Got $200K? Jersey worn by baseball great, Gretna native Mel Ott up for auction
A jersey that was worn by baseball great and Gretna native Mel Ott is up for auction, and the current bidding price is just over $177,000.
The jersey, listed for auction on the Lelands.com Master Auction, is from the 1945 baseball season, the same season in which Ott hit his 500th home run.
According to the auction site, there’s a 50 percent chance that Ott was wearing the jersey when he slugged his 500th homer.
Ott was born in Gretna in 1909. He was drafted into the major leagues when he was just 16 years old, according to the Baseball Hall of Fame website, and played his entire 21-year professional baseball career with the Giants.
From the Baseball Hall of Fame bio:
During his playing career, longtime New York Giants outfielder Mel Ott was one of the game’s most feared sluggers. And according to Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher, one of the most popular: “I never knew a baseball player who was so universally loved. Why even when he was playing against the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, he would be cheered and there are no more rabid fans than in Brooklyn.”
Gretna is home to a bronze statue of Ott. It was erected in 2009 and for years stood in front of the Gretna Visitor’s center at the intersection of Huey P. Long Avenue and 4th street, just blocks away from where he grew up and played as a child.
The city has since moved the statue to the Mel Ott Recreation Center, located on the grounds of, you guessed it, Mel Ott Park.
The Masters Auction closes Oct. 27 and also includes Muhammad Ali’s “Rumble in the Jungle” championship belt and Jackie Robinson’s last Brooklyn Dodgers game-worn jacket.