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Lot # 696: 1951 Charlie Keller Detroit Tigers Game Worn Jersey

Category: Baseball Equipment

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 17 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2023 Fall Classic",
which ran from 10/29/2023 7:00 PM to
11/18/2023 10:00 PM

Offered is an all-original, one-of-a-kind 1951 Charlie "King Kong" Keller Detroit Tigers jersey. Charlie Keller got his King Kong nickname in part because of his very muscular, 5'10", 185 lbs. physique, one which the outfielder developed by extensive farm work, starting at 4 a.m., on the family farm in Maryland when he was growing up. Keller spent most of his playing career with the New York Yankees, for whom he played from 1939-43, and again from 1945-49 after almost two years missed playing time while he was serving in the United States Merchant Marine during World War II. In his career, the lefty batter hit .286, with 189 home runs and a .928 OPS. In December of 1949, Keller was signed by the Detroit Tigers for the sum of $20,000, mainly to serve as a pinch hitter. The '51 Detroit Tigers, under manager Red Rolfe, went 73-81 to finish in fifth place in the American League. In 1951, Keller hit .258 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 62 official at bats. In 1952, he signed once again with the Yankees and played in two games in September before being released. In his prime, Keller played in an iconic Yankee outfield that had Joe DiMaggio in center, Keller in left, and Tommy Heinrich in right. Keller was a 5-time World Champion on the Yankees, and he was a 5-time All-Star. The wool jersey has the distinctive Detroit Tigers Old English "D" in a navy blue, sewn on letter, on the left chest. Seven silver-colored buttons go down the front. The lower left, outside tail shows a Wilson manufacturer's tag, and an adjacent size "40" tag. Another tag in that area gives washing instructions. Under the above-mentioned tags is "1951," stitched in navy blue. The left sleeve has an "American League 1901-1951 Golden Anniversary" patch, and the right sleeve "1701-1951 Detroit 250th Birthday Festival" patch. The back has "27" in sewn on navy blue numerals. Despite being over seven decades old, the jersey is in amazing condition and exhibits minimal wear. The jersey is exceedingly rare, and we have never seen another.

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