He had made his debut just after World War II but Yogi Berra was still an important part of the New York Yankees in 1961. Playing most of his games in the outfield, the 36-year-old star belted 22 homers, drove in 61 runs and hit .271. In the World Series, he homered, drove in three, walked five times and hit .273.
He also saw history, watching the home run race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle unfold.
Now, a full uniform worn by the Yankee Hall of Famer during that historic season is on the auction block, where it’s already generating interest from well-financed collectors. Heritage Auctions is offering the autographed home pinstripe uniform in its November Platinum Auction, set to close this weekend. The current high bid, with the buyer’s premium factored in, is $384,000.
According to Heritage, the uniform and pants have been photomatched to a September 12, 1961 game against the Detroit Tigers. They say photos also seem to indicate a strong possibility that Berra was wearing the uniform as he stood at home plate to congratulate Maris on his record-breaking 61st home run, but a definitive match hasn’t become possible yet.
The uniform’s life didn’t end after the ’61 season, however. The pants, especially, show signs of having been utilized in the Yankees minor league system, as was common practice at the time.
Berra’s name is chain-stitched inside the collar and tagging from the 1961 season is present. MEARS has provided a detailed written analysis of the jersey.
In 2011, the jersey Berra wore in Don Larsen’s 1956 World Series perfect game sold for $564,930.