done in maroon on gold colored felt. The jersey was framed by a non-hobbyist for many years with the back displaying. The front colors appear more vibrant because it never saw the light of day and there is slight discoloration from the front to the back. The jersey remains in beautiful all-original condition. Also included is a matching pair of flannel pants. Inside the rear waistband of the pants is the Rawlings manufacturer’s tag size “34” with an attached flag tag reading “SET 1 1964”. Adjacent is a tag with washing instructions, a “UNITED” distributor’s tag and a felt strip tag reading “L6ins”. Multiple numbers are handwritten inside the waistband indicating multi-season wear as well as Seaver’s. A pair of maroon stirrups accompany the lot as well. This uniform is properly tagged, was presented to us as game-used and in our opinion shows excellent use.
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