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THE NATION

Joltin' Joe's 1951 Series Jersey Sold at Auction

May 21, 2006|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — A uniform worn by Joe DiMaggio in his final World Series sold for $195,500 Saturday at an auction of memorabilia from the Hall of Famer's storied career.

The pinstriped flannel home uniform, with the Yankee Clipper's familiar No. 5 on the back, was captured by an anonymous bidder. DiMaggio wore the jersey during the 1951 World Series, where the Yankees defeated the New York Giants.

According to Hunt Auctions Inc., the matching trousers -- though worn during the 1951 season -- could not be verified as used during the World Series. DiMaggio retired after the team won the championship, turning his spot in center field over to Mickey Mantle.

Also fetching top prices Saturday were items related to DiMaggio's onetime wife, actress Marilyn Monroe. The couple married in January 1954, but split after nine months.

Monroe's 1954 U.S. passport sold for $115,000. A photo of her that she autographed with the words "I love you Joe, Marilyn" sold for $80,500. And an autographed handwritten letter sent to DiMaggio and dated March 1, 1954, sold for $51,750.

A pair of watches awarded to DiMaggio after his first two Most Valuable Player seasons sold for $92,000 (1939) and $86,250 (1941). The latter came in the year that DiMaggio achieved one of baseball's most enduring marks, his 56-game hitting streak.

"Presented to Joseph Paul DiMaggio, Jr. Outfielder of the New York Yankees by The Sporting News For Being Named Most Valuable Player in American League for 1941," reads its inscription.

On Friday, the first day of the two-day auction, DiMaggio's 1947 Most Valuable Player award was sold for $281,750 to New York collector Pete Siegel, who purchased the Monroe passport Saturday, auction officials said.

In all, more than 1,000 DiMaggio items went on the auction block.

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