Chris Chambliss, whose 1976 Game 5 home run against Kansas City won the American League pennant for the Yankees in walk-off fashion, briefly “reunited” with the jersey on Fox5 television in New York on Nov. 27 – the first time he has seen the jersey since that year’s World Series.
“It was the highlight of my career,” said Chambliss, now a hitting coach for the Seattle Mariners, fs his home run. “So of course it was emotional to see it, to hold it. After I hit it, and made that mad run around the bases, everyone was telling me how it was baseball history. They still do. So yes, it was quite a moment to have it in my hands again.”
The full interview, done by Fox’s Duke Castiglione, can be seen on www.8Dauctions.com and on YouTube beginning Dec. 1.
The jersey is being auctioned by 8D Auctions, with bidding now open and the auction culminating on Dec. 15. The Chambliss jersey, perfectly photo-matched to video from the at-bat (which shows how the pinstripes align with the buttons, NY logo and sleeves), is the focal point, but the auction also includes the three grand slam home run jerseys from Aug. 25 of this year, when Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and Russell Martin became the first trio of teammates to perform the feat; and a 2011 Derek Jeter game-worn home jersey (from after he became the first Yankee with 3,000 hits). There is also a base from the 3,000 hit game, signed by Jeter.
Chambliss never thought of keeping the jersey. It just wasn’t done in those days. “I once asked Yogi Berra if he ever took any of his jerseys home after the season, and he said, ‘Why would I?’” recalled Chris.
Chambliss, who is not the consignor, has agreed to meet the winning bidder and sign the jersey for him if desired. A portion of the auction house’s proceeds from the jersey will go to Reggie Jackson’s Mr. October Foundation.
To put the Chambliss jersey’s value in perspective, the bat used by Kirk Gibson for his historic Game One walk-off homer in the Dodgers 1988 World Series victory went last year at auction for just under $576,000. The Chambliss homer won a pennant (the team’s first in 12 years), and was part of Yankee history, all things that matter greatly to collectors. While it was thought a confluence of “perfect storm” events led to the shocking price of the Gibson bat, it certainly raises interest in this jersey’s value. The jersey has a starting bid of $25,000.
The auction also includes a pitching rubber signed and marked “save #589” by Mariano Rivera, Vida Blue’s 1971 American League MVP award, a game used Oakland Raiders jersey of Howie Long, a Willie McCovey 1971 San Francisco Giants jersey and pants, a Joe Namath New York Jets’ jersey from the early 1970s, a Rivera 1999 Yankees road jersey with a memorial patch for Joe DiMaggio, autographed game used bats from Cal Ripken Jr., and George Brett, a game used jersey from the Raven’s Ray Rice, a Randy Johnson game used glove, and a game used Cardinals cap from Albert Pujols’ 2005 MVP season.