Woody English played on some great Chicago Cubs teams, once had 755 plate appearances and 213 hits in a season scored a ton of runs in a 12-year career. The Ohio native’s biggest thrill, though, came in 1933, when he was named to the National League team for the first All-Star Game. Now, the uniform he donned at Comiskey Park that day is about to hit the auction market.
English’s specially made jersey and pants will be offered by Heritage Auctions in the company’s upcoming Summer Platinum Night sale. Bidding begins July 30 and the auction will close over a two-night period, August 21 and 22.
While the American League team members simply wore their team’s uniforms in the game, National Leaguers donned the special gray flannel outfits with “National League” spelled on on the front of the button down jerseys and numbers on the back.
English’s name is embroidered in the collar with the first initial “E” for his given name (Elwood).
Original game-worn NL jerseys from that historic July afternoon are quite rare. In 2008, Dick Bartell’s uniform sold for over $28,000.
English flied out in his only plate appearance and played two innings at shortstop for the National League, which beat the AL, 4-2.
English was a table-setter for some potent Chicago Cubs teams in the late 1920s and early 30s. He finished fourth in MVP voting in 1931 when he was among the top three hitters in runs and hits and third among shortstops in all of baseball for fielding percentage.
He was playing third base for the Cubs in the “called shot” game. Later in life, English said Babe Ruth did no such thing. “He’s got two strikes on him. The guys are yelling at him from our dugout. He’s looking right in our dugout, and he holds up two fingers. He said, ‘That’s only two strikes.’ But the press box was way back on top of Wrigley Field, and to the people in the press, it looked like he pointed to center field. But he was looking right into our dugout and holding two fingers up. That is the true story. Ruth would never do a thing like that, point. Charlie Root would have murdered him.”
The auction lot includes English’s jersey, pants and a signed photo of him wearing the uniform, on which he notes “1933 First All Star Uniform.”
English died in 1991 at age 97.