BOSTON (AP) – A Ted Williams uniform from 1959 that was folded up in a paper bag and stored in an attic for a quarter century auctioned off Sunday for $70,000.

An anonymous buyer phoned in the winning bid for the Splendid Splinter’s No. 9 jersey and pants, less than the expected price range of $80,000 to $120,000 that appraisers at Skinner Auction House had predicted, said retired Gloucester physician Robert Jedrey, the uniform’s former owner.

Jedrey said he was pleased the sale was done, and hoped that the new owner would put the uniform on display for others to see.

“It seemed like this was the ideal time to consider putting it up for auction,” he said. “Yes, there’s a loss in a sense, but I would certainly never display it or exhibit it, so it would probably end up in a closet in my house.”

Williams, who played for the Red Sox from 1939 to 1960, was the last player to break the .400 barrier, hitting .406 in 1941, and has the fifth highest career batting average in the history of the majors at .344.

Jedrey received the uniform in 1959. It was not Williams’ best year. He hit a career-low .254 that season and asked for, and was granted, a pay cut. He hit .316 the next season, his last.

Al Oliver, a family friend who was superintendent at Braves Field in Boston, home of the Boston Braves, gave the uniform to Jedrey which he was in medical school. Jedrey does not know how Oliver got it.

Jedrey folded the uniform into a paper bag, tucked it in a dresser drawer in the attic of his mother’s home, and forgot about it. Jedrey remembered it in the late 1980s when Williams and Joe DiMaggio made a joint appearance at Fenway Park.

Jedrey took it to the Sports Museum of New England, where curator Richard Johnson examined and authenticated it. It was displayed at the museum, but Jedrey decided to sell it because of the increased interest in Williams since his death and cryonic freezing in July 2002, as well as the excitement surrounding the 2004 Red Sox.

A Williams uniform from 1941, when he batted .406, sold for more than $120,000 in 2000. A 1946 uniform Williams wore in the World Series sold for $107,000 and a 1957 jersey alone sold for almost $82,000 shortly after his death.

The most paid for a baseball uniform at auction appears to be the more than $451,000 an anonymous buyer spent in 1999 for a Lou Gehrig uniform that it is believed he wore during his famous farewell speech.

AP-ES-06-06-04 1625EDT



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