The Cleveland Guardians (formerly the Cleveland Indians), were founded in the year of 1901 as a charter team for Major League Baseball’s American League. The Guardians name was just a recent franchise team name switch as the name pays homage to the Guardians of Traffic who are 8 massive sculpture steps from Progressive Field, and these Guardians of Traffic overlook Ontario and Carnegie, and have been protecting the city of Cleveland since 1932 when the Hope Memorial Bridge opened. As of 2021, the franchise has won the American League Central division a total of 10 different times, they have won the American League Pennant a total of 6 different times, and the Guardians have 2 World Series championships to add to their name, as they won the World Series in 1920 where they defeated the Brooklyn Robins, and again in 1948 where they defeated the Boston Braves. The history of the franchise is littered with legendary players such as Bob Feller, Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton, Lou Boudreau, Manny Ramirez, and countless others. Because of their impact on the game can be measured in numerous ways such as revenue, endorsements, and memorabilia. Recently we’ve discovered that some of these Guardians jerseys have been sold for extremely high amounts. Today we will take a look at the five most expensive Guardians Jerseys ever sold to date:
5. Lou Boudreau Signed Throwback Jersey – $179
Lou Boudreau was a fan favorite in Cleveland as soon as he stepped foot onto the diamond. His best season with the franchise came in 1948, where he posted an immaculate batting average of .355, he hit 18 home runs, he drove in 106 runs, he was able to walk a total of 98 times, he was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1948 and he also represented the team in the All-Star game as a member of the American League team. Boudreau was a key member of leading the 1948 team to their second World Series championship in franchise history where they defeated the Boston Braves. Boudreau was elected into the Major League Baseball hall of fame in 1970, and his number 5 jersey has been retired by the Guardians. His jersey was sold as part of the Heritage Auctions as part of the 2007 April 29 Internet Sports Auction, as the jersey sold for $179.
4. 1999 Manny Ramirez Game Worn Jersey – $799
Manny Ramirez was coming off an absolutely phenomenal season in 1998, but his 1999 season was even more phenomenal. In 1999, Ramirez represented the team in the All-Star game as a member of the American League team, he led the league in RBI’s with 165, he led the league in slugging percentage with a percentage of .663, and he also led the league in on-base plus slugging with 1.105. He also hit a total of 44 home runs and had an immaculate batting average of .333 in 1999. Ramirez was the franchises first-round draft back in 1993, and he turned into the star that they hoped he would turn into. His jersey was sold as part of the Golden Auctions as the jersey was sold for $799.
3. 1997 Jim Thome Game Worn Batting Practice Jersey – $920
Jim Thome is the franchise leader in career home runs as he was able to hit a total of 337 out of 612 career home runs with Cleveland. In 1997, Jim Thome made his first All-Star game of his major league career as he represented Cleveland on the American League team, he led the league in walks with a total of 120, he hit a towering 40 home runs, he drove in a total of 102 runs, he posted a very efficient batting average of .286, and he hit 25 doubles. Thome was elected to the Major League Baseball hall of fame on the first ballot in 2018 as a member of the Guardians, and his jersey number 25 is retired by the Guardians as well. His jersey was sold as part of the Golden Auctions as the jersey sold for a total of $920.
2. 1995 Kenny Lofton Game Worn and Signed Jersey – $2,214
Kenny Lofton had three different stints with the franchise, and across his time with Cleveland, he was able to make 5 All-Star teams and win 4 Gold Glove Awards. Lofton was a huge piece in helping Cleveland run away with Major League Baseball best record and winning the American League Central division in 1995. In 1995, Lofton represented the team in the All-Star Game as part of the American League team, he led the league in stolen bases with a total of 54, and he also led the league in triples with a total of 13. Lofton also had a batting average of .310, he hit 7 home runs, and he had 53 RBI’s to add to his name in 1995. Lofton is the franchise leader in stolen bases as he stole a total of 452 bases during his time with the Guardians. His jersey was sold as part of the Golden Auctions as the jersey sold for a total of $2,214.
1. 1939 Bob Feller Game Worn Jersey – $26,290
Bob Feller is considered to be the greatest pitcher in franchise history, as Feller tops all Cleveland pitchers in fWAR with 62.6, wins with a total of 266, total innings pitched with a total of 3,827, strikeouts with a total of 2,581, complete games with a total of 279. Bob Feller was able to win the pitching triple crown in 1940, he was an 8-time All-Star with Cleveland, and he was able to help lead Cleveland to their second World Series championship in franchise history in 1948, as Feller was one of the key components to the teams success. Feller was also one brave human being, as he missed his age 23-25 seasons due to serving for the United States Military in World War 2. Feller was inducted into the Major League Baseball hall of fame in 1962, and his number 19 jersey is retired in Cleveland. His jersey was sold as part of the Heritage Auctions as part of the Platinum Night Sports Auction that was held in New York, as the jersey sold for $26,290, and the jersey was sold on February 23rd, 2013.