One of the most widely identifiable of all professional sports uniforms – the pinstriped New York Yankees home uniform Yogi Berra wore during the 1956 World Series perfect game pitched by Don Larsen – has sold at auction for an astounding $564,930. The iconic uniform, which is prominently visible in a now-famous, copyrighted photo of Berra embracing Larsen after the final pitch of the perfect game, was purchased by a private collector.
Held in private hands for more than half a century, the sale’s top lot was consigned to Grey Flannel Auctions’ April 14 Summer Games Auction by a Florida man, Ronald Stevenot, who had been given the uniform to wear as a 17-year-old hopeful trying out for the Yankees’ rookie team in 1959.
“The minute I first held the uniform in my hands, I had a strong feeling it might be the one Yogi Berra wore during the ’56 World Series perfect game,” Grey Flannel’s president Richard E. Russek.
Russek took the uniform to Grey Flannel’s headquarters in New York, where he and his team of experts compared the uniform to a blowup of the famous World Series photo. To the naked eye, it was a convincing match, but further verification was required. The uniform was then painstakingly compared to DVD “stills” of the perfect game.
“Every Yankee pinstripe is like a fingerprint to when the jersey was worn,” Russek explained. “We compared the way the pinstripes matched up to the ‘N’ and ‘Y’ on the front, how they matched up to the collar and the sleeves, and it was an exact match. We then had our proof that it was unquestionably the uniform Berra wore as catcher during the 1956 World Series perfect game.”