Photo-Match: Jersey has been photo-matched to two images: 1) Image used for 1949 Bowman card, which was taken at the same photoshoot where Mize's 1948 Bowman photo was taken while wearing this jersey. 2) Undated image against the Phillies. Scans of the Sports Investors Photo-Matching LOA have been uploaded.
New York Giants road jersey worn by Hall of Fame slugger Johnny Mize in 1948. Like those of most Hall of Famers who played during the 1930s and 1940s, Johnny Mize game-worn jerseys are scarce. This one of only three we have ever handled and we cannot recall having seen more than three others at auction in the past twenty years. The jersey also has a unique provenance. Our consignor's parents were very close friends with a woman who was very involved with the New York Giants fan club during the late 1940s. She received the jersey directly from Mize and shortly after presented it to our consignor's father, because she knew he was a big fan. It has remained in the possession of our consignor's family since that time and is therefore new to the hobby.
The gray flannel zipper-front jersey is lettered "New York" across the front and features the number "15" on the reverse. All letters and numerals are applied in black-on-orange felt. Located in the collar are a "MacGregor 44" label and a white strip tag featuring the player's name and uniform number ("Mize 15") chain-stitched in red. The year ("48") is chain-stitched in red on a white strip tag located on the interior left front tail. Heavy wear is displayed throughout. The zipper is no longer functional and there is a small hole on the front. A small tear along the edge of the right sleeve also breaks the black-and-orange piping. Despite the minor flaws, the jersey is all original (which is uncommon for garments from this era) and it presents exceptionally well.
Mize enjoyed another banner season in 1948, leading the National League in home runs with 40, while driving in 125 runs and batting .289. One of the top hitters of his era, Mize was one of the few sluggers to also hit for average. In addition to leading the league in home runs on four separate occasions, Mize also batted over .300 in each of his first nine seasons and won the National League batting crown in 1939 with a .349 average. Mize finished his career in 1953 with 359 home runs, 1,337 RBI, and a .312 lifetime average. Those power numbers would be even more impressive if Mize hadn't lost three full seasons to military service from 1942 to 1944. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981.