BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A jersey belonging to a Clanton native who played for two Major League Baseball teams between 1927 and 1940 is being auctioned off.
Auction house Leland’s is currently selling the 1931 Washington Senators jersey that belonged Minter Carney “Jackie” Hayes, who played second base for the Senators from 1927 to 1931. The jersey is part of the Leland’s Fall Classic Auction, which ends Friday.
“Major League jerseys from this era are so scarce and this treasure is all original,” the description for the jersey read. “Especially notable is the fact that this was the very first year the Senators used numbers as part of their uniforms.”
Hayes was born in Clanton in 1906 and attended the University of Alabama for two years. In 1927, Hayes signed with the Birmingham Barons and was subsequently sold to the now-defunct Senators, who he played for until 1931, when he left to join the Chicago White Sox.
By 1940, Hayes began to develop glaucoma and had a cataract in one eye, according to the Society for American Baseball Research. Hayes finished up the season that year and left baseball, returning to Clanton to run a car dealership. Hayes eventually lost sight in both eyes.
In 1976, Hayes was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, along with Alabama quarterback Bart Starr and Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Rip Sewell. Hayes died in 1983 in Birmingham.
According to the ASHOF, Hayes is credited with being the first baseball player to use a helmet during a game. During his career, Hayes had a lifetime batting average of .265 and accumulated 1,069 hits.
In Hayes’ prime, White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes called the Clanton native “the best double-play man of his time,” according to an interview he gave to the Washington Post in 1945.
As of Thursday afternoon, bids for Hayes’ jersey, which started at $2,000 at the beginning of the auction, were as high as $6,906.
The Lelands Fall Classic Auction runs through Friday. Other items up for auction include a baseball signed by the 1927 New York Yankees, a Roberto Clemente rookie card and a home run bat used by Derek Jeter in 2002.
For more information on the auction, click here.
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