The following information was gathered via the MEARS Jersey Grading and Authentication Worksheet, copyright 2005/06. Hologram #304015 was issued. Our methods included the physical examination of the jersey, recording detailed information via the worksheet, comparing the information to our database, preparing full scale (1:1 ratio) color prints for examination, photographing of actual the jersey for use for imagery analysis and finally preparing the completed letter of opinion.
MEARS authenticators Dave Bushing and Troy R. Kinunen conducted the physical examination of the jersey while Dave Grob provided his own opinion in regards to Visual Aspects of Distinction, answering some fundamental questions regarding the supplier of Yankees jerseys for the period, tagging, sizing and possible use during the 1953 World Series.
His complete findings are noted and included in the final Letter of Opinion for MEARS item #304015.
Jersey Physical Description
The player inspected is Mickey Mantle, year 1954. The jersey was issued as the pinstripe version to be worn for home games. The jersey is manufactured from a cream pinstriped flannel material consistent with other New York Yankees jerseys manufactured to be worn by Major League baseball players during the era. The pinstripes are dyed in 1-inch increments. The jersey is similar in consistency of materials to other examples of Major League home jerseys we have examined. We have examined jerseys from the era manufactured by both Wilson and McAuliffe. Previous McAuliffe examples examined and used for comparison were:
1954 Giants home Don Liddle McAuliffe
1954 Giants road Dusty Roads McAuliffe
1954 Red Sox home Ted Williams McAuliffe
The inspection of these jerseys allowed us to examine material and tagging, and this McAuliffe manufactured jersey compared favorably.
The style was button-down, which was standard on Major League jerseys from this era. Seven pearl buttons (four hole) were used. All buttons are original with none missing. The buttonholes are reinforced with white thread.
The sleeves were full-length and set in. They remain original as issued and have not been trimmed or altered.
The jersey was manufactured by Tim McAuliffe and tagged on the outside of the lower-left tail. The rectangular 1″ x 2″ tag reads, “TIM McAULIFFE inc., Quality Athletic Equipment, 24 Lincoln St., Boston, MASS.” Sewn underneath is a ?” x ?” “Dry Clean Only” tag. To the left of the dry cleaning tag is another ?” x ?” box size tag. The size “44” appears in red numbering.
The style of the Tim McAuliffe tag can be found in the MEARS Tagging Database and was determined to be consistent with McAuliffe tags issued during the 1946-56 time frame. Also, for the specific year of 1954, the style of the tag was consistent with other known authentic examples and can be verified via:
1954 Giants home Don Liddel McAuliffe (Mastro 4/04)
1954 Giants road Dusty Rhodes McAuliffe (Mastro 4/05)
1954 Red Sox home Ted Williams McAuliffe (Lelands 12/00)
1954 Red Sox road Ted Williams McAuliffe (Lelands 12/00)
These four examples allowed us to determine that the McAuliffe tagging was correct and consistent for a jersey manufactured for Major League use during the 1954 season. The manufacturer, dry clean, and size tags were all anchored with a white professional straight stitch. All tagging is original with no signs of tampering.
The jersey is boxed tagged as size 44. Per Grob’s findings, the size of the jersey is appropriate and consistent for Mantle game-worn jerseys from this time frame. Other examples of documented game-worn Mantle jerseys supporting this size include:
1952 Home, Spalding Size 44
1952 Road, Spalding Size 44
1954 Road, Wilson Size 44
1954 Home, Spalding Size 44
1955 Home, Spalding Size 44
Therefore, it is established that size 44 is correct for Mantle jerseys from the period.
The player identifier attributing this jersey to Mantle comes in the form of his name and year, Swiss embroidered into the left-front outer tail. A stylized “Mantle” measuring 1″ x 3″ serves as the player identification. Below is the year, “’54” applied in the same manner.
When examining all game-worn jerseys that have entered the hobby, (27,456 entries in the MEARS database) no other 1954 Yankees home jerseys have been seen in the hobby, therefore no points of comparison are available to examine the style and appearance of the Swiss embroidered name and year. Careful examination does reveal the stitching to appear original and unaltered.
Team Crest Logo
The team crest was very important in the evaluation of this jersey. Measuring 4 ?” x 4 7/8″ and applied in a double-straight stitch, the style of “NY” is more consistent with a McAuliffe manufactured uniform. Grob’s findings regarding the visual aspects of distinction are:
“This style of NY crest is atypical for New York Yankees home jerseys manufactured by either Wilson and Spalding. The only other example I have found of this style crest featuring a more flared “Y” is in the form of a 1953 NY Yankees home jersey of Johnny Sain. This jersey was manufactured by McAuliffe.”
Therefore by distinguishing the difference between Wilson, Spalding and McAuliffe manufactured NY crest logos, inspection determined that several referenced photos of Yankees players can be seen wearing the McAuliffe manufactured NY crest logo.
When examining the NY crest logo on a light table, it was determined the logo is all original with no signs of tampering. Slight puckering can be seen. Puckering is a very positive and desirable trait that indicates the crest is all original and placed there at the time of original issuance. When a jersey has been restored, the puckering effect is lost. Therefore, the examination of the professional sewing with the pull-through stitches along with the puckering effect, this jersey has remained all original and was not sent down to the minor leagues to be recycled, which was a common occurrence for Yankees jerseys from this era.
It was very important to determine the difference in logos and identify which style McAuliffe manufactured. Once this identification was made, we were able to verify the difference in style in the photos we examined and positively I.D.’d the McAuliffe style NY in the photos examined, thus determing McAuliffe was a manufacture of Yankees jerseys during 1954.
Numbering – Mantle’s famous No. 7 appears on the reverse of the jersey. The number is correct for Mantle to wear during the 1954 season and was cut from heavy felt. The number measures 7 ? inches in height. The number is applied with a double row of straight stitching. When examined on the light table, no signs of another number is present, thus establishing the number was original as issued. The same puckering was present as seen in the crest. No signs of alteration were present. Grob noted that the Diamond point numerals on reverse was an atypical style for New York Yankees home jerseys. This style cut is most often associated with McAuliffe products.
No patches or outlines of patches were found on the sleeves or other areas. This was checked via an inspection of both the inside and outside of the jersey. If a patch had been applied, the outline from the removal of the stitching would be present. No patches were issued for Yankees jerseys from this year, so neither patches nor outlines should be found on a jersey worn by Mantle or any Yankee from this season.
Tail Cut – Another feature of this jersey is the convex tail opening, which is hemmed with a reinfo rced seam. This is consistent with both Yankees and McAuliffe jerseys from the period.
Autograph – A large Mantle black felt-tip signature appears in the tail.
Wear -The jersey exhibits moderate and even wear. The wear is consistent with the amount expected to be found on a jersey issued to be worn during one season. There is no evidence of fading or staining. The fabric does show even wear, but there are no signs of overuse, thinning or holes. Overuse, thinning, and extreme holes are typically associated with jerseys being sent to the minor leagues. Therefore, this jersey is in the same condition as last used at the professional level. The Yankees are noted for recycling their jerseys through the minor leagues, and surviving examples are quite rare.
Our physical examination of the jersey included inspection of the NY logo crest, McAuliffe tag, buttons, No. 7, stitching and we looked for alterations. Based on the total evaluation of the jersey presented to us, certification No. 304015, MEARS is confident to state this is an all original, properly tagged, styled and numbered 1954 New York Yankees home Mickey Mantle jersey exhibiting moderate game wear. With this being the only 1954 Yankees home jersey known and once being issued to be worn by Mickey Mantle, this makes this a truly historic item.
Sincerely, Troy Kinunen