If you want to buy this Sandy Koufax jersey, you might need the salary of a major league baseball player.
Lelands.com is auctioning a Sandy Koufax rookie jersey from 1955. As of Tuesday morning, the bid was close to $200,000, but the auction site estimates that it could sell for as much as $500,000. The auction, which started last month, ends June 30.
According to the site, the shirt is in great condition. Its only noticeable blemishes — a few moth holes on the back of the collar and under the Koufax name, which is stitched on the bottom right corner on the front. A Dodgers minor league player got it from Koufax in 1957.
Though he was only 19 in 1955, Koufax helped lead the Brooklyn Dodgers to its only World Series win, with a 2-2 record and a very respectable 3.02 earned run average. From there, of course, the Jewish southpaw would go on to become one of the best pitchers of all time, but memorabilia from an athlete’s rookie (or first full) season is always worth more than from later years.
The Lelands auction also includes a baseball that might have been used in the 1963 World Series game in which Koufax, then playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, beat the New York Yankees and recorded 15 strikeouts. Koufax pitched that gem in the series’ first game, but Lelands can confirm only that the ball is from one of the first two games in the series.
Lelands also recently auctioned off an extremely rare baseball signed by Jewish player Moe Berg for $35,000. Berg, who played for five teams between 1923 and 1939, was a catcher who later became a spy for the CIA (then the Office of Strategic Services). He spoke seven languages and once was called the “strangest man ever to play baseball.”
JTA wire service