Legendary A's hurler Chief Bender retired from the majors in 1918, then pitched and managed for several seasons in the minors, before taking the prestigious helm at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1924. Any Navy jersey from the Bender era is a rare prize, but this one stands out for being attributed to Captain Eugene Simon Karpe. A charismatic rake according to contemporary accounts, Karpe died under mysterious circumstances when his body was found (passport-less) in an Austrian tunnel of the Orient Express. Police accounts said he fell out of an open train door; others cried foul play and said he'd been pushed. Karpe's jersey collar has his beautifully chain-stitched name, "Karpa [sic] E.S." and a perfect Spalding label. There are about a dozen scattered tiny holes and a few reverse stains to the otherwise well-preserved grey flannel pinstriped jersey, with "NAVY" across the chest. Matching pants have the different chain-stitched name "Long" next to the Spalding logo in the waistband, along with a handful of great period repairs.
Huggins and Scott is allowing the winning bidder 45 days from the date when payment is received to have the item independently authenticated. Payment must, however, be made within two weeks from the end of the auction. Huggins and Scott is not responsible for any authentication fees or shipping charges incurred by the winning bidder but H&S will refund the hammer price and buyer's premium if the item does not pass authentication with a reputable third party company.