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MEARS

Memorabilia Evaluation
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South Milwaukee, WI 53172






Archived News

Apr 10, 2014
Category: Archived News

Autographs Wanted for Consignment to MEARS Auctions. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

Easily the sexiest woman ever to live with a Caveman (my fiancé excluded), MEARS was happy to announce the successful completion of our private signing with Planet of the Apes star Linda Harrison. To promote the MEARS Toy division, Linda Harrison was a featured signer at the MEARS Toy booth at the Chicago Toy Show in St. Charles, IL. 

On Sunday, October 27th, 2013, Linda Harrison signed 180 (6 different exclusive poses) limited edition Black & White 16x20 photos. Each print was hand developed, and is the finest image offered to feature Linda as Nova, the iconic beauty from Planet of the Apes which costarred Charlton Heston.

Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle. The film stars Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Maurice Evans, Kim Hunter, James Whitmore, James Daly, and Linda Harrison. It was the first in a series of five films made between 1968 and 1973, all produced by Arthur P. Jacobs and released by 20th Century Fox.

The film tells the story of an astronaut crew who crash-land on a strange planet in the distant future. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute creatures wearing animal skins.

The film was released on February 8, 1968, in the United States and was a commercial success, earning a lifetime domestic gross of $32, 589, 624. The film was groundbreaking for its prosthetic makeup techniques by artist John Chambers, and was well received by critics and audiences, launching a film franchise, including four sequels, as well as a short-lived television show, animated series, comic books, and various merchandising. In particular, Roddy McDowall had a long-running relationship with the Apes series, appearing in four of the original five films (absent, apart from a brief voiceover, from the second film of the series, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, in which he was replaced by David Watson in the role of Cornelius), and also in the television series.

Linda Harrison was born on July 26, 1945 in Berlin, MD. A born beauty, Linda won the 1956 Delaware Ms. Chicken Contest, in support of a local restaurant. In 1965 she won the Miss Maryland Beauty Pageant, which earned her a trip to California for the Miss America pageant, where she finished first runner up. Shortly after, she entered acting, and soon landed the role of Nova.

Linda was a fan favorite at the Toy Show, happily signing autographs and posing for pictures for all that attended. To commemorate her career, MEARS had Linda sign 100 index cards and 180 of the limited edition oversized photos to be sold at a later date.

 

 

Apr 10, 2014
Category: Archived News

Bidding begins at 8:00 PM CST, Friday, April 11th, 2014 – Inaugural MEARS Military Auction

MEARS is proud to announce the start of our Inaugural Military Auction. Headed by the Vice President of Military Auctions, Wisconsin resident Craig Luther of Military Connections oversaw the first sale. An Army Historian, Craig brings 30+ years of experience to the MEARS team.  

Feeling it was prudent to crawl before we walk, Craig selected 100+ lots that had the broadest appeal to our bidder base. Our focus was on items that spanned WW1, WW2, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. Uniforms, Helmets, Pennants, Medals, and Vintage Photography are some of the lots you will see in our first sale. 

The second MEARS Military Auction is scheduled for July 2014 and will contain 200+ quality lots, with the introduction of more advanced items. When asked why Military, company president Troy R. Kinunen explained, “The field of military collectables is a fascinating study of warfare through the centuries. Many similarities are found between the military and sports memorabilia fields. Army uniforms have many of the same characteristics of baseball jerseys that can be studied and compared with respect to tagging, manufacturer, materials, and style. Many of our methods created for our baseball jersey authentication division can be applied to the field of military memorabilia. The items themselves have similarities and  you will also see carry over items such as pennants, photography, and personal items such as ash trays and lighters which are also found within the sports field. I am very excited to enter the military arena.”

Initial bidding begins at 8:00 CST, Friday, April 11th, 2014 and runs through April 19th, 2014. All current MEARS bidders are automatically registered for the Military Auction Event. Questions can be direct to Troy R. Kinunen at (414)-828-9990(414)-828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Mar 20, 2014
Category: Archived News

As in years past, 2013 was an extremely good year for the MEARS Museum and Exemplar Library collection. Funded with the revenues generated from authentication/evaluation submissions, over $100,000 was spent acquiring exemplars and artifacts to support the MEARS mission.  Additional monies were allocated to build and enhance the actual displays. Acrylic jersey holders, risers, pedestal bases, slat wall hooks, and mannequins of different sizes were installed which aided in the positioning of the artifacts within the MEARS museum display cases to maximize visibility and displayability.

Finally, graphics, story boards, and labels completed the 2013 budget for museum acquisitions. While folks may question why so much is continually spent, the answer is simple…It just makes sense.

Since MEARS Auctions is an ever growing outlet among collectors around the nation and around the globe in obtaining sports memorabilia, having access to the largest on-hand uniform exemplar library continues to allow MEARS to do work at a level that is peerless in the industry.  Obtaining uniforms and other artifacts for display purposes also supports our ability and desire to help collectors envision and build their own collections. The artifacts, while on display at the museum or at shows serves as a unique and personal way to promote both evaluation and auction services through personal 3-dimensional market specific advertising.

It is important for MEARS Auctions to continue to provide quality evaluations. The following items were gathered with the sole intention to support a single evaluation, or have an on hand example to support a single submission.

Some of the highlights acquired in 2013 include:

 Uniform Exemplar Library Additions

 -1927/1928 Cleveland Indians Home Uniform (team and Spalding manufacturer’s exemplar; only known example)

 -1928 St. Louis Browns Road Jersey (team and early Rawlings manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1936 St. Louis Cardinals Road Jersey (team and Rawlings manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1937 Cincinnati Reds Home jersey (team and manufacturers Spalding exemplar)

 -1937 Philadelphia Phillies Home Jersey (team and Spalding manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1938 Chicago Cubs Home Uniform (team and manufacturers Spalding exemplar)

 -1938 Pittsburgh Pirates Road Jersey (team and Spalding manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1941 Cincinnati Reds Road Jersey (team and Goldsmith manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1941 Cincinnati Reds Home Jersey (team and Goldsmith manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1942 New York Yankees Road Jersey (team and Wilson manufacturer’s exemplar; HEALTH patch)

 -1943 White Sox Home Jersey (team and Goldsmith manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1945-1949 circa St. Louis Browns Team Jacket

 -1946 Pittsburgh Pirates Road Jersey (team and Macgregor-Goldsmith manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1950 circa Philadelphia Phillies Team Jacket

 -1950 Cleveland Indians Team Jacket

 -1952 St. Louis Browns Home Jersey (team and Rawlings manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1955 Cincinnati Reds Jacket (team and Macgregor manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1956 Detroit Tigers Road Jersey (team and Macgregor-Goldsmith manufacturer’s exemplar)

 -1956 Washington Nationals Home Jersey

 -1956 St. Louis Cardinals Prototype Jersey

 -1960 circa New York Yankees Team Jacket

 -1961 Washington Senators Home Jersey

-1963 Los Angeles Dodgers Home Uniform (Complete) (team and Spalding manufacturer’s exemplar)

-1964 Cincinnati Reds Home Jersey (team and Macgregor manufacturer’s exemplar)

-1981 Los Angeles Dodgers Home Jersey (team and Goodman & Sons manufacturer’s exemplar; Olympic patch)

-Extensive patch collection

 Museum Display/Reference Artifacts

-1927 Spalding Catalog (Babe Ruth Cover)

-1928 Cardinals World Series Train Menu

-1930s Dizzy/Daffy Dean Youth Baseball Uniform (Boxed Set; Complete)

-1930s Babe Ruth Underwear Box

-1940s Tiger Stadium Coca-Cola Vendors Tub

-1940s Shibe Park Hot Dog Vendors Warmer

-1947 Brooklyn Dodgers National League Champions Banner

-1948 Don Bankhead Players Contract

-Pre 1954 Sportsman Park Seat

-1970s Philadelphia Phillies Usherette’s Uniform

In 2014, the MEARS Museum is looking to expand our major league collection (pre-1960s).  If you have jackets and are looking for top dollar and quick payment, please contact Dave Grob, the curator of collections at:

DaveGrob1@aol.com

With respect to these jackets, we are most interested in styles and not so much the player; so common player, coaches, or even unattributed offerings are preferred…and nobody will pay you more for the ones we want.

In addition to artifacts, we have just approved the budget for 2014 which will enable MEARS to complete the utilization of two additional secure on site storage areas which are ideally suited for processing large collections. Additional funds are being allocated to complete curating of all museum space on the second floor as well as special exhibit space on the third floor; to include the lecture area.

It goes without saying that we could not have done this without the support and confidence of our ever growing list of customers and clients.  To all of you we say thank you making all of this possible and we look forward to helping you achieve your colleting goals in 2014.

Sincerely,

Troy R. Kinuen

-President MEARS Auctions

-President MEARS Authentications

Mar 18, 2014
Category: Archived News

MEARS Auctions is proud to announce our Inaugural Military Auction. After several years of research, we have decided to enter into the historic arena of military collectables. There are many similarities between the sports and military fields. The examination of tagging, use of imagery analysis, and study of the uniform style are all comparable to the methods used in the evaluation of game worn jerseys.

Additionally, our 15,000 square foot research facility can accommodate the new product line. We have set realistic goals for our first auction. 100+ beginner level lots will be peppered with a few historic higher end pieces. The lots will include memorabilia from WW1, WW2, Vietnam, & Desert Storm. The items include uniforms, helmets, bayonets, photography, patches, medals and daggers.

The auction is scheduled for April 11th – 19th, 2014. The auction goes live on Friday, April 11th, 2014 at 8:00 CST. Questions can be directed to Troy R. Kinunen at (414)-828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Mar 18, 2014
Category: Archived News

Autographs Wanted for Consignment to MEARS Auctions. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

Born in Arkansas in 1926, Julia Adams starred as Kay Lawrence in her most memorable movie, “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”. Kay continued a long career in acting and appeared both on screen and TV. Her career had her star with Angela Lansbury, James Stewart, Andy Griffith, and Elvis Pressley.

Now celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the release of “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”, MEARS president Troy R. Kinunen conducted a private signing on February 18th, 2014 at the home of Julie Adams.

Julie Adams signed 100 exclusive 16x20 B&W photos that were hand printed from the original negative. In addition, she signed 100 custom “Creature” trading cards. Both featured her as Kay Lawrence in her famous white swimsuit. 

 

Feb 21, 2014
Category: Archived News

Collectors of pre-war flannel jerseys know how rare any team can be to acquire. Simply stated, 1920s big league flannel jerseys are incredibly scarce, with only the most advanced collections containing any examples. 

For this lot, MEARS Auctions is extremely excited to present an all original 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates Game Worn Road jersey dating to their World Championship season, and containing the elusive and 100% all original National League Golden Jubilee (1876-1925) shoulder patch. The shirt is accompanied by a pair of original and properly styled period pants that complete the uniform. To our knowledge, this is the only surviving 1925 complete Pittsburgh Pirate uniform in the hobby, no other shirts are known to have survived. 

The jersey originated from the estate of Clyde Barnhart. His name is not chain stitched, former Pirate Cliff Knox appears as the player of jersey issue. 

(Per Evaluation by Dave Grob) 

As stated, the jersey is attributed to Cliff Knox based on the name “Knox” done in in-line embroidery in the tail. References such as Total Baseball and Baseball reference.com sow Knox as being a member of the 1924 Pittsburgh Pirates. The same references have no record of Knox with the Pirates in 1925. 

As mentioned above, there is no record of Cliff Knox appearing in any games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925. However, a more detailed look at the player and point in time as seen through contemporary references shows that Knox was in spring training with the Pirates in 1925 and was in fact still a member of the team when the season began and for a brief time afterwards: -

Knox signs 1925 contract with Pirates (Davenport Democrat; 19 Feb 1925) 

Knox and Eddie Moore go see a doctor in LA (Los Angeles) as the Pirates arrive for a 10 game series. Each are said to be suffering from shoulder injuries (Waterloo Evening Courier; 31 March 1925) 

Knox mentioned as the 4th string catcher going into the 1925 season (Morning Herald; 4 April 1925) 

1925 Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day: 14 April 1925 

Knox released by the Pirates to Birmingham of the Southern Association (Sandusky Register; 25 April 1925) 

The jersey also features a period original 1925 National League Golden Anniversary patch. Examination of the jersey reveals no signs that a “P” as is present on the right shoulder, was ever applied to the left shoulder. The combination of this information with the above time line indicates to me that the jersey is a 1925 offering ordered for Knox by the Pirates during spring training in preparation of the 1925 season and subsequently issued to Knox and worn by him until he was released by the club some 10 days after the season started. This is an important distinction to make as opposed to the jersey being a 1924 Knox offering carried forward to the 1925, having the “P” on the right shoulder removed and the 1925 Golden Anniversary patch added. 

Size: The jersey is without any sort of tagged or annotated size. This is not atypical of major league uniforms of this time frame. Static sizing data for Knox lists him at 6’; 170lbs. The measured size of the jersey suggests something in the order of a size 42. As such, I would consider this to be an appropriate sized jersey for Knox at this point in time. The jersey is accompanied by a pair of pants that are attributed to Babe Adams (Pirates 1909-1926) and these appear to of a size 34 with a 24” inseam. These appear consistent with sizing data for Adams as well (5’, 11”; 185 lbs). 

Manufacturers Tagging: Both garments feature the same style Spalding tag and manner of applique for supplemental player identification. The supplemental player identification is done with “in-line” embroidery. Period Spalding products can be found with either “in-line” or chain stitch embroidery. I attribute the variations to not so much the team in question, but more likely the point of origin of the work as Spalding had various facilities supporting their work at this time. All tagging is assessed as being original to the garments and is consistent with on hand Spalding major league exemplar uniforms. (PLATE I) 

Use and Wear: The jersey shows signs of light use and wear with the pants showing a bit more. Both garments are assessed as being in well above average condition given the vintage of the artifacts. With specific respect to the jersey, the overall condition of the body of the garment is virtually un-improvable with respect to fabric surface wear, absence of any appreciable holes, staining, or fabric tears. The jersey is however missing two buttons and features very minor fraying to the soutache on the right rear-neck line. The pants are in equally sound condition with some soiling and staining in the crotch area, missing button on the right rear pocket, as well as the fact that the closure system (both parts present) has come free from the anchor stitching (easily repairable). 

Non-Grade Related Commentary: The garment is said to have been sourced from the family of teammate Clyde Barnhart. I do not find it hard to believe that this uniform could have been acquired as stated offered (both jersey and pants). Sizing data for Barnhart shows in by comparison: 

-Clyde Barnhart: 5’, 10”; 155lbs 

-Cliff Knox: 6’, 170lbs 

-Babe Adams: 5’, 11”; 185lbs 

As such, the size of these garments may have precluded them from being worn by Barnhart in all but the most extreme situations, and as such the uniform is not attributed to Barnhart with any degree of certainty or objectivity, other than possible source/origin to the hobby. This would also be consistent with the current overall condition with light use and wear. 

Even without any definitive or absolute attribution to Barnhart who was a starting outfielder for the 1925 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, the uniform is an extremely rare and significant artifact given condition, year, and the presence of an extremely rare all original 1925 National League Golden Anniversary patch. While this patch comes in various color combinations, it was the first time that an entire league wore a common patch and the patch itself is one of the rarest and most highly sought after of those of the 20th century. (PLATE II) 

Opinion: It is my opinion that this jersey possess all the characteristics I would expect to see in 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates road jersey provided by Spalding for road use by Cliff Knox in that same year. The jersey is assessed as being original and without any signs of alteration or contrived application, use or wear. The same is said for the accompanying Babe Adams pants. 

The MEARS worksheet and grading criteria provides for 5 categories for which points may deducted. I found these reasons to deduct points: 

Category 1: -.5 x 2 for missing buttons (-1) 

Category 5: Frayed Soutcahe; -0. No points were deducted for this given the nature, size, and location; but it is noted for the sake of accuracy. 

Category 5: Light use/wear. -0. No points were deducted from the jersey given what we know about the duration of time that Cliff Knox spent with the Pirates in 1925 and the size issues that make regular use by Clyde Barnhart a less likely possibility. This is also why no points were deducted for this being considered a “two player” jersey (-3). 

As such the final grade for this jersey bearing the MEARS hologram # 313383 is A9. No separate grade is assigned to pants as they are only deemed as being authentic. LOA MEARS / Dave Grob 

This lot represents the finest and sole surviving 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates World Championship Season uniform available. Jersey and pants from this era rarely are found together, so the prospect of having a complete uniform heightens the desirability of this grouping. The scarcity and fine condition will make this a centerpiece to any advanced flannel collection. With nearly 100 years passing since the jersey was originally issued, the coveted high grade of a MEARS A9 properly documents the high state of preservation that this jersey has survived. With the possibility of recycling or other forms of re-purposing, it is just short of a miracle that the 100% all original National League Golden Jubilee (1876-1925) shoulder patch remains and was not removed and lost to time. Housed in a private collection for nearly 35 years, this is the first time in recent history this jersey has been offered to the general public. Historians, team collectors, Pittsburgh Fans, and jersey aficionados, embrace this rare opportunity to add a piece of baseball history to your collection!

http://sports.mearsonlineauctions.com/LotDetail.aspx?inventoryid=75130

Feb 21, 2014
Category: Archived News
MEARS Auction Wants Your Green Bay Packers Memorabilia - Highest Prices Paid (Contact Troy R. Kinunen at troy@mearsonline.com)
 
 
MEARS Auctions is proud to reveal a very historic artifact that promoted and helped launch Lambeau Field. For this lot, we have one of the actual 1957 Opening Game Stadium Banners that proudly hung at or near the hallowed grounds of the Green Bay Packers. Super scarce, this Stadium Banner remains in exceptional condition with vibrant colors and near perfect paint. 

Prior to Lambeau Field, the Packers played at City Stadium from 1925-56. The original City Stadium was a hit with Green Bay Fans from the first game in 1925, which drew 5,389 fans, a record crowd. It was a typical small-town park of its day, with wooden fences and stands on both sides between the 30-yard lines. Seating capacity was gradually increased until it seated 15,000 by 1934, with the end zones still uncovered. With the filling in of the area around the end lines, the ultimate capacity of just over 25,000 was reached. 

In 1946 After World War II, City Stadium gradually faded from its once proud position as one of the favored fields in the National Football League, to an inadequate and obsolete installation. As pro crowds increased, it was impossible to expand the stadium any further. With limited capacity, the Packers found it increasingly difficult to schedule top opponents at home. On Nov. 18, 1956, the Packers lost their final game at the stadium, to the 49ers. 

With a need to match the growing demand of fans wanted to watch the Green Bay Packers, the “New City Stadium" was opened on Green Bay’s west side. The Stadium's original address was 1265 Highland Avenue, whic was renamed Lombardi Avenue in 1968. The stadium has an elevation of 640 feet above sea level. 

On September 29th, 1957, the Green Bay Packers played their first game the New City Stadium. (image shown of the team arriving on field not included) Vice President Richard Nixon was on hand as an honored guest. 

For the inaugural game in their new stadium, the Packers beat the Chicago Bears, 21-17. 

The cost of the new stadium was $1,500,000 and the 32,500 seat bowl was a sell out to the capacity crowd. During 1965, several months after Curly Lambeau died, the stadium was renamed, “Lambeau Field”. 

The Stadium Banner measures a whopping 32” x 48”, and will become the focal point of any advanced Packer collection. Bold, yellow text proclaims, “Welcome to the New Green Bay Stadium”, indicating the inaugural game played on September 29th, 1957. The gold lettering is set against the Packers famous green background, making the display piece a visual masterpiece. 

The fabric and paint have been examined by the expert staff of MEARS and determined to be original and period to 1957. 

The original owner documented the history of the game by personally obtaining numerous signatures of the many legends that played at Lambeau Field. Honored signers include: Herb Adderly, Lionel Aldridge, Zeke Bratkowski, Tony Canadeo, Don Chandler, Willie Davis, Boyd Dowler, Jim Flanigan, Marv Fleming, Forrest Gregg, Billy Grimes, Paul Hornung, Bob Jeter, Gary Knafelc, Jerry Kramer, Ron Kramer, Bob Long, John Matinkovic, Max Mcgee, Lou Michaels, Jim Ringo, Dave Robinson, Bob Skoronski, Bart Starr and Fuzzy Thurston. 

The condition remains in excellent to near mint condition, with only slight cracking present to some of the yellow lettering, which is expected on something that was actually hung during the event. Visually impressive and historically significant, this rare Stadium Banner which one hung proudly in the shadows of Lambeau Field can now be yours. LOA JSA (autographs) & Troy R. Kinunen (MEARS). (60N0156) 

Feb 19, 2014
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted : Green Bay Packers Memorabilia and Rare Premium / Regional items, contact troy@mearsonline.com or call (414) 828-9990

Already 44 years old now, the 1970 Clark Oil Volpe Premium Photos routinely appear throughout the organized hobby. But, for the first time in nearly 25 years of dealing in vintage Green Bay Packers memorabilia, this is the first time I have found a grouping of the Packers Premiums complete with the original mailing tabs. The accompanying lot remains in near mint condition, with only the slightest of handling wear to the outer edges of the corners preventing these from being classified as gem mint. The colors remain vibrant, with the front surface appearing to drip from its original surface gloss.

During 1970 in many Wisconsin cities, customers of Clark Oil Gas Stations were treated to these Green Bay Packers Regional Promotional photos. The complete set of 66 NFL Stars had Midwest distribution, with Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota, and St. Louis providing paying customers team cards from their respective city. The cards were not cross distributed, meaning you could only get your team in your region.

Issued by the Alex Karras, C/O Clark Oil & Refining Corporation, the Clark Oil & Refining Corporation was incorporated in Wisconsin in July, 1934 as the Petco  Corporation. In March of 1954 the name was changed to Clark Oil & Refining. The company refined petroleum products and distributed them at the wholesale and retail levels, including its own service stations. 

There are 66 cards in the complete Midwest Distributed set, with 9 depicting Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers. They were: Lionel Aldridge, Donny Anderson, Ken Bowman, Carrol Dale, Jim Grabowski, Ray Nitschke, Dave Robinson, Travis Williams, and Willie Wood.

Design: Each card depicts a full portrait painting, done in realistic colors of pastels. An action shot of the player in full uniform is also included in the design. The portraits are completed with an accurate facsimile signature of each player. Bottom left corner reads, “Cinemac Inc., 1970”. Stylistic artist signature, “Volpe” appears incorporated in the artwork of each card.

These rare cards also have the Business Reply Mail tabs still firmly attached. These are quite rare to find complete with reply cards, and these are the first examples I have seen in 25 years of aggressively dealing in vintage Green Bay Packers items. The mailing card included the First Class Permit No. 8026, Milwaukee, Wisconsin marking. The return address area reads, “Postage will be paid by, Alex Karras, c/o Clark Oil & Refining Corporation, 8530 West National Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53227”.

In this rare un-punched form, these cards measure 7 ¾” x 14”. The large size is important to the understanding as to why these do not appear in their original condition. The oversized dimensions kept collectors from placing them in the binders that were sold via the mail order promotion.

As stated, the art was done by the artist Volpe. Nicholas Volpe was a noted artist who handled the Los Angeles Dodgers' drawings as well as portraits of Academy Award winners. By 1970, he was doing commissioned artwork for NFL properties.

As per the text at the bottom of the card, Volpe was credited as “Pro-Star Portraits by Nicholas Volpe, one of America’s most distinguished portrait painters. Among Mr. Volpe’s credits are portraits of Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, David Ben Guiron, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, and many more. He has a lifetime contract to do the portraits of the annual “Oscar” winner for best actor and actress. Mr. Volpe himself won a “Grammy” for his Frank Sinatra “Only the Lonely” record album cover. Millions of Californians for the last eight years have enjoyed Mr. Volpe’s weekly “Byways” painting and poem in the Sunday Los Angeles Herald Examiner’s “California Living” magazine.

The reverse features advertising for various NFL premium gifts that you could purchase direct. The text on reverse read, “Now On Sale At your Clark Oil Dealer, Green Bay Pro Portraits, Football Album …$2.98”. Examples of the albums have entered the market. This helps explain why the majority of these premiums that enter the hobby are minus the accompanying order form/business reply mailing tabs. The premiums did not fit into the albums if they were still attached, and the mailing tabs had to be removed to complete the information for the send aways. Also available:

Full-Color Poster of Ray Nitschke was advertised as big 2 ft x 3 ft in full color for the price of $1.49. Set of 6 Pro Star Portraits tumblers are offered for $2.99.

Finally, you could order a framed Canvas Print measuring 11”x24” of stars Dick Butkus, Bennie McRae, Leroy Kelly, Bill Nelsen, Alex Karras, Mel Farr, Ray Nitscke, Donny Anderson, Len Dawson, Bobby Bell, Gary Cuozzo, Gene Washington, Johnny Roland, and Jackie Smith for the price of $5.99.

This lot includes near mint examples of Ray Nitschke, Dave Robinson, Lionel Aldridge, Jim Grabowski, Travis Williams, and Willie Wood. A very rare opportunity to add these rare Wisconsin regional cards to your collection. Please direct your questions to Troy R. Kinunen at troy@mearsonline.com

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390778044172&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT

WWW.MEARSONLINEAUCTIONS.COM

Feb 18, 2014
Category: Archived News

Autographs Wanted for Consignment to MEARS Auctions

To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the monster movie, “Creature from the Black Lagoon”, MEARS president Troy R. Kinunen conducted a very special private signing with the last living Universal Monster Legend, Ricou Browning.

The classic Universal Studio movie,” Creature from the Black Lagoon”, is a 1954 monster horror movie filmed in B&W 3-D. Directed by Jack Arnold, the movie also starred Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno and Whit Bissell. The sexy bathing beauty and love interest of the Creature, Julie Adams, will be featured in an upcoming article regarding our signing with her.

Universal Studios was the creator of cinema's most famous monsters. Lugosi starred as “Dracula”, Chaney starred as “Mummy”, and Karloff played “Frankenstein”. Although both Ben Chapman (land) and Ricou Browning (underwater scenes) played the “Creature”, Browning is the lone survivor of the Golden Age of Monsters genre.

The movie immediately became interwoven with the fabric of cinema pop culture. In the 1955 comedy The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell come out of a theater showing “Creature from the Black Lagoon”. Monroe expresses some sympathy for the Creature, saying that it was not really bad and "just wanted to be loved".

The storyline begins when Dr. Carl Maia finds unique skeletal remains. Curious, a group of scientists led by David Reed head down the Amazon to see if other fossils can be found. The exploration team has little luck at first until they are told that further down river is the Black Lagoon where other fossils might be found. They get more than they bargained for however when they discover a living prehistoric creature - a half-man, half amphibious reptile that doesn't take kindly to their attempts to capture him. The creature does take a liking to Kay Lawrence and kidnaps her but the scientists are soon at war with the creature when it won't let them leave the lagoon.

The story line of the movie was inspired by a Mexican folktale. According to local legend, a creature lives up in the Amazon jungle. Once a year he comes out and claims a maiden, and after that he leaves, and the village is safe for another year.

When asked about his role as the Creature, Browning exclaimed, “As far as I see it "Creature from the Black Lagoon" was just another movie and it was just another job. I've done many things since then that I am much more proud of. But I've gotten more reaction out of the Creature thing than anything else. Well, I guess that's life!”

One day while in his Miami office, Cubby Broccoli, producer of the 1960s James Bond movies, called and wanted to know if Ricou was interested in shooting some underwater shots for some James Bond movies. On the set of Flipper, Ricou went to London and had a meeting with him. Cubby told him they were also looking at Cousteau to shoot the underwater sequences. He asked Ricou why they should choose him instead. Ricou replied that ‘Cousteau shoots the real thing better and we shoot phony better.’ It must have worked because Ricou spent several months editing the scripts and making them more realistic for underwater shooting.

Ricou said Thunderball was one of the best movies he ever shot because he was allowed to take his time and had an unlimited budget. He said all eight of the Bond movies were fun to work on. His unusual abilities in directing the underwater sequences helped win the Academy Award for special visual effects on Thunderball.

During this time he formed underwater stuntman friendships that would last a lifetime with Courtney Brown, Big John McLaughlin, Gavin Mckenney and Willie Meyers, as well as camera men Lamar Borin and Jordan Kline.

He said Courtney was "a natural" and was the easiest double to work with in the beginning. Later they all developed their own underwater hand signals and it was very easy to tell the guys what you needed to get the job done right.

The pride and joy of Ricou’s career was Flipper. He created the idea and co- wrote the scripts with Jack Cowden. He got the idea from his children watching Lassie on TV. He wrote a book about Flipper, as well. He received two Patsy Awards for 120 episodes. He worked with dolphins in the movie and later was an expert in the treatment of dolphins.

Ricou is still very active in the movie business and his son Ricou Browning Jr. is following successfully in his father’s footsteps. He and his wife currently live in Florida. His daughter is now chronicling his life’s accomplishments as she works on his biography. He developed a technique to breath underwater before Scuba, which amazed the public and then went on to do some of the most amazing stunt work in movies. Truly, a living legend of diving.

Still residing in Florida, on February 17th, 2014, the now 84 year old Ricou Browning agreed to a private signing with MEARS. To commemorate the event, custom 16x20 photos were designed which prominently featured Browning as the Creature. Three of the poses depicted Browning in his full Creature costume, the fourth was a famous shot of Browning with the head piece of his suit removed which revealed his true identify. All of the photos were produced exclusively in 16x20 format only. Ricou carefully signed each photo in near mint blue sharpie marker. The accompanying photographs to this article documented the signing at his Fort Lauderdale residence.

It was a real honor to interact with the last living Universal Monster. Thanks Creature, it was a pleasure.

Troy R. Kinunen

troy@mearsonline.com

www.mearsonlineauctions.com

Feb 14, 2014
Category: Archived News

Autographs Wanted for Consignment to MEARS Auctions

Starting in 2013, MEARS Auctions has begun to expand its Americana and Pop Culture division. We are in the beginning stages of opening a vintage military auction, and are planning on our 6th Pop Culture auction this year. To support this growing effort, I have conducted private autograph signings with many legends of TV and Movie. Stars we contracted with to date include Linda Harrison (Nova) “Planet of the Apes”, Richard Kiel (Jaws) “James Bond”, Barbara Eden “I Dream of Jeannie”, Entire 1974 Cast of “The Land of the Lost” (Wesley Eure, Kathy Coleman, Philip Paley, Spencer Milligan) Dan Haggerty “Grizzly Adams”, Baron Von Raschke “AWA Wrestling Legend”, Julie Adams “Creature from the Black Lagoon”, and several others. Additional signings are scheduled for the remainder of the year.

With the 7th installment of Star Wars scheduled to be released, I concluded that the cast of the original 1977 Star Wars franchise would make for great autograph guests. To date, I have contracted with Kenny Baker (R2D2) “Star Wars”, Anthony Forest “Storm Trooper and Victim of the Jedi Mind Trick”, and Laurie Goode “Storm Trooper – A New Hope”.

While doing my research to contact the actors, I found that most of the bit actors had very interesting background stories. We all remember Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, but 100’s of other talented actors provided memorable performances while bringing the galactic cast to life. One of my more memorable signings took place with Laurie Goode.

Goode played both a storm trooper, fictional soldiers from George Lucas' Star Wars universe and a Saurin, the reptilian like creatures that were a Trandoshan subspecies who hailed from the planet Durkteel and appeared in the Cantina scene.

Star Wars fans are fanatical when it comes to the characters that appeared in the movie. Several unscrupulous actors over the years have tried to portray themselves as supporting actors in an attempt to appear and profit on the organized Star Wars autograph show circuit.

Actor Laurie Goode also came under attack several years ago. His name was not listed in the credits as a Saurin, or in the known surviving costume identification documents which listed actors which matched actors and wardrobe.In his own defense. Goode offered the following explanation, which has been collaborated in recent years. Goode stated... 

“These people appear to not understand the business. I was first a storm trooper, replacing the now deceased Peter Dukes. That was the first week of filming, so I just put on the costume that had Peter Duke's name on. So my name would not have been shown on the costume listings for that week. The second week, I took this girl's place in the cantina, so my name will not appear on the costume listings the second week. Why my name appears as a storm trooper, is because I went back on the film as one, in my own name, a few weeks later, 12/13 May 1976. Tell these people, they need to check the financial records, that must be archived somewhere, and my name will appear as someone who was paid on the dates the Cantina shots were filmed. I have them in my diary of that year, and they would match the filming schedules.

Anyhow, I remember other major things that occurred whilst filming the cantina sequence, but you'll always get someone making accusations. I guess I could try and obtain the details myself, prove them wrong, and end up taken advantage of my disadvantage! I know Barbie Denham went out as Saurin, and I wanted to have a word with her about that, just to make sure she had her character right, but I've lost her phone number. Anyhow, she was definitely there.”

Goode recalled how he was both a storm trooper and a Saurin, and documented the fact how both costumes were worn by other actors during the filming. I found this quite interesting as the practice, albeit quite practical, is similar to how baseball uniforms were recycled for traded players, spring training call-ups, and minor league issue.

My dealings with him were pleasant. He was the consummate professional; making sure that all of my items were properly signed with special attention being given to make sure the proper pen was used. He struck me as a perfectionist.

The Cantina scene which featured Goode as a Saurin was one of the most memorable of the movie. This was the location where Hans Solo was confronted by Greedo, and had to shoot him from a strategically placed blaster that was hidden under the table. The Saurin character was a patron in the bar. Goode also filmed several scenes as a Storm trooper. For this signing, Laurie Goode signed:

(50) Laurie Goode Index Cards with Storm Trooper inscription

(50) Laurie Goode Index Cards with Saurin inscription

(214) Vintage Star Wars Cards

Each item was carefully signed in blue sharpie or white pen where applicable. When the items were returned from England, I was happy to report each were unsmudged and in near mint condition. I want to thank Laurie for participating in this private signing. Stay tuned for future reports from around the Galaxy.

Article by Troy R. Kinunen (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Jan 27, 2014
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted. Immediate need for Game Worn Jerseys, Game Used Bats, Autographs, Memorabilia of all categories. Collections big and small. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

Football collectors gather around. For the MEARS January 2014 Auction, we are quite proud to announce the offering of the finest Jim Brown Cleveland Browns jersey to have ever surfaced. Provenance, OUTSTANDING game battle wear, UNWASHED, and tears occurring during the game that were scheduled to be repaired shortly after the game, but were not completed as our consignors’ father obtained the jersey on route to the laundry. 

The shirt, MEARS #313369, was dated to approximately the 1962-63 era. The style, with numbers added to the sleeves, started in 1961, but the available provenance suggested the 1962-63 era. Offered as the home pull over, the jersey featured the crew neck, long sleeves, and crotch piece. The brown body shell with white-orange-white sleeve stripes are verified to be the correct style as worn by the Cleveland Browns during the era. The 3 ¾” sleeve numerals were added in 1961 and correct for the style. 

The jersey is manufactured by King O’ Shea, and is known in the hobby as the “tear away” material, which is fact a light weight durene. King O’Shea is the correct supplier for 1960s Cleveland Brown’s jerseys. The following examples support this fact: 

1962-68 Gene Hickerson 

1962-65 Jim Brown 

1961-65 Jim Brown 

1960s #36 

1960s Walter Johnson 

This jersey was compared to 5 other examples that have entered the hobby and the manufacturer (King O’Shea), style, and material (tear away) compare favorably to those examples. Some Browns jerseys from the era were supplied with the Blep Coombs distributer tag. It does not appear this jersey was issued with that supplemental tag, and is noted for accuracy but caused no reason for concern or a point deduction. 

With regards to the fabric, this jersey is manufactured from a “tear away” material. The design of the material is quite thin and has a transparent appearance. The name is somewhat deceiving, as although thin, the material is quite resistant to tearing. I purchased a King O’Shea college jersey made from this tear away material. With two of my staffers and me engaged in a tug of war, the jersey did not tear. This is also a similar material to what the Chicago Bears wore at times. I have since conducted numerous research on the “tear away” material, and I can find no specific reference to the materials being names or marketed as such. It is my belief that the King O’Shea fabric was of a lighter, but stronger blend and had more to do with perspiration absorption than tearing away. With Papa Bear Halas being notorious frugal, the practice of having jerseys tear away during the course of a game is probably more versed in legend than fact. Nevertheless, this thin type fabric is photographically documented and examples from both the Browns and Bears have entered the hobby. 

Size 48: Measurement of the actual garment support this as actually being a size 48 jersey. The measurements are also consistent with the actual chest and torso measurements of two additional jerseys examined by MEARS. Other examples of size 48 jerseys are: 

1962-65 

1961-65 MEARS #313345 

Dating from the 1962-63 period, it dates to some of Brown’s most productive seasons, and was possibly worn during his first MVP season of 1962. Although the style was possible to match the 1962 season, per the consignor’s recollection, the jersey was obtained during the 1963 season. 

1962 Highlights (MVP Season) 

During Jim Brown’s 1962 MVP campaign, he scored 13 TDS and rushed for 996 yards. In addition, he caught 5 TD passes. Any jersey that can be associated with the 1962 season would stand to have a high probability of being a touchdown jersey. The Browns played 7 home games in this style jersey during 1962 and Jim Brown was elected to the Pro Bowl. 

1963 Highlights 

Statistically, Jim Brown had a better season in 1963. He scored 12 TDs and rushed for 1863 yards. In addition, he caught 3 TD passes. Any jersey that can be associated with the 1963 regular season would stand to have a high probability of being a touchdown jersey. The Browns played 7 home games in this style jersey during 1963 and Jim Brown was elected to Pro Bowl squad and designated as a NFL 1st Team All Pro. 

There are several key physical characteristics of this Jim Brown jersey. One, is the presence of a complete crotch piece. Often this component is removed when the jerseys are re-assigned to practice use. This jersey remains original and intact as last worn by Jim Brown. Similar examples can be found in the Duke Hott collection museum featured on the MEARS website. There we feature King O’Shea jerseys of Brown’s players Tommy McDonald and Lou Groza. 

OUTSTANDING game battle wear: Never before has the staff of MEARS been able to document the game wear on a jersey after being noted as last being worn by Jim Brown himself. 

Front 

Right Yoke area: Along the seam is a 2 ½” pull which is clearly visible and shoes signs of separation. 

Right Chest: Area above 2 has a distinct fabric pull. 

Left Neck: Small hole and fabric pull underneath 

Front numerals 32: The front 32 show signs of heavy puckering and wear. 

Back 

Unrepaired tear above the reverse 3. 

6” tear/fabric pull along the back right shoulder 

Heavy tear on right sleeve near elbow pad pocket 

Heavy wear and puckering to the reverse numerals 

Overall heavy wear and fabric compression to all fronts of the body shell. I cannot imagine a jersey exhibiting more game wear. The finest example of game wear on a Jim Brown jersey I have ever examined. 

Provenance: Our consignor and his father lived in Cleveland and were huge Browns fans. The consignor’s father befriended the driver from the trucking company that had the contract to take the Browns used jerseys from the Cleveland Municipal Stadium to the contracted laundering company. As a token of their friendship, the driver let our consignors pick a jersey from the trucks cargo on route to the laundry immediately following a game. This was the pick our consignor’s fathers grabbed. 

To put this jersey in its proper overall perspective, the jersey was worn by Jim Brown in a game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The game was a battle, as Brown busted through the opposing team’s defense; the jersey suffered the scars of football war. The tears almost certainly occurred during this game. The dirt on the numerals can still be seen, and the jersey has the scent of body odor – recognized by anyone that ever stepped foot in a locker room. In my professional opinion and supported by the accompanying provenance, I believe this jersey is in the exact same condition as last worn by Jim Brown in a game in Cleveland. The odor is most likely his sweat, the tear fresh and unrepaired, and the dirt on the numerals applied during a game during the 1962 or 1963 season. This is the REAL DEAL. It has been in the family ever since and is now offered for the first time to the hobby. 

Final Grade MEARS A10. LOA Troy R. Kinunen, LOA Family of the original recipient. 

The accompaning photo is not a photo match, but used to illustrated style and materials. To view this jersey and other items in the MEARS February Auction please copy and paste the URL below...

http://sports.mearsonlineauctions.com/LotDetail.aspx?inventoryid=74843

Jan 24, 2014
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted. Immediate need for Game Worn Jerseys, Game Used Bats, Autographs, Memorabilia of all categories. Collections big and small. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

Babe Ruth will always remain the king of collectables. In the past several years, the finest of Babe Ruth game used bats have sold for $388,378 and $533,750. Make no mistake, both were true hobby gems and posted unquestionable provenance. 

In the world of game used bats, factory records, documented length, and documented weight are the corner stones of bat authentication. Although this lot is absent of side writing, vault marks, or an autograph, it does boast the basic building blocks of a quality game used Babe Ruth bat. 

Examination of the center brand determines the bat was produced at the Louisville Slugger factory between the years of 1923-30. Branded into the barrel is the 2nd version of the George “Babe” facsimile signature. The model is consistent with the examples favored by Ruth during the era. 

Measuring 35” and weighing 36 ounces in weight, this model is consistent with Babe Ruth H&B personal bat records for the era. Regarding length, during the years 1923-30, Ruth requested bats in the following lengths: 

non specified, n/s 
35” 
35.5” 
36” 

Other 35” Babe Ruth bats examined by MEARS from the 1921-30 era include: 

MEARS #251872, 35” 
MEARS #281872, 35” 

Therefore, this bat falls within the documented length range of bats requested by Ruth during the 1923-30 era. 

The records indicated that during the years of 1923-30, Ruth requested bats to weight 36 to 42 ounces. Records indicate that on 11 occasions Ruth requested bats to be sent weighing 36 or 38 ounces. This bat falls within the documented weight range for Ruth ordered bats from the era. 

Bat exhibits heavy game use. In the area directly above the facsimile barrel signature, a 2” x 9” area shows signs of grain compression, ball, and deep stitch marks. Heavy game use bearing similar traits are found below the barrel in a lesser degree. Several cleat marks are scattered on the barrel. Several of the stitch marks are quite deep and penetrate into the wood grain. Deadwood, the positive game use trait of repeated contact between ball and bat, loosened the grain on both the front and reverse of the barrel. Signs are still visible in the area of the front of the bat. 

For the sake of full disclosure, the bat has been professionally restored. The handle crack, tape, and checking have all underwent the highest level of professionally restoration with a successful attempt to bring the bat back to its near original condition. 1/3 of the knob was chipped and now is 100% intact. In addition to previously mentioned work, the finish was reviewed and appropriate care was taken when needed. 

Even with conservation and restoration, the original game use is still visible upon inspection. As noted above, the ball, stitch, and cleat marks are still present in the area directly above the barrel stamping. 

Aesthetically, the bat still displays in remarkable condition. The most important trait, the George “Babe” Ruth barrel stampings displays near mint as the factory applied it with conviction. Only the slight rising of the grain from the deadwood in that area keeps it from being classified as MINT. As luck would have it, this particular selection of ash illuminates a light golden hue, which when coupled the deep barrel stamping, allows for perfect contrast. The display ability of this example leaves nothing to be desired. 

Final Grade (MEARS A7.5): A base grade of 5 points was assigned for bat matching factory records. 3 points were assigned for bat exhibiting heavy game use. Minus ½ point for deadwood that affects factory stampings. Note to restoration included. 

During the past 5 years, this is only the second factory recorded Babe Ruth bat handled by MEARS Auctions. The last example was 1921-30 George “Babe” Ruth H&B Louisville Slugger Professional Model Game Used Bat – “The Looey-Ville Trade Bat, Ruth for a six pack” – (MEARS A7.5), which sold March 26th, 2011 for $28,353. 

With its mid 1920s dating, factory recorded length, weight, and model, and display ability, collectors will be proud to add this bat to their collection. 

LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

To view this bat and other items in the MEARS February Auction please copy and paste the URL below...

http://sports.mearsonlineauctions.com/LotDetail.aspx?inventoryid=74711

Jan 23, 2014
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted. Immediate need for Game Worn Jerseys, Game Used Bats, Autographs, Memorabilia of all categories. Collections big and small. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

Dave Grob’s Comments and Working Notes for:
1981 Mike Schmidt Philadelphia Phillies Road Jersey 

Size: The jersey is tagged as and measures as a size 46. This was confirmed both through measurement across the chest and comparing it with period on hand Wilson style products in sizes 44 and 46. The size is also appropriate and consistent with period sizing data for Mike Schmidt from the 1981 Street & Smith Baseball Annual which lists him at 6’, 2”; 203lbs. A size 46 is also consistent with period exemplar Schmidt jerseys in my data base: 

1980 Home; Wilson: size 46
1980 Road; Wilson: size 46 

As such, I would consider this to be an appropriate sized garment for Mike Schmidt at this point in his career. 

Manufacturers Tagging: The jersey features a c1978-1985 Wilson manufacturers’ in the lower left front of the jersey. In proximity to this is a year/set swatch (81 1). All of this is assessed as being original to the garment and is consistent with 1981 Phillies road jerseys in my data base with respect to materials, placement, and applique. (PLATE I) Supplemental tagging for player identification is found in the form of a knit swatch with SCHMIDT chain stitched on it. This tag has only been sewn through the first layer of material in the collar and this is appropriate. Phillies star jerseys (Schmidt, Rose, & Carlton) are some of the most faked uniforms of this period. This is due to the availability of product that was either offered for retail sale or altered minor league product from Phillies minor league affiliates. With these faked jerseys, it is typical to find that the collar area has been opened up post manufacturer to accommodate adding this tag. In the case of this jersey, the stitch-line both above and below the swatch was examined in detail for signs of breaks and or thread changes. During the course of my inspection I found nothing to suggest that the collar area had been tampered with and as such, I believe this tagging is in fact original to the jersey. Based on the above information I would offer that this is a properly tagged a 1981 Phillies road jersey. 

Construction/Style: Jersey features a small tong Talon brand jersey and this is assessed as being original to the jersey and appropriate by manufacturer, style, and color. The inner collar area features a silk like liner and this too is appropriate for Phillies uniforms of this period as well. The name on the back of the jersey is affixed via a plate and the construction of the plate as well as length and placement is consistent with period images. The construction of the name plate is also something often found askew in faked or contrived jerseys (length of plate fabric outside the lettering). This was not the case with this offered jersey. The front features the numeral 20 as well as the duel color twill “P” Phillies logo and the size, style and placement of these identifies is also consistent with period images as well. (PLATES II-IV) The jersey does feature one custom addition, that being a button and elastic closure loop in the front tail. This is something I would not have expected to have found in a retail or minor league jersey. 

Use/Wear: The jersey shows signs of moderate to heavy use and wear. Wear to the twill fabric used for the lettering and numbering is even and consistent. The garment is assessed as being all original without any signs of alteration or restoration. At the time of my evaluation, the jersey featured an autograph and inscription in the lower left front tail that reads “Mike Schmidt 1980 W.S. Champ”. I offer no opinion on the autograph, but only note its presence at the time of my evaluation. 

Non-Grade Related Commentary: The jersey dates to 1981 and Mike Schmidt’s second consecutive National League MVP season. Schmidt led the National League in runs (78), home runs (31) and RBIs (91). While these are lower numbers as compared to Schmidt’s 1980 MVP season, it must be remembered that the 1981 season was shortened by a players strike. As such, Schmidt only appeared in 102 of the Phillies 107 games. 

Opinion: In my opinion this jersey possesses all the characteristics you would expect to see in a jersey supplied by Wilson in 1981 for road use and wear by Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies. The jersey is all original and compares favorably with period images and period on hand Wilson products, period images, and data base exemplars and fabrics. It is assessed as being all original, without any apparent signs of alteration or contrived use and wear. 

The MEARS worksheet and grading criteria provides for 5 categories for which points may deducted, I found no reasons to deduct points. 

As such, the final grade for this jersey bearing hologram #313341 is A10. 

Dave Grob
MEARS
Enclosures: PLATES I-IV

Jan 23, 2014
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted for our February 2014 Auction

2013 proved to be a very successful year for MEARS Auctions. Record prices were tallied in both our auctions and private sales. Many items of great value and high demand were privately brokered and never appeared in our monthly sales.

Our customers are the strongest and most aggressive in the hobby, simply put, they PAY TOP DOLLAR. If you have any rare and valuable memorabilia, please contact MEARS Auctions for a free consultation. Either via our online auction or private sale, we will maximize the value of your collection!!!

We are in need of collections, accumulations, storage units, and high end items for our February auction. With the 15,000 square foot MEARS Auction Center, we can successfully process collections of all sizes. MEARS Auctions will work with you to provide a professional auction experience. Some of the benefits provided by MEARS Auctions include:

• Provide Cash Advances for your collection

• 30 day consignor payout

• Free Authentication and Grading for select game worn jerseys and game used bats

• Detailed & Historic write-ups, specializing in game worn / used items

• Consistent Auction Schedule, 12 monthly auctions that keep collectors interested in

MEARS Auctions

• World Wide Marketing to bring maximum exposure to your items

• Access to the strongest buyers and collectors in the World!

Our auctions specialize in collections of all categories, sizes, and price ranges. One item or an entire collection, MEARS wants your collection. We are aggressively searching for items in the following categories:

- Pop Culture, TV & Movie, Comic, Horror/Monster,

- Americana, Presidential, Historical, Space, Western, Political

- Sports, Football, Basketball, Boxing, Baseball, Vintage Wrestling, Motorcycle Racing

We are currently seeking single items & collection of:

• Game Worn Jerseys

• Game Used Bats

• Autographs – All major sports, fields, & subjects. Single items or complete collections

• Pennants

• Programs / Scorecards

• Muhammad Ali / Cassius Clay

• Pinback Buttons

• All memorabilia

For a free appraisal and consultation, please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828 9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com.

Jan 23, 2014
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted. Immediate need for Game Worn Jerseys, Game Used Bats, Autographs, Memorabilia of all categories. Collections big and small. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

Dave Grob’s Comments and Working Notes for:
1960 Bill Mazeroski Pittsburgh Pirates Road World Series Uniform 

Size: The jersey is tagged as and measures as a size 44. This was confirmed both through measurement across the chest and comparing it with period on hand MacGregor vest products in sizes 40, 42, 44, and 46. This is also consistent with two recently evaluated 1960 Bill Mazeroski Pirates home jerseys (Rawlings products). The 1960 Pirates version of the World Series Program lists Mazeroski at 5’, 11”; 182lbs. As such I would consider this to be an appropriate sized jersey for Bill Mazeroski at this point in his career. The jersey is accompanied by a matching pair of pants. The tagged size is a 34” waist and 25” inseam. These are also both actual measurements and are also assessed as being appropriately sized as well. (PLATE I) 

Manufacturers Tagging: The jersey features a c.1958-1961 style MacGregor tag (blue version that transitioned to green in 1961). Supplemental tagging for the year and set appears on a single flag tag in the lower inner front tail. This too is assessed as being appropriate when compared to an on-hand 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates road jersey in my exemplar library (Bill Burwell; Coach). As such, I would offer that this is an appropriately tagged jersey and pants. (PLATE II) 

Construction/Style: The jersey is constructed of a professional grade wool blend fabric that is consistent by weave with on-hand professional grade MacGregor major league uniforms. The jersey compares favorably without exception to the above mentioned on-hand 1960 Pirates road jersey (MacGregor product) in my exemplar library. While Rawlings provided the home uniforms for the 1960 Pirates (to include the World Series), the road uniforms were provided by MacGregor. Two characteristics worth noting are the unique MacGegor buttons (convex, two hole style) and the alpha-numeric fonts. Both of these can be seen in the road uniforms worn by the Pirates in Yankee Stadium during the 1960 World Series. (PLATES III-VII) 

Use/Wear: The jersey shows evidence of light use and wear. The same can be said of the pants. 

Event Specific Attribution: The uniform was sourced from the personal collection of Bill Mazeroski as lot # 213 in Hunt’s Fall 2013 Auction. According to Mr. Mazeroski, this was said to have been his 1960 road World Series uniform that was removed from his locker following the 1960 World Series. This same auction also featured his 1960 home jersey and other artifacts he retained from the 1960 World Series. Given the provenance, the light use, and the photographic evidence that confirms the use of MacGregor road uniforms at Yankee Stadium for the 1960 World Series, I have no reason to question that it is in fact Bill Mazeroski’s 1960 World Series uniform. Had this been a regular season offering, I would have expected much more use and wear given Mazeroski played in 151 games that year. 

Opinion: In my opinion this jersey possesses all the characteristics you would expect to see in a jersey manufactured in 1960 by MacGregor for use and wear by Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1960 World Series at Yankee Stadium. All lettering, numbering and supplemental tagging is assessed as being original to the garment. The MEARS worksheet and grading criteria provides for 5 categories for which points may deducted. I found no reasons to deduct points. 

As such, the final grade for this jersey bearing hologram #313246 is A10 

NOTE: No points were deducted for light use since this is just what I would and should have expected to have found in a uniform worn for a maximum of three games (Games 3-5 at Yankee Stadium). 

Dave Grob
MEARS
Enclosures:
PLATES I-VII

Jan 23, 2014
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted for our February 2014 Auction

Collectors have responded extremely well to our call for items for our next auction. February will be piggybacking our January sale, which is featuring a very rare 1963 Jim Brown Cleveland Browns game worn jersey. We have an immediate need for high end game used bats of Pre War Stars and New York Yankees. Also, our collectors are willing to spend millions on quality game worn jerseys, let us help you reach the most advanced, aggressive, and generous collectors in the business. 

If you want to turn your item into immediate cash and get top prices, consider consigning to MEARS Auctions.

For collectors with items in their closets, MEARS Auctions is also aggressively seeking (among other items) pre 1960 Baseball Jackets, Sweaters, and Coats.

So far, we have been contacted about the following for February:

• 1993 Michael Jordan Game Worn Playoff Shoes

• 1900-05 circa Napoleon Lajoie Pro Model Game Bat

• Rare collection of Muhammad Ali candid photos

• 1978 Tour of Japan MLB Baseball Memorabilia lot

• 1980s Detroit Tigers Game Worn Jersey Collection

• Mickey Mantle Rawlings Glove Display

• 1987 Collection of New York Mets Jerseys

• Mickey Mantle Autographed Baseball collection

• Collection of celebrity / presidential signed baseballs

• 200+ lots of Mickey Mantle memorabilia

• NFL Game Worn Jersey Collection

• Rare program collection spanning 1920-1970 featuring periodicals from all major sports.

• Vintage 3x5 autograph collection

• Vintage Star Wars Memorabilia and Autograph Collection

• Political Pinback Button Collection

• Abraham Lincoln Ayers Photo stamped 1886 originating from a Milwaukee estate

• Rare Aquaman Captain Action MIB by Ideal toys

• Collection of WWII Japanese memorabilia

• Small hoard of Civil War Letters

• Small accumulation of 1960-70s Political Pinback Buttons

• Original photos from “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”, “Godzilla” and the 1970s Filmation TV show, “Shazam”

• Frank Thomas Game Used Bat purchased from Clubhouse

• Robin Venture Chicago White Sox game worn jersey

• Wilbur Wood Chicago White Sox Veeck Style Jersey

• 1960s Northwestern Basketball Warm Up

• Ticket Stub to Thurman Munson’s Last Game

• Ticket Stub to Reggie Jackson’s Last Game

• Walter Payton Autograph Collection

• Kerry Woods Chicago Cubs Warm Up Jacket

• Hollywood Autograph Collection #2

Add your item to our growing list of consignments for February and let us work to market your collection and get you top dollar!

We are in need of collections, accumulations, storage units, and high end items for our February auction. With the 15,000 square foot MEARS Auction Center, we can successfully process collections of all sizes. MEARS Auctions will work with you to provide a professional auction experience. Some of the benefits provided by MEARS Auctions include:

• Provide Cash Advances for your collection

• 30 day consignor payout

• Free Authentication and Grading for select game worn jerseys and game used bats

• Detailed & Historic write-ups, specializing in game worn / used items

• Consistent Auction Schedule, 12 monthly auctions that keep collectors interested in MEARS Auctions

• World Wide Marketing to bring maximum exposure to your items

• Access to the strongest buyers and collectors in the World!

Our auctions specialize in collections of all categories, sizes, and price ranges. One item or an entire collection, MEARS wants your collection. We are aggressively searching for items in the following categories:

- Pop Culture, TV & Movie, Comic, Horror/Monster,

- Americana, Presidential, Historical, Space, Western, Political, Military

- Sports, Football, Basketball, Boxing, Baseball, Vintage Wrestling, Motorcycle Racing

We are currently seeking single items & collection of:

• Pre-1960 baseball jackets, sweaters, and coats.

• Game Worn Jerseys

• Game Used Bats

• Autographs – All major sports, fields, & subjects. Single items or complete collections

• Pennants

• Programs / Scorecards

• Muhammad Ali / Cassius Clay

• Pinback Buttons

• All memorabilia

• Vintage cards-Baseball, Football, Basketball, wax, sets, singles, etc.

• Game Worn Player Caps- all teams & styles

• Vintage Football, Baseball, and Basketball Equipment

For a free appraisal and consultation, please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828 9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com.

Jan 9, 2014
Category: Archived News

MEARS is currently seeking Mickey Mantle game used bats & jerseys for our upcoming 2014 auctions. For consingment information please contact Troy Kinunen at troy@mearsonline.com

www.mearsonlineauctions.com

MEARS Auctions finished 2013 with a 1,000+ lot sale, offering a diverse assortment of cards, memorabilia, and game used items spanning several teams, decades and genres. Prices were strong with several record prices being tallied.
 
We are in immediate need for quality items for 2014. Our next auction is January 24th - February 1st, 2014. Consign with MEARS today, and let us help you realize top prices. MEARS Auctions will:

- Provide Cash Advances for your collection
- 30 day consignor payout
- Free Authentication and Grading for select game worn jerseys and game used bats
- Detailed & Historic write-ups, specializing in game worn / used items
- Consistent Auction Schedule, 12 monthly auctions that keep collectors interested in MEARS Auctions

Game Used Bats

The December auction noted some of the strongest bat prices we have seen in the past 12 months. Bidders responded with their wallets for bats that were MEARS graded and presented with detailed, historic write-ups.

1914-15 Eddie Collins A's / White Sox JF Hillerich & Sons Louisville Slugger 40K Professional Model Game Used Bat (MEARS A8) Obtained at Comiskey Park -Possibly used during his 1914 MVP season!!! Sold $13,002

1970 Thurman Munson New York Yankees Rookie of the Year H&B Louisville Slugger Professional Model Game Used Bat - (MEARS A8) - Used vs. Baltimore, Possible HR Bat!!! Sold $3,069

1998 Mark McGwire St. Louis Cardinals Signed Rawlings Professional Model Game Used Bat (MEARS LOA/JSA Full Letter) 70 HR Season. Sold $2830

1999 Tony Gwynn San Diego Padres Signed & Inscribed ("2,967") Louisville Slugger Professional Model Game Used Bat (MEARS LOA/JSA Full Letter) Sold $804

2011 Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals Signed Marucci Professional Model Playoff Used Bat (MLB Hologram/PSA/DNA) Sold $3069

Mickey Mantle Memorabilia

Mickey Mantle items remained strong with a record number of new bidders participating in this auction. Stay tuned for our January auction where MEARS will continue to offer more high quality lots of the "Mick".

1956 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Art Griggs Memorial Award from Guernsey's Auction (Guernsey's LOA) Sold $3,854

1984-94 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Single Signed OAL Brown Baseball w/ "The Commerce Comet" Inscription (PSA/DNA) $3,241

1968 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Transogram Figure (MIB) w/ Baseball Card on back. Sold $478

Football Jerseys & Autographs

Prices were very strong for MEARS authenticated football game worn jerseys with prices realized notably higher than when several examples first entered the market place. Collectors valued the MEARS authentication and grading process.
 
1973-75 circa Larry Little Miami Dolphins Home Jersey (MEARS A10 / PSA/DNA Autograph -Only Second Little Authenticated by MEARS! Sold $2,830

1974 Don Maynard Shreveport Steamers Game Worn Home Football Jersey (MEARS A10) World Football League. Sold $2,125

2010 (September 12) Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts Signed Game Worn Road Jersey (MEARS A10 / Steiner LOA) 3 TD's, 40 Completions, 433 Passing Yards! Sold $10,003

1965 Curly Lambeau Handwritten Signed Letter. Sold $772

Football Cards (National Chicle)

Proving that quality sports cards always fare well, this fresh to the hobby lot of

1935 National Chicle cards brought strong prices across the board.

1935 Ken Strong National Chicle Football Card #7 New York Giants HOF SCG 96 MT 9 (Extremely High Grade) Sold $5,525

1935 Knute Rockne National Chicle Football Card #9 Notre Dame SCG 84 (NM7) Sold $3,924

1935 Clarke Hinkle National Chicle Football Card #24 Green Bay Packers HOF SGC 88 NM/MT 8 (High Grade Example) Sold $2,010

We are currently seeking single items & collection of:

Game Worn Jerseys

Game Used Bats

Autographs - All major sports, fields, & subjects. Single items or complete collections

Pennants

Programs / Scorecards

Muhammad Ali / Cassius Clay

Pinback Buttons

All memorabilia

For a free appraisal and consultation, please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828 9990 or emailtroy@mearsonline.com

Jan 9, 2014
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted. Immediate need for Game Worn Jerseys, Game Used Bats, Autographs, Memorabilia of all categories. Collections big and small. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

Dave Grob’s Comments and Working Notes for

1964 Pete Rose Cincinnati Reds Home Jersey

Size: The jersey is tagged as and measures as a size 44. This was confirmed both through measurement across the chest and comparing it with period on hand MacGregor vest style products in sizes 40, 42, 44, and 46. The size is also appropriate and consistent with period sizing data for Pete Rose from the 1964 Cincinnati Reds Yearbook which lists him at 5’, 11”; 192lbs. A size 44 is also consistent with period exemplar Rose vests in my data base. As such, I would consider this to be an appropriate sized garment for Pete Rose at this point in his career. (PLATE I)

Manufacturers Tagging: The jersey features a c1961-1967 MacGregor manufacturers tag (green rectangular version) and supplemental tagging for year/set as well as tagging for laundry instructions. All of this is assessed as being original to the garment and consistent with both period on hand as well as data base examples of Cincinnati Reds vest products provided by MacGregor. As such I would offer that this is a properly tagged garment. (PLATE II)

Construction/Style: The jersey is constructed of a lighter weight wool flannel blend and is consistent by quality and weave as other period MacGregor uniforms in my on hand exemplar library. Fabric weight is estimated as the 4 ½ oz style. For the purpose of comparative analysis, this jersey was examined with and compared to a 1964 Cincinnati Reds home vest provided my MacGregor in my on hand exemplar library. The jersey was found to compare favorably without exception. This includes the presence of the player name “ROSE” directly applied in arch under the number 14 on the back of the jersey. 1964 was the first year the Cincinnati Reds added names to the rear of their jerseys. While this was also done with the road jerseys, the road applique was done in single fabric navy blue. This has been done in red over navy, the same color scheme and fabrics as the numbering. (PLATES III-VI)

Use/Wear: The jersey shows signs of moderate use and wear. Wear to the twill fabric used for the lettering and numbering is even and consistent. All seven buttons remain firmly affixed. The garment is assessed as being all original without any signs of alteration or restoration. At the time of my evaluation, there was no autograph or writing on the jersey.

Non-Grade Related Commentary: The Cincinnati Reds, as with most ball clubs of this time frame, conducted spring training in uniforms worn during previous seasons. This being the case, we should have expected this offered uniform to have been worn by Rose during spring training of 1965. It is worth noting that the Cincinnati Reds would also typically take uniforms in sizes 44 and larger and remove names and numbers, then reissue them to spring training invitees. This second point is brought up to underscore how rare it is to find any Cincinnati Reds vest style uniform in all original condition. This uniform was obviously spared and appears in fact to be the same one Rose can be seen wearing in an image dated to 1 March 1965. (PLATE VII)

Supporting Imagery Analysis

PLATE VIII: Alignment of numerals on the pinstripe pattern.

PLATE IX: (1) Pinstriping and button line; (2) Crest alignment with button line, pinstripes; (3) Pinstripes with the navy soutahce on the left arm opening.

PLATE X: Pinstripe canting caused by sewing of the collar seam construction.

Opinion: In my opinion this jersey possesses all the characteristics you would expect to see in a jersey supplied by MacGregor in 1964 for home use and wear by Pete Rose. The jersey is all original and compares favorably with period images and period on hand MacGregor Cincinnati Reds home vest exemplars and fabrics. It is assessed as being all original, without any apparent signs of alteration or contrived use and wear.

The MEARS worksheet and grading criteria provides for 5 categories for which points may deducted, I found no reasons to deduct points.

As such, the final grade for this jersey bearing hologram #313337 is A10.

Dave Grob

MEARS

Enclosures: PLATES I-X

Dec 30, 2013
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

MEARS auctions is excited to present this fully documented, picture perfect, 2010 (MEARS A10) Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning game worn jersey for our final 2013 auction. 

Although it was a season opener loss for the Colts against division rival Houston, Peyton Manning still threw for 3 Touchdown’s which included a 14 yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne, 10 yard TD pass to Dallas Clark, and finally a 73 yard TD pass to Austin Collie. He finished the day 40-of-57 with 433 passing yards. 

To date, this is the first MEARS A10 Peyton Manning ever offered by our company for auction. For this auction, MEARS conducted a complete evaluation and grading of this 2010 Manning gamer. Supplied by Reebok, we confirmed they were the correct supplier of Colts jersey for the 2010 season. Example for support include: 

2010 Brandon James 

2010 Peyton Manning 

It was also confirmed that the Reebok tag was correct for the era. The design which included the following information, “Engineered by Reebok to the exact specifications of The National Football League” compared favorably to other examples in the MEARS database. 

The style is the blue road jersey which has a mesh body shell, spandex side panel, solid yoke, and short sleeve. #18 appears on the front, sleeves, and reverse. “MANNING” is sewn on non-seriffed letters onto a nameplate. The “Captain” patch is found on the upper right chest. Comparison to numerous images from the September 12th, 2010 vs. the Texans show the jersey is correct with respect to cut, materials, confirmation of the Captains patch, lettering, and numbering, and sleeve width. 

The size, “4” LB, 50” is attached to the manufacturer which is found on the bottom tail. This is correct when compared to the Size 12-27-09 example that has entered the hobby. Jersey exhibits a solid amount of medium game wear. Very distinct puckering can be found on the lettering and numbering. Contact marks are visible under inspection on the reverse numerals, with several very distinct contact marks on the reverse 8. The degree of use is exactly what you would expect to find on a 2010 Manning. On the reverse uniform number “1”, a near flawless “Peyton Manning, Game Used” autograph and inscription appears. 

In the world of modern football uniforms, Peyton Manning jerseys with full documentation are quite rare. This example is only 1 of 3 documented 2010 Manning gamers. Per our research, this is also just 1 of approximately 20 known and documented Manning gamers. 

Final Grade (MEARS A10): Based on a review of manufacturer, size, measurement of game wear, and review of the accompanying provenance, MEARS was confident to assign this jersey a perfect A10 grade. 

LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS. COA from Steiner

Dec 30, 2013
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

Simply put, this is the finest and only example of a Gene Hickerson jersey ever offered or examined by MEARS. 

(According to the Pro Football HOF website) Gene Hickerson is regarded by some as the finest linemen ever to hail from the Southeastern Conference. The star tackle from the University of Mississippi was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 7th round of the 1957 draft. 

Hickerson joined the Browns in 1958 and was promptly shifted to guard to better utilize his speed. He had to pay his dues by first serving as one of Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown’s “messenger” guards. Hickerson quickly went from delivering plays to the huddle to establishing himself as the steady lead blocker for three future Hall of Fame running backs – Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell, and Leroy Kelly. 

After just three seasons in the NFL, Hickerson’s career was slowed when he suffered a broken leg in the 1961 pre-season opener. He fractured the leg again late in the year when he was hit while watching a game from the sideline. 

He rebounded fully by the following season. After sitting out two games in 1962, he never missed another game for the remainder of his stellar career. Along the way, he gained the reputation as the lead guard for Brown, regarded as one of the game’s greatest runners. But, the official accolades really did not come until after Brown retired and Leroy Kelly became Cleveland’s featured back. Hickerson earned first-team All-NFL acclaim five straight seasons, 1966-1970, and was voted to six consecutive Pro Bowls from 1966 to 1971. 

By the time Hickerson retired following the 1973 season at age of 38, his accomplishments on the football field were unquestioned. During his tenure, the Browns never experienced a losing season. In all, he played in 202 games during his career and started at right guard in four NFL title games that included the Browns’ 27-0 win over the Baltimore Colts in the 1964 NFL Championship Game. 

Style: Chocolate brown home pullover with full length sleeves with elbow pad pockets. The number “66” is found on the front, reverse, and both shoulders. Both sleeves have the white-orange-white-orange-white color scheme. Starting in 1961, the Browns added numbers to their sleeves. The broad dating range of this style is 1961-68, as in 1969 the team added the 50th Anniversary patch and this jersey shows no signs that the patch was ever present. Hickerson was injured in the 1961 pre-season, thus 1962 as the starting date, but 1961 may have been possible. Features a ribbed crew neck and sleeve openings. The materials is made from what is commonly referred to in the industry as a “tear away” jersey, although a light weight material is probably a more accurate term. Examples to support the style and material issued include: 

1962-65 Jim Brown 

1960s #36 

1960s Walter Johnson 

This jersey compares with respect to manufacturer and style to the above mentioned jerseys. 

Supplier King O’ Shea with Bleep – Coombs supplemental tag: King O’ Shea was a documented supplier of NFL and Cleveland Browns jersey during the era. The style of the tag dates circa 1963-70 and is confirmed as being the correct design per the MEARS football tagging database. 

Blepp – Coombs is the supplemental distributor tag which is found left of the King O’ Shea tag in the added crotch piece. Blepp – Coombs was a Cleveland based Sporting Goods Company that distributed athletic supplies to such teams including the Browns. They were formed on 5-3-30 but no longer exist. 

Size 48: The jersey is tagged as a size 48, and is true to size when verified by taking a chest measurement. Although no other examples of Hickerson jerseys exists which would verify size, other lineman from the era wore size 48, so this is the acceptable size for what you would expect to find on a Hickerson jersey. 

Game Wear: Heavy just won’t accurately describe the wear on this beauty! Pounded, murdered, Obliviated, and ran over with a freight train, simply put, awesome. 

Left Shoulder: Two vintage team repairs, re-enforcement of the crew collar, heavy pounding and wear to the area. 

Right Shoulder: Three distinct team repairs, breaking of the stitching, heavy pounding to the general area. 

Reverse 66: Six large team repairs are present. 

Front 66: Eleven large team repairs are present. 

Front area: Eleven large/heavy team repairs are present. 

Left Sleeve: Three team repairs are visible and two repairs to the sleeve numeral. 

Right Sleeve: Six repairs to the numeral 6. There are 3 team repairs to the right sleeve. 

In addition, there are large areas of contact marks scattered on all planes of the jersey. 

Final Grade MEARS A10: Based on the examination of the manufacturer, supplier, comparison to player photos from the era, and review of the heavy game wear, this jersey was awarded a perfect MEARS A10 grade. The heavy amount of use is correct for a player of Hickerson’s position and amount of games played. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS

Dec 30, 2013
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

Per our consignor, his great grandfather attended a game during 1914 or 1915 at Comiskey Park and obtained this Eddie Collins bat as a gift. The family owned a farm in Middleton, WI, well within driving distance to Chicago and Comiskey Park. An avid baseball fan, his great grandfather kept this prize in the family for four generations. 

The facts are quite plausible and upon review, match the factual documentation of the bat. 

Dating: Per the handle stamp, “KORK GRIP Patented, Sept. 15, 1914, and the overall dating of the centerbrand, 1911-16, this bat would have been available for use by Collins for the following dates in Chicago at Comiskey Park: 

(Collins as member of the Athletics) 

September 24, 1914 

September 25, 1914 

September 26, 1914 

With the patent date of September 15th, it is possible this bat could have been shipped in time for Collins to use at the above mentioned games, but our consignor’s recollection does not support any specific game. 

During the 1915 season, Eddie Collins was traded to the Chicago White Sox and he appeared in 155 games. It is most likely the consignor obtained the bat during any of those home games at Comiskey Park. It cannot be ruled out that the bat was carried over and used in seasons after 1916 either. 

Bat current measures 35” and weighs 36 ounces. Early records do not list the lengths of Collins bats, but 35” is an acceptable length for the era. His bats were ordered weighing between 33-38 ounces, and this bat is consistent with his factory records. 

Kork Grip: Per MEARS research, it has been verified through records, photographs, and other examples of similar bats that Kork Gripped handled bats were used in the major leagues during the same relative period. 

Game Use: Bat exhibits heavy game use. Use can be found on both sides of the barrel, along with some light deadwood on the reverse. The Kork handle is intact, but worn. Presence of stitch / cleat marks. 

Final Grade (MEARS A8): Five points were assigned for bat matching known player dimensions for the era. 3 points were assigned for heavy use. The second hand provenance was noted, but no additional points were awarded.

Dec 30, 2013
Category: Archived News

Consignments Wanted. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com 

Here is a rare chance to own a documented Thurman Munson bat from his Rookie of the Year season, and from a possible HR game. 

Thurman Munson, who left us way too early, is always mentioned with the Yankee greats. Standing 5’11” and weighing 190 pounds, this future Yankee captain was drafted (4th pick) of the 1968 amateur draft and hailed from Canton, OH. 

Called up for 26 games in 1969, Munson became the starting catcher the following season. In 132 games, Munson batted .302, enough to earn American League Rookie of the Year honors. 

Munson played 11 years with the New York Yankees and has been called one of the greatest catchers of the 1970s. 

His intense attitude, sharp thinking and leadership soon earned him the position of team captain. This was an honor because he was the first named captain since the great Lou Gehrig. He also earned three Gold Gloves due to his defensive playing abilities behind home plate. In 1976 he won the Most Valuable Player award for hitting .302 and 105 RBI's. During his span with the Yankees he led them to three American League pennants and two World Championships. 

His baseball career was cut tragically short when he died in an airplane accident while practicing landing. He is not forgotten today, and a replica of his locker containing everything from his spikes to his catchers' mitt is on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. (Parts taken from the official Thurman Munson website). 

Our consignor was fortunate to obtain this bat directly at a Yankee game in Baltimore Orioles during the 1970 season. Factory records support this claim. 

The Hillerich & Bradsby centerbrand dates this bat to the 1969-72 era. Munson’s model number, S2, is factory stamped onto the knob. Bat current measures 35” and weighs 31 ounces. 

A review of his personal bat records from H&B indicates the following orders for S2 bats during the era: 

12-26-69, 35”, 32 oz. 

3-3-70, 35”, 32 oz. 

4-3-70, 35”, 32 oz. 

6-26-70, 35”, 32 oz. (Last order of the S2 model) 

On July 13th, 1970, Munson switched to the S44 model. 

Factory records document this as being used by Munson during the 1970 season and this is supported by our consignor’s recollection. After documenting the shipping of the bat to Munson by the Louisville Slugger factory, we checked the 1970 baseball schedule for Yankee trips to Baltimore. The following box scores were tallied by Munson during the bats label period: 

4-17-70, Munson 0-5 

4-18-70, Munson 0-5 

4-19-70, Munson 0-2 

4-19-70 Munson day off 

Next series 

7-7-70, Munson 1-4 

7-9-70, Munson 4-4, HR of McNally 

7-9-70, Munson 0-1 

Although we can conclusively attribute this bat to one of the above games based on the factory records and the consignor’s appearance at the game in Baltimore, he did not remember the exact day the bat was gifted to him, just the fact he was in Baltimore and they were playing the Yankees. For full disclosure, Munson may have gone 0-5, but he also may have hit the HR. 

With respect to game use, the exhibits heavy game use, with heavy ball marks, rack marks, and some light deadwood on the reverse grain. 

During the game vs. Baltimore, Munson cracked the bat at the area near the Powerized and the bat broke cleanly in half to the barrel end. The consignor had the bat repaired. Upon inspection you can see the original repair but there are no missing pieces. 

Final Grade: 5 points were assigned for the bat matching factory records, 3 points were assigned for the bat having heavy game use, 2 points were added for the provenance and the fact the bat matched factory records for a specific period of time. Minus 2 points for the repaired crack. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS

Oct 26, 2013
Category: Archived News
Advanced football collectors know how rare a quality durene, New York Jets Joe Namath jersey is to find. They just don’t exist. During the past decade, MEARS has examined exactly (12) Joe Namath uniforms. The examples varied from team (Jets & Rams), and grade (unable to authenticate to MEARS A8), but all of them had one common trait, they were all post 1973 examples with differing degrees of wear, provenance, and problems- and all made from mesh. 

For this auction, this is the only durene Joe Namath jersey ever personally examined by the staff of MEARS! Accompanied by exceptional provenance, after careful examination to verify originality and measure the degree of game wear, this example was awarded the coveted MEARS A10 grade. This 1970-73 Joe Namath New York Jets game worn jersey has it all and would have been worn during a stretch of Broadway Joe’s career where he added to many of the stats / records that made him the greatest Jets quarterback of all time. Highlighted features include: 

-Coveted durene body shell 

-Photo documented hand warmers preferred by Joe Namath for wear during cold weather games 

-Heavy game wear throughout 

- Period team repair 

- Home Kelly green style worn at home games at Shea Stadium 

- Provenance documenting its origin 

The lineage of this jersey is unquestionable. Per the letter of provenance, the jersey was originally sent to the Raleigh Athletic Reconditioning Company, presumably directly from the Jets team equipment manager. The jersey was stored in a box with additional game worn jerseys. Per the letter of provenance, it read, 

“I found the Namath jersey in a box of old used jerseys that were slated to be thrown out. The jerseys had been sent to Raleigh two decades before as it was a common practice for the teams to submit the prior season’s uniforms as guidelines for the next season. I rescued the Namath jersey and it has been in my possession until its current offering, (2/7/10).” 

The Namath jersey would have been supplied as a template for future game jerseys to be produced. This jersey served as the perfect specimen, as it contained both the crotch piece and the rare hand warmer. 

It is quite probable that the reason the jersey was never returned to Joe Namath and the Jets was due to the fact that during 1973, the Jets switched to Champion supplied mesh jerseys, and the durene examples were retired. The following report details physical traits of the jersey. 

Physical Description: The jersey color scheme is a Kelly green body shell with a white stripe and sleeve design. 3 ½” green tackle twill numbers appear on the sleeve. The sleeve numbers are original and show no signs of alteration when examined under magnification and with a black light. 

The cut of the body shell is specifically tailored to include a tapered crotch piece that buttons on the front with a three hole button pattern which attaches to a 6-holes set of white 4-hole buttons. It should be clearly noted that this is a unique design trait, as many of the jerseys bearing a crotch piece were produced in the same manner as all other jerseys supplied by the team’s manufacture. If a player requested a crotch piece, customized fabric was sewn to the straight bottom jersey. This is not the case with the Joe Namath example. The company pre-cut the body shell to include the long taper and extra fabric needed to form the crotch piece. 

A rare hand warmer has been factory applied to the front of the jersey. Accompanying photographs document Namath wearing hand warmers during cold weather. The warmer is made from the same durene fabric as the body shell and is lined with a light wool-like material. 

Numbering: Front (9”) and reverse (12”) numerals (#12) are single tackle twill that has been firmly anchored with a zig zag stitch. They are original and exhibit no signs of alteration. 

“NAMATH” (2 ½”) appears in san serif lettering in white tackle twill sewn with a zig zig stitch onto a durene nameplate. 

Sleeve variations: Namath was photographed wearing both cut and full length sleeves during the era. This example is cut in the white field of the sleeve with no presence of the bottom green striping color scheme present. 

Dating 1970-73: The dating was determined to be within the span of 1970-73 for the following reasons: -

Dating of the Sand Knit manufacturers tag (1969-73 per the MEARS tag database) -

Inclusion of the phrase “American Football Conference” was introduced during the 1970 season, after the completion of the merging of the AFL & NFL. -

Use of durene body shell can be verified through a variety of images as the style worn during the 1970-73 time span. 

1973 was a transition year, as the Jets wore both durene and the new mesh Champion supplied jerseys. Shortly after, the durene jerseys were abandoned for mesh only uniforms. Therefore, the combination of these traits along with intersecting compatible data dates this jersey to the 1970-73 era. 

Manufacturer (Sand Knit): Sand Knit was verified as the correct supplier of New York Jets jerseys during the 1970-73 era. Examples used for comparison: 1.

Mark Lomas 2.

#44 

Game Wear: Jersey exhibits heavy game wear throughout. Close examination of the body shell reveals an even, consistent compression of the fabric, caused from wear, laundry, and contact. 

Wear is evident on the sleeve numerals, with much more noticeable wear on both the front and reverse numbers. With respect to the front numerals, both numbers (12), are heavily puckered, a result of laundering and game wear. Additionally, both front numbers show signs of contact marks from the field, with staining still visible. The reverse numbers (12), show an even greater degree of game wear, with heavy puckering present and visible signs of staining and abrasions to the twill material. 

Final, examination of the crotch piece flap (area where the holes meet with the body shell buttons) reveal distinct signs of wear. The button holes are stressed, with fraying to the hole opening stitching. The interior fabric in that area shows signs of wear. 

Verification of Team Repairs: One distinct team repair is visible to the left of the reverse 1. Comparison of the images of the 1970-73 Mark Lomas New York Jets jersey reveals team repairs applied in a very consistent manner. The thread appears to be cotton and a slightly different thread than the shiny durene body shell fabric. The thread has a duller appearance. Image included. 

Provenance: Often lost to time, the lineage of this historic jersey has survived. Per the recollections of the original owner, the following statement was supplied to MEARS via a hand signed letter: 

Letter of Provenance, February 7, 2010 

In part, the original letter states, -

Joe Namath New York Jets professional model jersey, c.1970-73 -

Kelly Green Durene with white striping and sleeve determination -

Original “12” remains affixed to front, sleeves, and back of the jersey -

“NAMATH” nameplate remains original -

Sand Knit manufactures tag is found attached to the interior of the crotch piece -

Jersey shows evident usage and wash wear throughout, most noticeably to the numerals on both front and back, which show heavy wash and surface contact. -

Original hand warming pocket on the front of the shirt remains intact -

One period team repair to a hole on the back near the “1” in 12. 

The letter goes on to read (verbatim): 

I obtained the jersey described above in 1996 while working for the athletic manufacturer, Riddell. They had recently purchased my prior employer, Raleigh Athletic Reconditioning Company, which had been responsible for applying the lettering & numbering on game used, professional model football jerseys. I found the Namath jersey in a box of old used jerseys that were slated to be thrown out. The jerseys had been sent to Raleigh two decade before as it was common practice for the teams to submit the prior season’s uniforms as guidelines for the next season. I rescued the Namath jersey and it has been in my possession unit its current offering. 

(signed) 

David Sprague 

Grading (MEARS A10): Based on the examination of the jersey, comparison of the tagging, manufacturer, imagery analysis, verification of the provenance, and inspection with a black light and magnified light source, after inspecting the 5 categories MEARS applies to the grading of game worn jersey, we found no reasons to deduct points, thus awarding this jersey a perfect grade of MEARS A10. 

With over 25 years of hobby experience with 12 years as an authenticator, to my knowledge, this is the first verifiable Joe Namath durene Jets jersey to enter the hobby during my professional career. The quality of this example cannot be understated and this specimen will be a prized possession for any world class football jersey collection. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions 

New York Jets Records Held / Accumulated in part during 1970-73 

• [1st] Most Passes Attempts, Game - 62 (vs. Baltimore, Oct. 18, 1970) 

• [1st] Most Pass Attempts, Career – 3,655 

• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Game – 34 (vs. Baltimore, Oct. 18, 1970) 

• [1st] Most Pass Completions, Career – 1,836 

• [1st] Most Yards Passing, Game – 496 (vs. Baltimore, Sept. 24, 1972) 

• [1st] Most Yards Passing, Career – 27,057 

• [1st] Most Touchdown Passes, Game – 6 (at Baltimore, Sept. 24, 1972) 

• [1st] Most Touchdown Passes, Career – 170
Oct 26, 2013
Category: Archived News
For this lot, we are proud to offer the single largest collection of Mickey Mantle items ever offered for sale. From personal items originally offered by the Mantle family at the famous 2003 Guernsey’s Auction which was held at Madison Square Garden, to items from the Harry Craft Estate, to a myriad of rare items that were diligently pursued by our consignor, this lot captures the entire playing career of Mickey Mantle and is a testament to all of the products he endorsed. 

It was our consignor’s goal to build the largest Mantle collection in the world. Based on the 5,000+ inventoried items in this lot, he achieved his ultimate dream. 

The unique collection spans 8 decades, with the earliest item being Mickey Mantle’s 1947-49 Commerce High School Yearbook. 1,000’s of hours of searching was logged as our consignor scoured a myriad of sources to build his collection. Shipping cost alone must have tallied $35,000+. 

If Mantle was associated with the product, our consignor tried to obtain it. As you will see per the detailed attached spreadsheet, the consignor was successful in over 5,000+ instances. 

One of the most spectacular items is a custom Harley Davidson motorcycle that was designed by Mickey’s son, David as a colorful and touching tribute to his father. The motorcycle was on exhibit at the George Bush Presidential Museum. The online catalog description read, 

“Beginning March 1, 2008 and running through July 20, 2008, the George Bush Presidential Museum will showcase an exhibit titled "Born to Play Ball" which will look at some of baseball’s most famous players. This exhibit is being produced together with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. It will open in College Station, Texas, and then travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Along with one-of-a-kind objects from private collectors, the National Baseball Hall of Fame is contributing numerous artifacts, photographs, and interactive programs. Beginning with a brief history of the evolution of the game and equipment, the exhibit features outstanding players representing each of the nine positions. It will also take a look at the Negro Leagues, Women's League, as well as Presidents and their special relationship to this most American game. This exhibit will knock the ball out of the park!” 

The collection is museum ready, with a carefully designed inventory of duplicate items that would serve as a revenue stream to offset the purchase price and maintenance of the collection. Additional highlights include but are not limited to: 

Stetson Cowboy Hat – personally owned and a favorite of the Mick’s 

Cripple Creek Cowboy Hat 

Final Screenplay "Touch of Mink" Movie 

Script for "Safe at Home" 

1956 Player of the Year Award Plaque 

1956 11th Annual Art Griggs Memorial Award 

1965 Player Contract 

Manuscript for "The Quality of Courage” 

Mickey Mantle Day Plaque from Falstaff Brewing 

"The Mick" Book Contract 

Mr. Belvedere Episode Script 

"The Mick" Manuscript with Handwritten Notes 

Auction Cover 8' x 10' Canvas Banner 

1949 Mickey Mantle Independence Yankees Program (AU) From Harry Craft Estate 

1949 Buliva Watch Awarded to Harry Craft Independence Yankees From Harry 

Craft Estate 

Pair of Original Yankee Stadium Seats (#8 & #9) 

Comprehensive Collection of Mickey Mantle magazine cover magazines (many autographed) 

Original Artwork of "Yesterday When I Was Young" Plate 

Set of 12 Original Ozzie Sweet Mickey Mantle Classic Photos (with copyrights) 

Set of 9 Original Frank Bauman Mickey Mantle Photos (with copyrights) from 4/26/51 

Set of Original Kansas City Star/Times Newspapers from 1951 (Mantle with KC Blues) 

1947-49 Commerce HS Yearbooks + later years of Ray, Roy, Max, etc. 

Mickey Mantle Country Cookin’ Side Chair 

Mickey Mantle Country Cookin’ Captain's Chair 

Although at first appearance it may seem that the contents of the autograph collection were confiscated through law enforcement’s Operation Bull Pen Raids (FBI's confiscation of fake signatures), I can assure you that the nearly 200 autographs are all authentic. It would seem that this quantity (approximately 200+) of autographs would have to be forgeries, our consignor completed the task of acquiring only authentic examples. With a keen knowledge of Mantle's signature and a vast connection of reputable dealers, every autograph in this collection is 100% authentic. Many obtained in person by our consignor, the rest were reviewed by professional authenticators JSA or PSA/DNA. This is the largest and most diverse offering of authentic Mickey Mantle signature to ever be offered as one lot. Many of the signed baseballs contain unique inscriptions, rarely offered for sale. 

Ozzie Sweet Negative collection (12) with rights: Of all images ever taken of Mickey Mantle, the Ozzie Sweet color images offered in this lot are the finest pictures ever taken of the Mick. 

Ozzie Sweet (b. Oscar Cowan Corbo, 1918-2913). Sweet's career almost defies description, as he began as an actor in the Hollywood of the 1940s with such luminaries as John Wayne, and continuing through a distinguished photography career that spanned more than 50 years. 

His career began after he sent a series of "simulated action" photographs depicting war scenes to Newsweek. Not only was the series published, on the Oct. 12, 1942, cover, but he was later hired as the magazine's chief photographer. 

He took dozens of pictures of Mantle, many collected in a 1998 book, “Mickey Mantle: The Yankee Years,” in collaboration with the writer Larry Canale. The two men later traveled together during spring training and produced a second book of old and new photographs, “The Boys of Spring: Scenic Images From the Grapefruit League, 1948-2004.” 

Our consignor was very condition conscience, with the vast majority of all items remaining in near mint condition. A detailed spreadsheet is available, with all of the Mickey Mantle items included as one lot. For this onetime event, one lucky collector can have the opportunity to obtain the largest and most comprehensive Mantle memorabilia collection on the face of the planet. 

The collection has been estimated to be valued at over $1,000,000+. 

Interest parties may contact us for a private consultation. Contact our staff for the detailed spreadsheet.
Oct 15, 2013
Category: Archived News

Fan, Family Man, Friend, Husband, Historian, Clubhouse Man, Food Connoisseur, Patriot, and Collector. Bill Topitzes was not defined by any one facet of his life’s passions, if you knew him; you realized that all of the above interests combined made him the man he was. Although we spoke of his many hobbies, his family was the most important thing in his life. Not one discussion went by without him mentioning his wife, daughter, son, grandkids or extended family.

Because of the love for his collection, I had the privilege to meet and get to know Bill Topitzes on a professional level. Because of his passion for life, I was able to make a friend. His personal collection was an assemblage of mementos that were directly related to Bill’s experiences in professional baseball. The programs, tickets, and letters were a reflection and time capsule of the players and the era and offered a very personal insight to the men that built the game we love today.

Bill was very proud of his Greek heritage and was a lifetime supporter of the local Orthodox Church. Not everybody knew his real name, as he was commonly referred to as “The Greek”. It was a nickname he was quite proud of. He told me stories about his ethnic family and growing up in Milwaukee.

As much as he loved baseball, he felt it was his duty to serve in the Army during the Korean War. After a 13 year career as a clubhouse attendant, Bill joined the Army in 1954, leaving his prestigious job after the inaugural season of the Milwaukee Braves (1953). His sense of duty was greater than his love of baseball. He also found that when he returned from the Army, his position with the club was filled and he never worked in professional baseball again.

He never dwelled on that, but instead, entered college on the G.I. Bill and earned his degree. Many of his baseball friends extolled the virtue of a college education in the letters they sent Bill. Out of respect, he took their advice. With the security of a new career, he married his sweetheart Maggie and soon started the family he adored.

When not working, Bill was a voracious reader and subscribed to numerous magazines, publications, and built a very large personal library of reference books that dealt with the hobby and many other subjects.

No matter the discussion- politics, cuisine, world history, local news, sports, or family, Bill was well versed and enjoyed a good conversation. Bill also loved to eat. He could not have been any taller than 5’6”, but he ate as much as a giant, and loved his food.

It has been an ongoing tradition for several local collectors to meet at the MEARS Museum on the night of the auction close. MEARS supplied beverages, appetizers, and lunch to those in attendance. At nearly 80 years old, Bill would show up 11:00 PM and stay until the 2:00 AM auction close. Over a three year period, he may have only missed 3 auction night closes.

His main job was to keep me company, but he would scour every lot and bid on items that had a local Milwaukee flavor or be associated with a player that he befriended. During those final hours of the auction, it was almost traditional to watch Bill help himself to 3 full plates of food. He was an eating machine. His stories about the items and the players were truly educational, and I learned much from Bill’s experience.

On August 28th, 2013, Milwaukee Collector extraordinaire, Bill Topitzes passed away at the age of 80.

Bill’s collection started in 1940, while he was a clubhouse attendant for the AAA Milwaukee Brewers who played at Borchert Field. In a trend that continued for the next 70 years, Bill saved dugout cards, bats, programs, scorecards, autographs, and cards.

Bill’s card collection was compiled the old fashioned way – card by card, one at a time. The collection was neatly organized numerically, each set housed in a binder, many with the early 8-9 pocket sheets that were first sold in the 1970s. The overall condition was nice, averaging EX in most cases. Many of the sets were completed, but others still had holes to fill. Since Bill never stopped collecting, he continued to work on his collection to the very end. The missing cards also showed that the hobby he loved was not an obsession, and while enjoying other facets of life, his collection could wait.

His team signed baseball collection serves as a time stamp of his life in baseball. Minor league teams such as the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Paul Saints, and Toledo Mudhens were all obtained during his clubhouse career during the 1940s. It was interesting to note that each ball was signed on the official minor league baseball of the league, carefully collected by Bill as tips for a clubhouse job well done.

A fan of statistics, Bill personally wrote to most major league clubs and requested the recent program or media guide. A subscription of team newsletters kept him connected to the big leagues. Yearbooks were gathered from the 1940s to present day.

While working for the Milwaukee Brewers during the 1948 season, Bill began building relationships that would help develop his growing collection. One example was the letter on Cleveland Indians Official team stationary which read,

“Dear Bill:

I have received your letter of June 21, and I was indeed happy to hear from you again. Your fine comments about the team are appreciated and what you say about Feller is so true—everybody has a slump once in a while. Many thanks, and with all good wishes to you and luck to your Legion team, I am,

Very truly yours,

(signed)

Bill Veeck”

As part of the collection, a series of letters between the two Bills (Veeck and Topitzes) are included. One from Veeck was thanking Bill for the purchase of the team photos that are part of the upcoming MEARS Auction and feature Hank Greenberg, Satchel Paige, and Bob Feller.

With a 12 year minor league career as a clubhouse employee, often working with the visiting team, Bill Topitzes nurtured many lasting relationships. One special player that touched Bill’s life was Babe Martin. Born Boris Michael Martinovich, the Serbian immigrant bonded with the Greek clubhouse kid while Martin played in the AAA with the Toledo Mudhens. With Greek and Serbian cuisine being quite similar, it was most likely food that created this lifelong bond.

In 1944 with the Toledo Mud Hens, Babe Martin batted .350 in 114 games. The following season, he joined the major league Browns. He hit poorly and was sent back down to the minors. Martin retired in 1954. In 69 major league games, he had 2 home runs, 18 RBI, and a .214 batting average.

In later years, Martin still held a grudge against one-armed outfielder Pete Gray, who was a teammate in 1945. "The worst thing that happened to our ballclub in 1945, which we should have won the pennant, was Pete Gray," he said. "And honestly I think if we hadn't had Pete ... we could have won the pennant in 1945." Although Martin's batting average that season was actually 18 points lower than Gray's, Martin was referring to Pete Gray's fielding ability. Because Gray only had one arm, his throws back into the infield were slowed because he had to remove his glove from his one hand, get the ball, and throw into the infield. This slowed him down and allowed runners to advance more easily than they otherwise would have.

Bill saved a letter from Babe Martin. On plain white paper meticulously hand written, Babe Martin wrote:

“2/5/48

Dear Bill,

So very sorry for my delay in writing to you but have been quite busy prepping for the coming season. As you probably know Bill this is a big year for me one way or another & I must be on my toes from here on out.

I sincerely believe that this is the finest break I have gotten since I entered professional baseball and I fully intend to make the best of it.

As you know from your knowledge of baseball Bill the Boston Red Sox are a very fine team and I myself believe they are the greatest and finest in either league. I signed my contract in Boston, four weeks ago this past Monday and Mr. Joe Cronin treated me as though I were a member of the Red Sox for the last 10 years instead of just a member first coming up. It made me feel as though I were one of the fellows on the team & Bill believe me that was the warmest welcome I have ever received & I will never forget it. Well little Bill so much for myself.

Awfully sorry to hear about your broken hand Bill but I’m sure that it isn’t going to discourage your interest in sports. You are a wonderful little athlete and I’m looking forward to see you as a big man in the world of sports. One more thing I would like to point out to you Bill & that is your education. Education is about the biggest thing in a person’s life & I want you to study & be a good student & whether you choose sports as a career or choose the career of a professional man or whatever you undertake I’m sure you will be a success. Never be backward always have a bright outlook on things and be a good boy. You will have a few rainy days in your life some day Bill but just remember what I have said always look ahead.

Well Bill I believe I had better get myself ready to go down town to the YMCA for my workout so take good care of yourself and give my regards to your family. Best Wishes, Babe.”

Bill’s mentor Babe Martin just recently passed away on August 1st, 2013 at the age of 100.

Bill Topitzes also maintained many friendships with many other professional baseball players and would routinely correspond via hand written letters. One that was dear to Bill and remained in his collection was from Norwood Ozark. The hand written letter was postmarked from Pawtucket, RI dated May 28, 1949 read,

(On The New Windsor Hotel, Oneonta, New York stationary)

“Dear Bill,

Gee I’m glad to hear that you are going to Greece with your folks. It certainly is a wonderful opportunity for you and I’m happy to hear that you took the opportunity when it presented itself. I also want to congratulate you on graduating from high school. You had better go to college or else I’ll be very disappointed with you for not doing so. Our team has been losing a lot of 1 run games and it seems like we can’t win the close games. But, I imagine our luck will have to change pretty soon because we can’t be getting such breaks all year. I have been doing pretty good and am hitting around .300 and have 4 homeruns so far. Well I’ll keep batting and see what happens. Have a good time for yourself and don’t forget college. As ever, Norwood Ozark. “

Norwood wrote Bill again, in an undated letter, it read,

“Dear Bill,

I received your letter and was surprised to hear from you. Dan told me that he met you and that you talked a long time. He also told me you gave him some cigarettes and that he liked you a lot. 

I’m glad to hear that you are visiting team batboy at the ballpark. I’ll bet you know all the players in the league by now. Well it is a lot better than sitting in the bull pen all night. Rained out for the past two days so we are getting a little wet. At the present time I am batting .330 and hope to stay up their. I have been hitting the ball good and haven’t been striking out so I do get some base hits.

The weather here has been unpredictable. It gets warm for a day and then gets cold the rest of the week. I sure hope that it gets warmer pretty soon. 

I seen the Boston Braves play one game when I was up. I wee when the Brewers are really doing good. The should be up in first place before long if they keep up this pace and if nothing unforeseen happens.

Our club is in second place and two games out of first place. I think that we will be up their in a week or so. It seems we go all out and then have a letdown for a couple games which hurts us. Our team is pretty well balanced in the field and we have a pretty good pitching staff. We were in Boston and they beat Brooklyn. When we play there we stay in Boston so we can see the day game, either the Red Sox or Braves.

Well haven’t anything else to write for now so I’ll close. As Ever, Norm.

P.S., Say hello to Nick and the boys for me. “

The collections of letters are very insightful and chronicle Bill’s relationships and the day to day life of major league ball players.

Bill saved many items relating to his baseball career. One item of interest was his 1951 Withholding Statement. Housed in the original cellophane windowed National Baseball Club of Boston envelope, his W-2 form documented his salary for the season.

Typed per protocol was,

“William F. Topitzes

525 N. 34th Street

Milwaukee, WI ,

Total FICA WAGES: $662.50 for year

Employer: Milwaukee American Association, 32 Gaffney Street, Boston, MASS.”

Based on his love of the game and the stories he told me, I think Bill would have worked for the Milwaukee Brewers for free. His reputation as a first class clubhouse man made him the obvious choice to represent the Milwaukee Braves in the dugout during their 1953 Inaugural season in the major leagues. Being promoted from the Milwaukee Brewers and his responsibilities at Borchert Field, Bill Topitzes immediately made the Milwaukee Braves visiting clubhouse his own.

The Milwaukee Sentinel, August 9th, 1953, published a page 2 article about Bill’s time while working with the Milwaukee Braves during their first season. The headlines reads,”Bill the Greek, Roots for Braves While Dishing Out Help to Foes”. The article by Lou Chapman went on to state,

“He’s not exactly a fifth columnist, but Bill “The Greek” Topitzes feels at times like an enemy alien in his role as clubhouse attendant for rival teams of the Braves. It’s Bill’s job to hang up rival players’ clothing in their lockers, see that their shoes are shined, whip up their favorite sandwiches and keep their clubhouse looking spic and span. 

Bill, 23, has been connected with baseball clubs for 13 years. He started out as a bat boy with the old Brewers, later handling clubhouse duties and working the scoreboard at ancient Borchert Field.

“But you can’t beat this big league life,” Topitzes exclaims. “This is really living. Not only do you get to meet your idols face to face, but the financial benefits are tremendous.”

“You can’t compare the tipping in the American Association, with the major leagues. This is really plush. Why only recently, Monte Kennedy of the Giants gave me a $10 tip.”

Who are the best tippers among the visiting club?

“Why the Dodgers, of course” is Bill’s answer. “They really live up to their championship rating and travel deluxe. From manager Charlie Dressen down, they’re the biggest tippers”.

Bill was asked, What about Superstitions? “There isn’t too much of that. When the Cubs were losing, each player kept a rabbits foot in their pockets. A few of the others carry some kind of charm or lucky coin.”

While attending to the big leaguers, Bill also attended Marquette University and was studying liberal arts.

With 14 years of exemplary clubhouse experience, Bill’s reputation quickly grew throughout the professional ranks. His hard work caught eye of New York Giant’s manager Leo Durocher. In a letter of recommendation typed on official Giants stationary, the Giants skipper wrote,

“To Whom It May Concern:

William Topitzes has been known to me personally as an honest, reliable and very capable clubhouse custodian while serving as the visiting team’s clubhouse custodian at the Milwaukee Braves baseball park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His duties consisted of taking care of each player’s equipment, supplying them with baseball equipment whenever they are in need of it, keeping their money and jewelry in a safe place during the time they are at the ball park for the game, and many other chores that go with being a clubhouse custodian. In all my years in baseball I have found very few men who could do the job as efficiently as William Topitzes.

I would not hesitate to recommend his to any organization.

Very Truly Yours,

Leo Durocher, Manager, New York Giants Baseball Ball Club”.

 

Bill also was friends with long time Chicago Cubs clubhouse legend Yosh Kawano. A typed letter dated December 7, 1954 was saved by Bill, it read in part,

“Dear Bill,

How is it going Greek? Sure surprised to get your letter of 24 which was forwarded to me here at my folks. Well so you finally made the big city huh, expensive! Well you’ll make out as long as you can speak the mother tung, hell that’s the way them Greeks operated in my outfit.

I must say you have had some great assignments in the Army and to think there I was over there in the jungles of New Guinea. “jap infested jungles defending them F ball player to keep up the moral at home. Imagine me, little me, hell I couldn’t lick anybody.

Happy that you have found some place maybe we can take advantage of your quarters come next Spring by then I am assuming you can make a connection for me when we come to town. No I don’t know anyone in that town, don’t ask Logan he doesn’t know anything but I do .

…Well let me hear from you again, give my best to Logan, George there, Campy, Gordon or any others I may know. Wish you consider going to school after your discharge believe me you’ll not regret it, look at me, there is your windup. With your connections plus your education there is no end to your limitations, maybe in the front office. Take care of the Colonel. Sincerely, Yosh.”

This letter was a perfect example of the respect of Bill’s intellect and how others saw his future success.

Bill Topitzes was known for his stash of Johnston cookie cards. The remainder of the collection will be offered as one lot in the October auction. Once these are gone, that is it, the stock will be depleted.

A memo was found in his collection, on stationary from Herbert Ross, a hand written note read,

12-2-77

“Dear Bill,

As per our telephone conversation a short while ago enclosed please find check of $550.00 to cover cost of 10 sets 1953 Johnston Cookie @ $55 per set. Best Herb”

It not known how many sets Bill had, but he was certainly the Johnston Cookies card king.

The following items were selected for no other reason than to highlight the diversity of the Bill Topitez Collection. If it dealt with baseball, Bill loved it. Thank you Greek, I enjoyed sharing the hobby with you.

Tickets & Passes

1952 Milwaukee Brewers AAA Working Pass Borchert Field

1975 Baseball All Star Game County Stadium Ticket Stubs (2)

1977 NBA All Star Game Ticket Stubs (2)

1960 World Series Phantom Full (5)

1972 World Series Phantom Full (5)

1964 Cincinnati Reds Phantom Full

1955 New York Yankees World Series Stub

1958 Milwaukee Braves World Series Stub

1982 ALCS Full Ticket Collection (9)

Autographed

High Grade 1930s Babe Ruth New York Yankees Album Page

1977 NBA All Star Game Banquet program signed by almost the entire team

Complete run of 1953 National League Team Signed Baseballs

Collection of single signed baseballs including Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, and many more HOFers

Original 1950s photo with vintage Gil Hodges and Duke Snider autographs

1953 Milwaukee Braves Inaugural Team Autographed Photo with vintage signatures

1947 Ted Williams in Civilian Clothes original snapshot with period signature

1953 Milwaukee Braves Program signed by entire team

1954 Johnston Cookies Signed with Aaron (4)

Mickey Mantle Autographed Baseball

3,000 Hit Club Signed Baseball

500 HR Club Signed Baseball

Mickey Mantle New York Yankees signed 5x7 photo

Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider Signed photo

Ted Williams Boston Red Sox signed 16x20

Minor League Collection

1944 All-Stars vs. Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Program

1948 Milwaukee Brewers Minor League AAA Borchert Field Pocket Schedules (6)

1950 Milwaukee Brewers Minor League AAA Borchert Field Pocket Schedules (7)

1951 NR MT Milwaukee Brewers Minor League AAA Borchert Field Pocket Schedule Collection (12)

1947 Milwaukee Brewers Minor League AAA Sketchbook

1940s PCL Program, many teams and years

1946 Utica Program

1947 Junior World Series Program

1948 Milwaukee Brewers AAA Borchert Field Program

1948 Seattle Rainers PCL Program

Memorabilia

1951 Major League Baseball Jersey Patch

Rare 1970 Kareem Abdul Jabbar Village Inn Premium Photo with facsimile “Kareem”

1950s Marshall Merrell Milwaukee Braves Premium Photo Lot (17)

1934 circa Babe Ruth Quaker Puffed Wheat, 8x10

1936 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees “In Action” sequence Original Wire Photos, NR MT with paper caption tag

Pocket Schedules from the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Braves

Programs & Publications

1965 Milwaukee Braves Yearbook signed by Hank Aaron

First Three issues of Sports Illustrated, 1954

1961 World Series Yearbook

1982 World Series Programs (4)

Rare 1948 Boston Braves Bulletin

1955 World Series Program

1950’s Yearbook Collection, multi teams

1949-50 Cleveland Indians News Team Publications (12)

1949 Chicago Cubs News Team Publication

Rare 1980s Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Grand Avenue Mall Appearance Promotional Photo

1955 New York Yankees Sketchbook

1959 Chicago White Sox World Series Program

1957 Milwaukee Braves World Series Program w/ stub

1949 Babe Ruth As I Knew Him by Waite Hoyt Magazine

1950 New York Yankees Program

1947-50 Brooklyn Dodgers Program Collection

1948 Boston Braves Program

Rare Collection of the Trading Post Baseball Magazine

1953-65 Milwaukee Braves Assorted Programs

Baseball Card Collection

1953 Topps Baseball Complete Set (274/274)

1953 Topps Baseball Card Lot

1953 Bowman Color Baseball Complete Set (160/160)

1953 Bowman B&W Baseball Lot

1954 Topps Baseball Near Set (180/250) Most key cards including Aaron (rc), Banks (rc)

1954 Topps Baseball Lot

1954 Bowman Baseball Complete Set (224/224)

1954 Bowman Baseball Lot including Mantle

1955 Bowman Complete Set (320/320)

1956 Topps Baseball Complete Set (340/340)

1957 Topps Baseball Complete Set (572/572)

1959 Ted Williams Fleer Baseball Complete Card Set (80/80)

1964 Topps Baseball Complete Set (587/587)

1965 Topps Baseball Partial Set

1966 Topps Baseball Partial Set

1968 Topps Baseball Partial Set

1971 Topps Baseball Complete Set (752/752)

1973 Topps Baseball Complete Set

1975 Topps Mini Baseball Complete Set (660/660)

1976 Topps Baseball Complete Set

1977 Topps Baseball Complete Set

Basketball Sets

1971-72 Topps Basketball Set

1972-73 Topps Basketball Set

1973-74 Topps Basketball Set

1974-75 Topps Basketball Set

1977-78 Topps Basketball Set NR-MT

Football Sets

1971 Topps Football Set (262/263) Missing one common

1974 Topps Football Set (528/528)

1976 Topps Football Set (528/528)

1977 Topps Football Set (528/528)

Additionally, there are 400+ lots containing more standard issue cards, regional issue cards, autographs, signed team baseballs, publications, tickets, pocket schedules, programs, yearbooks, and much more.

400+ lots will be offered during the MEARS Online Auctions October 25th-November 2nd, 2013 sale.

The collection was assembled much in the same manner as Bill lived his life. He had access to everyone.

He met Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider, Hank Aaron, etc. He knew who the Super Star, Stars, and common players were. Bill was never star struck. He did not create friendships with the great players because they were super stars. He collected mementos of players that were good and decent human beings. How you lived your life was more important to Bill than your batting average.

Although I learned a lot about baseball cards from Bill, I learned even more about life and friendships. Those memories and friendships were what Bill cherished. Thank you for all you have given Milwaukee baseball, you will be missed. I am proud to call you a friend.

www.mearsonlineauctions.com

Questions can be directed to Troy R. Kinunen at (414)-828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Sep 27, 2013
Category: Archived News

MEARS September 20th-28th Auction NOW LIVE!!!

Featuring 400+ quality lots, our September auction is now live. Check us out at

www.mearsonlineauctions.com

Game Worn Jerseys

     • 1982 RARE Nolan Ryan Houston Astros Game Worn Jersey and cleats

     • 1982 Gaylord Perry Seattle Mariners Game Worn Jersey

     • 1983 Don Sutton Milwaukee Brewers Game Worn Jersey and cleats

     • 1980s Larry Bird Black Converse Autographed Game Worn Shoes

     • 2007-08 Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Game Worn Jersey (Obtained at Charity Auction)

     • 1977 George Brett Kansas City Royals Road Game Worn Jersey

     • 1980 Robin Yount Milwaukee Brewers Road Game Worn Jersey

     • 1977 Phil Niekro Atlanta Braves Road Game Worn Jersey

     • 1972 circa John Hanna Alabama Game Worn Jersey

Autographs

Strong prices have been realized during our Monthly Auction, and our selection of quality autographs continue to improve. This month we will continue to provide a quality selection of vintage autographs. We also have two significant collections that are fresh to the hobby. The following two baseballs, George Sisler and Walter Johnson, were obtained by our consignor’s grandmother, a trade for two doughnuts from the bakery shop where she worked.

     • 1926 George Sisler Single Signed Official American League Baseball

     • 1926 Walter Johnson Single Signed non-official Baseball

Additionally, we have a fresh to the hobby autograph collection containing Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, Mathewson, and dozens of other HOFers. Many other great items soon to be announced.

For questions regarding lots or help bidding, registering, etc. contact Troy Kinunen at (414)828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Aug 24, 2013
Category: Archived News

Consignors have responded and the current MEARS Auction contains scores of lots offering a diverse range of products, price points, and areas of interest.

Mar 20, 2013
Category: Archived News

All Uniforms Are Not Created Equal

Thoughts on the Grading of Vintage Baseball Uniforms

By

Dave Grob

 

The MEARS grading criteria and metrics were established based on the collecting community’s desire to have uniforms evaluated and graded in such a manner that it made comparative value assessments possible; similar to what was currently in place for cards.  While I am not a personal fan of assigning a numeric grade to a baseball jersey, I do recognize that the evaluation and subsequent grading of uniforms is what the customer wants.

The MEARS system of using a worksheet as a means to establish common protocols for evaluations is a good idea, and one I used before this system was adopted.  MEARS expanded the categories and various fields to accommodate other sports; but my focus has been and remains on exclusively baseball uniforms so the following discussion is only meant by me to apply to vintage baseball uniforms and grading various aspects associated with restorations of them.

Patches

The current MEARS grading criteria calls for a deduction of -.5 for a restored patch and -1 for a missing patch.  The intent is to reward those jerseys that still retain an original patch.  This is how it should be.  The problem lies in that, on face value, it makes the assumption that all patches are the same.  It also fails to take into account the presence of existence of patches from older uniforms.  Vintage baseball uniforms (defined by me as pre-1980) were really never intended to be anything other than a consumable expense born by a major league club.  Uniforms were ordered in lower quantities prior to the 1980s and they were not seen, by and large as collectables.   What this means is we should have a reasonable expectations that uniforms were typically used for more than one season; in one capacity or another (major league or minor league use).

As such, patches that were applied to a uniform for a single season may not have had continued utility on the uniform in subsequent seasons.  This creates a reason why they would have likely been removed.  If this logic trail is accepted, then the standard we should expect is to find these vintage uniforms largely without the original patch in place.   Since not all uniforms by years or teams featured these special patches, then we are not accurately reflecting this in the grading of them.  For example, the Baltimore Orioles wore a fairly non-descript home uniform from 1963-1965. However in 1964, they wore a special patch to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner.   If you were grading a home jersey from the same common Oriole player, each obtained from the player, and each in the exact same condition (all original and same use and wear) they would all receive the same grade.   I have two problems with this:

1.  The 1963 and 1965 jerseys get a pass if you will because they never had a patch.  A such the 1964 jersey has to answer one more question on the test, and get no additional credit for being able to answer that question.

2. In all my years of collecting and researching uniforms, I have only encountered this patch twice.

If these jerseys, for the sake of argument all graded an A8 and the went to market, the 1964 jersey would command 3 to 5 times the price of the 1963 and 1965 based on the patch alone.  However, the same 1964 home jersey without the patch graded at a A7.5 (.5 for missing patch) would do marginally less that the all original 1963 and 1964 offerings. My point here is that the grading, with respect to patches has failed to capture the comparative value assessment that it was intended to.

Now turn your attention to the same team, same common player, but now we are talking about 1969 when the jerseys featured the MLB 100th Anniversary patch.   1968-1970 are the same style home uniform and not a tough style.  The presence of an all original patch on the 1969 will not have the same impact on pricing as the presence of an original or even replacement patch from the 1964 offerings.  The reason for this is the 100th Anniversary patch can still be found without much difficulty on E-Bay for around $150.

It is my position that the grading of patches has to take into account the rarity of the patch itself as that is what is driving the value, not so much the numeric grade that comes with the jersey it is on. It is also my position as stated previously, that what we should really expect to find is the jersey to be missing the patch to begin with.  The current standard also treats replica patches as being the same as no patch at all when some collectors might prefer the replica patch from an aesthetic standpoint as to no patch at all given they very well never find an authentic period offering to restore the garment.  The question then becomes what might a new grading scale look like for patches to accomplish all that it is supposed to capture, account for, and reward accordingly?  First there would have to be some listing that identifies a rare vs a non-rare patch.  The easiest way would probably list the non-rare offerings as the list would be smaller.   Once that is done, I would offer:

+.5: Original rare patch, original to the jersey

+/- 0:  Restored period original rare patch; provide the work is well done and not detectable from an casual observational standpoint.  If the restoration is obvious, then -.05

-.5 Restored period original non-rare patch

-.5 Restored replica replacement rare patch

-.5 Missing rare patch

-1 missing non-rare patch

This system now rewards the rare patch as it should.  It also recognizes the value difference between a restored rare patch vs a restored non-rare patch.  It also gives the collector the option of improving the aesthetics of his jersey with a replica.  What would have to made clear, is one single qualifying statement, that being that no none-rare replacement patch could result in a jersey getting the grade of a an A10.  All restorations would also have to be well documented in the assessment so that any future buyer would know just what they are getting.  For a jersey that would grade as an A10 and it has the original patch, that jersey could certainly be annotated as A10*.

Offered here is an illustrative example of rare and non-rare patches:

 Examples of Vintage Pre-1980 Non-Rare Patches

1976 National League Centennial Patch

1976 Cleveland Indians “Spirit of 76”

1976 Oakland Athletics Bicentennial Patch

1976 Philadelphia Phillies Liberty Bell Patch

1976 Detroit Tigers Bicentennial Patch

1976 Chicago Cubs 100th Anniversary of the Cubs in the National League

1975-1976 Massachusetts Bicentennial

1969 MLB 100th Anniversary Patch

Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves Screaming Brave Patch

1955-1963 Orioles Laughing Bird Patch

Post 1950 Indians Chief Wahoo Patch

1951 American League 50th Anniversary Patch

1939 Baseball Centennial Patch

Examples of Pre-1980 Rare Patches

1978 All Star Game Patch (San Diego)

1976 Montreal Expos Olympics Patch

1973 Pirates “21” Clemente Patch

1973 50th Anniversary of Yankee Stadium

1969 San Diego Padres Conquistador Patch

1969 Seattle Pilots Wheel/Wing Patch

1968 Chicago Sesquicentennial Patch

1964-1965 World’s Fair Patch (Mets)

1964 Baltimore Orioles 150th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner Patch

1962-1964 Houston Colt .45s Texas State Flag (Road Jerseys)

Pre-1957 Milwaukee and Boston Braves Sleeve Patches

1955 Cincinnati Reds “Mr Red” Sleeve Patch (Square and Contoured Versions)

1952 New York Yankees 50th Anniversary Patch

1951 Detroit 250th Anniversary of Detroit Patch

1951 National League 75th Anniversary Patch

1950 Philadelphia Athletics Connie Mack 50 Years in Baseball Patch

1947-1950 Indians Chief Wahoo Patch

1946 Cleveland Indians 150th Anniversary of Cleveland Patch

1942 HEALTH Patch

1943-1947 Stars and Stripes Patch

1939 World Fair Patch (New York Baseball Teams)

(All patches prior to this time)

 Restorations of Lettering and Numbering

The MEARS worksheet currently calls for deductions in this area; ranging from -1 to -3 with little in the way of guidance or qualification.  This same scale is currently being applied to number changes that only account for a -2 if it is either a team number change or a restoration with a vintage number.

This is not entirely consistent with the MEARS grading scale which is built largely on .5 point increments.  As written and applied, it also makes little account for the quality of the work or the vintage of the material used.  Since we are discussing vintage baseball uniforms and not baseball cards, restorations cannot be appropriately compared using these two collectables.  The baseball uniform was always intended to be a consumable expense used by a ball club, and the baseball card was always meant to be a collectable. 

I think a better parallel can be drawn to restorations on collectable automobiles and those of uniforms.  Both were items intended to be used.  Both can be found in various conditions and both are subject to market evaluations based on the nature of the restoration work.  With automobiles, the most valued are those in all original condition and fully functional.  Alterations or customizations are acceptable or factory applied.  The automobile collectables market also provided for relative value assessments  when year/model specific parts are used vs period parts vs modern fabricated parts.  Assessments are also placed on the quality of the work.  I feel that the restorations on vintage baseball uniforms could be considered and evaluated in much the same manner.  For example, a grading scale that allows for:

-.5 for a restored name, number, or team lettering if the restoration was done with materials from the same team and manufacturer if the work is well done and not detectable without technical means (UV lighting, light table, digital microscope).

-1 for a restored name, number, or team lettering if the restoration was done with period materials if the work is well done and not detectable without technical means (UV lighting, light table, digital microscope).

-----------------------------

-1.5 for a restored name, number, or team lettering if the restoration was done with modern materials and if the work is well done and not detectable without technical means (UV lighting, light table, digital microscope).

-2  for a restored name, number, or team lettering if the restoration was done with modern materials and if the work is well done and  detectable without technical means (UV lighting, light table, digital microscope).

-----------------------------

-2.5 for a restored name, number, or team lettering if the restoration was done with modern materials and if the work is not entirely accurate and detectable without technical means (UV lighting, light table, digital microscope).

-3 for restored name, number, or team lettering if the restoration was done with modern materials and if the work is not entirely accurate and stands out as a noticeable and obvious poor restoration.

Working along these lines for vintage baseball jerseys accomplishes a number of things:

1.  It accounts for the use of vintage and non-vintage materials.

2.  It accounts for various degrees and quality of work.

3.  It becomes more consistent with the MEARS grading scale built on .5 increments.

4.  Still ensures that vintage jersey with restorations with names, numbers, or lettering could not likely achieve a grade of A10.  The rare exception would have to be when a player changed numbers during the same season and all of this would have to well documented.

The simple fact of the matter is that vintage jerseys do not compare well with baseball cards on any number of levels and it is and has been my position that any system that calls for their grading should take this into account.  It is also my feeling that the proposed changes in how restorations on vintage baseball uniforms are assessed and graded if done in the manner I have presented here would go a long way in helping the accurately  recognize and reward those differences.

Those are just my thoughts…what are yours?

As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.

Dave Grob

For questions or comments on this article,  please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com

Mar 20, 2013
Category: Archived News

Recently MEARS was asked to evaluate a jersey worn by Paul Arizin with the Philadelphia Warriors. As a HOFer and top 50 player, Arizin jerseys are in high demand and authenticity and grade is crucial in determining value.

The keys to this evaluation were to determine what year the jersey was worn, was the style correct for the date, was the supplier correct for the jersey, and finally, was the size correct for what you would expect Arizin to have worn during the 1960s.

With that in mind, we were asked to evaluate the following:

“1961-62 Paul Arizin Philadelphia Warriors Road jersey (His final season)”

 

The evaluation started by determining the date. On a tag in the shirt was “42, 11, 61”. This code denotes size (42), player number (11), and finally year (61). Several reference sources confirmed Arizin’s final season was 1961.

Next, we had to verify if whether the style matched the tagged dating. Our review found the jersey was the blue style road pull over with square tail. Yellow/red/yellow piping trim the shoulder and neck. “PHIL” (front) and “11” (front and back) appear in red on white tackle twill.

Several available images confirmed this as the correct style worn during the 1961-62 season, illustrations provided.

Next, we had to determine whether or not we were seeing the correct supplier of Warriors jerseys during the era. We determined the jersey was supplied by the Pearson Company. The tag appeared to be all original.

 

The design of the tag reveals the Pearson tag was used in the NBA during the 1959-62 era (MEARS tagging database).

Other example of Pearson Warriors jerseys have entered the hobby and are used for comparison, they include:

1961-62 Tom Gola

1962 Wilt Chamberlain

Therefore, this jersey has the correct style of Pearson tag and has been verified as being used by the Warriors via comparison to other known examples.

Next, MEARS had to determine whether or not the size was correct for the player. On the outer tail on a vintage swatch is the embroidered size, player number, year tag. It reads, “42, 11, 61” which denotes size (42), player number, year. As stated above, the jersey was tagged as size 42.

To determine if the tagged size matched the actual jersey, MEARS took a chest measurement which was 20” across, which is consistent for a size 42 NBA jersey.

Size 42 was consistent with other Arizin jerseys that have entered the market. For comparison, we found the following:

1958 All Star, size 42

1956 All Star, size 42

1958-59 Warriors, size 42

Size 42 is correct for Arizin game worn jerseys during the era and is supported by additional examples that have entered the hobby.

The Arizin jersey has been compared to other known examples for examination of style, piping, numbering, and lettering. The Arizin jersey (MEARS #313013) compares favorably to:

Paul Arizin Trading Card

Wilt Chamberlain Sport Magazine

1961-62 Tom Gola Warriors jersey

With respect to font, style, and piping, the jersey compared quite favorably to the other known examples.

The jersey exhibits heavy game wear, consistent with a full season of use.

Final Grade MEARS A10: With manufacturer, style, sizing, etc all matching known examples, 10 base points were awarded to the grade. Examination reveals zero point deductions.

Regards, Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS

Additional Notes: A pair of satin trunks which are the correct style for the jersey is included with this lot. They are manufactured by Pearson and are tagged, “346116”. The original drawstring is included.

Mar 17, 2013
Category: Archived News

Offered is a lot which reflects both ample basketball success and colossal social relevance and
is accompanied by first hand provenance from the surviving ball boy that obtained the prize.
Attributed to one of the earliest known teams that Wilt Chamberlain was a team member, this
game used, autographed, Championship Basketball foreshadowed the great career that lay
ahead.

The Championship game was played during an era where the ugly shadow of segregation was
broken by the sunny promise of integration. During 1947, not even a decade earlier, segregation
in professional sports was still practiced until Jackie Robinson broke the status quo with the
Brooklyn Dodgers. The country was reforming, but the practice of segregation still affected
many African American communities, and the basketball courts of their youth.

During the 1940s until the integration of the NBA in 1950, black basketball teams were known
as the “black fives”, a reference to the starting lineup of a squad. Most all black teams were
sponsored by churches, athletic clubs, social clubs, small businesses, or the YMCA.

During 1953, Chamberlain played for his hometown Philadelphia Christian Street YMCA.
The Christian Street YMCA, founded in 1889, was found at 7th Street and Christian Avenue
in Philadelphia. Completed in 1914 with assistance from the Rosenwald Fund, Rev. Henry L.
Phillips, and other prominent individuals. The Christian Street YMCA was the first African-
American YMCA in the U.S. to be contained in its own building. It continues to provide
educational and recreational opportunities such as swimming, basketball, boxing and dancing.
Basketball legends Zac Clayton, Tarzan Cooper and Fats Jenkins of the New York Rens and
Frank Washington of the Harlem Globetrotters developed their skills at the Christian Street gym.

As a Philadelphia resident growing up in the black section of town, it was almost given Wilt
would find his way to the local YMCA basketball program. As a 6-10, 10th-grader, Chamberlian
led Christian Street to the YMCA national title. His team was the runner up the previous year.

Due to segregation, the entire basketball team consisted of a Philadelphia All-African American
team. Accompanying image (digital copy) of the 1953 team included in this lot description. The
Philadelphia based YMCA team was to play the all white High Point, North Carolina YMCA
Championship team. The game was played in High Point, North Carolina.

High point resident, author, and African American historian Glenn Chavis recounted in a
newspaper article (copy enclosed) that during 1952-53, blacks were not allowed in the doors of
the High Point YMCA, he had to attend the cross town black YMCA. When playing in High
Point for the Championship game, Chamberlain wasn’t allowed to stay at the area hotels. The
team had to be housed at homes throughout the black community. Although not as vocal as the
great Jackie Robinson, these conditions may have spawned the championship desire which drove
Chamberlain’s future achievements.

Regarding the man, the following online biography reads, “Wilt Chamberlin was born on
August 21, 1936, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Known as "Wilt the Stilt" for his 7' 1" frame,
Chamberlin was a Harlem Globetrotter then joined the Philadelphia Warriors.

Leaving college in 1958, Chamberlain had to wait a year before going professional due to NBA
rules. He chose to spend the next season performing with the Harlem Globetrotters before
landing a spot on the Philadelphia Warriors. In 1959, Chamberlain played his first professional
game in New York City against the Knicks, scoring 43 points. His impressive debut season
netted him several prestigious honors, including NBA Rookie of the Year and NBA Most
Valuable Player. Also during this season, Chamberlain began his rivalry with Celtics defensive
star Bill Russell. The two were fierce competitors on the court, but they developed a friendship
away from the game.

Chamberlain's most famous season, however, came in 1962. That March, he scored his first
100-point game. By season's end, Chamberlain racked up more than 4,000 points, becoming the
first NBA player to do so, scoring an average of 50.4 points per game. At the top of his game,
Chamberlain was selected for the All-NBA first team for three years in a row—1960, 1961 and
1962.

Chamberlain stayed with the Warriors as they moved out to San Francisco in 1962. He continued
to play well, averaging more than 44 points per game for the 1962-1963 season and almost 37
points per game for the 1963-1964 seasons. Returning to his hometown in 1965, Chamberlain
joined the Philadelphia 76ers. There he helped his team score an NBA championship win over
his former team. Along the way to the championship,

Chamberlain also assisted the Sixers in defeating the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Division
Finals. The Celtics were knocked out of the running after eight consecutive championship wins.
Crowds gathered to watch the latest match between two top center players: Chamberlain and Bill
Russell.

Traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1968, Chamberlain again proved that he was a competitive,
successful athlete. He helped the Lakers win the 1972 NBA championship, triumphing over the
New York Knicks in five straight games, and was named the NBA Finals MVP.”

Much memorabilia has survived from the career of Wilt Chamberlain. After checking auction results,                        past auction catalogs, and interviews with fellow collectors this lot represent the earliest piece of Chamberlain material known and is also the earliest known and documented artifact that commemorate an African American Championship basketball team. It is also the earliest Chamberlain autograph we have encountered.

This basketball also has major league baseball ties. The consignor’s grandfather was Richard
Broadus Culler, Sr., who was born January 15, 1915, and lived most of his life in High Point,
North Carolina. Richard Broadus was a professional baseball player for approximately eight (8) seasons; playing with the Philadelphia Athletics (1936), Chicago White Sox (1943), Boston Braves (1944-47), Chicago Cubs (1948) and New York Giants (1949). He primarily played shortstop while in the Major Leagues and retired from the game in 1949.

Then after completing his years as a professional baseball player, he returned to
High Point, North Carolina, to continue to raise his family and coach young athletes.

During 1953, Richard Broadus was coaching the defending YMCA National Champions,
the High Point YMCA Basketball Team (they had won the Title in 1952). As a result of that
victory, the 1953 YMCA National Tournament was played in his hometown, High Point,
North Carolina. Since Broadus coached the defending champions, and the games were in his
hometown, our consignor’s father was permitted to be a ball boy for the High Point YMCA
during the tournament.

Our consignor’s father, noted that the star of the 1953 YMCA National Tournament was a
sixteen-year old teenager by the name of Wilt Chamberlain, who was already about six (6)
feet eleven (11) inches tall at the time, and was the star of the home team’s main competition,
the Christian Street YMCA basketball team from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sure enough,
the tournament came down to Wilt Chamberlain’s team facing the guys coached by Richard
Broadus.

The Championship Game was played on March 28, 1953. In an article penned by Glenn Chavis
(copy enclosed), coaches and sports writers deemed this the greatest tournament ever. The
Christian Street Team won the Championship. Playing before a mixed sellout crowd of more
than 800 people, Chamberlain led Christian Street to an 85-79 victory over High Point.

Author Chavis also noted the social relevance which surrounded the game. In his column he
writes, “…there were human interest stories that have never been published. The one I like best
has to do with overcoming racial barriers… A fan named Oscar Ellington invited the High Point
and Philadelphia teams to dinner at his grill after the game. Oscar told the coaches that he didn’t
care what people might have to say about black and white players breaking bread together after
doing battle on the court.” There was definitely a racial overtone to the game.

In his autobiography, “WILT”, MacMillan Publishing Co, 1973, page 30, Chamberlain recalled
the game and stated, “When my teams, the Christian Street “Y”, won the championship,
three guys on the team were named to the All American Team, everyone else was already in
college- so you can imagine how proud we were!” Claude Gross was a teammate and fellow All
American. His printed signature also appears on the ball, thus supporting game used by the 1953
Championship team.

During the same time period, Chamberlain was a star at Overbrook high school. This ball is
eliminated as possibly being used in a regular high school game since YMCA teammate Claude
Gross played for the rival Benjamin Franklin high school team which beat Chamberlain’s club
that season. Chamberlain and Gross were only teammates for the 1953 YMCA tournament.

As previously stated our consigner’s father was a ball boy during the game, a benefit of being the
coach’s son. Immediately after the game, Richard Culler Jr, the ball boy, being impressed with
the giant Wilt Chamberlain and awed by the Christian Street YMCA’s victory, removed a game
ball and proceeded to have the visiting team autograph it. Several teammates signed the game
used basketball, including Claude Gross and Wilt Chamberlain. It may have been the very first
basketball Wilt was ever asked to autograph.

In a notarized Affidavit from the State of Carolina, County of Guilford, in the General Court
of Justice, District Court Division, Richard B. Culler Jr. deposes the following facts pertaining
directly to the original and authenticity of the basketball:

(Paraphrased, actual document published online)

“After the game ended, Wilt Chamberlain signed one of the balls used during the Championship
Game, along with a number of the other players from the Christian Street YMCA Team. Wilt
Chamberlain signed the ball in the presence of the consignor’s father (the ball boy), and the team
agreed to let him have the ball even though it was one of the balls they had brought with them
from Philadelphia.”

The offering of a game ball was a significant gesture that may or may not have been understood
by the YMCA staff and Wilt Chamberlain during the day of the gift. Lack of funding and fiscal
constraints plagued YMCA programs throughout the country. Equipment such as basketballs
were carefully inventoried, and expected to be used until a replacement was absolutely
necessary. The valued balls were not to be frittered away or given as souvenirs; the replacement
costs were just too great.

When Richard Culler Jr. (ballboy) retrieved the game ball from the private stock of the visiting
YMCA team, did the Christian Street staff simply ignore the consequences of a game ball that
would go missing from their inventory? Or, were the Philadelphia coaches aware of what had
just taken place, the significance of an All Black team beating an All White basketball team on
the road in North Carolina, a town that would not allow them to eat or sleep with the white team
from High Point? Either way, the exception was made and Richard Culler Jr. was allowed to
keep this historic game ball.

Although it was obvious that Wilt Chamberlain was a new breed of basketball player, no one
had any idea just how much of a force he would be in the history of basketball. At the time, our
consignor’s father was just delighted to have one of those basketballs balls signed by members of
the 1953 YMCA National Championship Team.

The Affidavit continues with:

“I can confirm that the ball I have kept all these years, and given to my son, is one of the balls
that were used during the Championship game in which I served as a ball boy. Wilt Chamberlain
used his own hand to “pen” the block signature that is easily discerned on the ball. The ball has
been in my family since it was given to me by Wilt Chamberlain and his team members back
in 1953. The Article from the Greensboro News & Record, authored by Glenn Chavis, of High

Point, North Carolina, is also accurate to the best of my knowledge; especially the part where my
dad’s team lost to Christian Street YMCA in the Championship Game on March 28, 1953.”

Regarding the physical ball, it was evaluated by the expert staff of MEARS Auctions. The ball
appears to be supplied by the Reach Company, and sports a faded, period logo. Although worn,
the Reach logo is still visible enough to compare to examples in the MEARS database and
confirm the manufacture and 1953 dating.

Although being phased out, this example is the 8 lace model. Available research shows these
balls were still available in sporting goods dealer catalogs, as evidenced by the 1954 Odell
Sporting Goods Co. catalog, D&M example, again supporting the 1953 dating.

 

Regarding the names that have been written on the basketball, 5 portions of names can clearly
be seen. Additional names may be present. Of the 5 names, WM (William) Kine, Sonny
Lloyd, Claude Gross, and Wilt Chamberlain are identifiable. Although no official roster was
published for the 1953 Christian Street team, Chamberlain, Lloyd and Gross are documented
as Philadelphia basketball legends. In an online article by Pro Basketball, dated 2/8/2002, when
discussing famous Philly playgrounds, an early league was mentioned. The article read,

“ The Baker League, the first summer pro-am league in the USA, began here in 1960 with
four teams. NBA players Chamberlain, Guy Rodgers and Scott, and Philadelphia legends Hal
Lear, Sonny Lloyd and Claude Gross were among the original participants.”

It is a safe assumption that Lloyd and Gross were members of the 1953 YMCA
Championship Team. The name of the defeated High Point basketball team roster is
included in the accompanying article by Glenn Chavis, and none of those names appear on
the examined basketball.

The ball was sent to JSA for authentication. Due to the fact the signature was printed and no
early exemplar exists, the team at JSA declined to issue a letter and deemed the Chamberlain
autograph “inconclusive”. This basketball will not be sold with a JSA letter, but will come with
the notarized Affidavit from the ball boy that obtained both the game ball and autograph from the
16-year old Chamberlain.

Judging by the scrawled nature of the printed signature, this evaluator feels is probable and most
likely an early signature attempt by Wilt Chamberlain.

In sum, here is the chain of ownership:

• Christian Street YMCA brings game balls on the road to the North Carolina Tournament.

• Richard Culler Jr., serving as ball boy, takes possession of the basketball immediately
following the end of the game.

• Richard Culler Jr. personally hands basketball to Wilt Chamberlain to autograph along
with several teammates. This fact is verified by a signed Affidavit.

• Richard Culler Jr. gifts the ball to his son, our consignor.

In summary, based on newspaper accounts, testimony by the original owner, additional research,
physical examination of the ball, and comparison of the basketball to period sporting goods
catalogs to verify dating of issuance for use, MEARS Auctions is confident in attributing this
as “1953 Wilt Chamberlain National Basketball All-Black YMCA Championship Team Game
Used Basketball with early autograph”.

LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions, Notarized Letter Richard Culler Jr., accompanying
newspaper articles and photos.

Mar 8, 2013
Category: Archived News

Over the past twelve months, many improvements to our exemplar library and museum exhibit have taken place.

2012 found our staff making much headway towards completion of the Phase 2 goal of finishing the MEARS Museum. Dave Grob noted some of the additions many of which are on display in the following article,

http://www.mearsonline.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,print,0&cntnt01articleid=21&cntnt01showtemplate=false&cntnt01returnid=97

In many ways, Dave Grob is writing the hand book on game worn jersey evaluations. In addition to continued research and improved evaluation methodology, Grob committed many personal resources to the growth of the MEARS on hand reference library. The on hand reference library is defined as having actual examples of period flannel and knit jerseys available which aid in the sole purpose for the evaluation of like jerseys.

During 2012, Grob methodically identified which teams, styles, and eras would enhance the overall exemplar file (MEARS Library) and acquired them for the sole purpose of adding to the research library. Highlights for 2012 include:

1985 White Sox Home (75th Anniversary Patch on hand example)

1984 Singelton road (Great for Cal Ripken Jr. evaluations)

1976 Bud Harrelson Road

 Paul Dean St. Louis Cardinals Satin Jersey

 1940s-50s Tigers jacket

 Los Angeles Dodgers jackets

St. Louis Cardinals Jacket

1971 Pittsburgh Pirates Home Jersey (Great for Roberto Clement evaluations)

Boston Braves Collection 

Misc. 1970s Knits

Cincinnati Reds jacket

1938 Pittsburgh Pirates Jacket

Colts 45’s jacket

 1976 Bud Harrelson New York Mets Road Jersey

1939 Brooklyn Dodgers Home Jersey

 1956 Cincinnati Reds Jersey

Currently there are 25 fully curated displays at the Museum. The majority is team themed and is decorated with authentic jerseys, stadium seats, jackets, signage, and other accruements carefully selected to stimulate the memories of the museum's viewers. Each visitor has a unique experience as they focus on a team, moment, or artifact that provokes vivid memories of their baseball experience. If you look closely, you will see the following additions for 2012:

Crosley Field Seat

Ebbets Field (Navy Blue)

Polo Grounds (Green)

Yankee Stadium (Light Blue)

Briggs Stadium Double Riser Mount Figural

Cleveland Municipal Stadium $403 (Maroon)

1960s assorted stadium nodders

Crosley Light

Indians Sign

Yankee Stadium Programs, Popcorn Holders, Print

White Sox Program

White Sox Cap

Seat Cushions

Comiskey Park Seat National

Stars and Stripes Patch National

1967 Tigers bat boy uniform

1990 Cubs All Star Jersey

Photos

Frank Robinson Sport Magazine

Lap Desk for Blacks in baseball display

 Colt 45 Nodder

Colt 45’s Program

WW II Baseball (Grenades and Billy Sullivan packet

WW II Baseball Paper (programs, scorecards, baseball magazine)

WWII headgear (AC, Army, Navy, MC)

USO Vending Display

WW II Tanker Helmet (Rawlings)  

Jacob Ruppet Barrel and pics

Washington-Chattanooga Documents

1950 Dayton Indians Uniform

Each item was carefully selected for display purposes only and complimented each theme of the show case. There was no expectation that these items would go up in value, but certainly added to the overall effect of the theme.

Still the collector, Dave Grob found the collecting bug again and added several nice examples to his personal collection. (If I twisted his arm, he might loan them to the museum)

1951 Boston Braves Home

1948 St. Louis Cardinals home

1949 Chicago Cubs home and road

1956 & 1964 Milwaukee Braves Flannels

1932 Muddy Ruel Detroit Tigers uniform

Colt 45s and 1947 Indians Road

 

For those interested parties, the recent displays created by Dave Grob include:

Tribute to the Chicago Cubs

Baseball Goes to War (Case 1, Case 2)

St. Louis Cardinals

New York Yankees featuring a Jacob Ruppert Brewery Beer Keg

Cincinnati Reds

For 2013, the MEARS Museum will be hosting several events that will be open to the public. Current bidders will receive invitations throughout the course of the year. Other interested parties can register on our homepage at www.mearsonlineauctions.com

Regards,

 

Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS

Feb 26, 2013
Category: Archived News

The Heart and Sole of Green Bay

Curly Lambeau was the heart and soul of the Green Bay Packers. Without him, there would be no team in Green Bay today. Other early small town franchises such as Akron and Rock Island lasted but only a very short time before fading into football obscurity. Lambeau, through relentless determination saved Green Bay from a similar fate.

Oct 27, 2012
Category: Archived News

Advanced jersey collectors recognize Ernie Banks as the third rarest member of the 500 HR club to obtain an authentic example. To our knowledge, only 4 examples have survived, and this is the finest of them all. To see this offerering:

http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=51214

Oct 26, 2012
Category: Archived News

The 1927 Yankees are universally recognized as the greatest team ever. Babe Ruth set baseball history while blasting 60 homeruns and Lou Gehrig belted 47 and established himself as an equal to the Babe.

In games Gehrig homered, the Yankees went 33-7. Advanced baseball collectors all search for items from this special season.

1920s Lou Gehrig game used bats are very rare, this is only the second non-side written example examined by MEARS. (3) Side written examples have been examined; setting the total population of 1920 signature model Gehrig’s including this one at 5.

For the MEARS October 2012 Auction, we are offering a very this lot with a “Buy It Now” feature, very similar to EBAY.

The first bid wins this lot for the opening price; the buyer’s premium does not apply.

Offered is a bat that dates to mid 1920s, and examination of the model and weight found this bat to be consistent with the 1926 & 1927 era.

Length 35”: Measuring 35”, the majority of Gehrig’s mid 1920’s personal bat records were noted as n/s, or not specified. The bats were recorded by weight. 35” is an acceptable length for Gehrig bat’s from the era.

Weight 35.3 ounces: Currently weighing 35.3 ounces, this bat is most consistent with the lower range of bats ordered by Gehrig during the era. Weight loss, average up to 3 ounces and as high as 5 ounces do occur. The lowest weights recorded for Gehrig bats during the mid 1920s was 36 ounces, and this bat is most consistent with those orders.

Model G69: This is the pro stock G69 model as preferred by Lou Gehrig and documented on his personal bat card.

Large Signature: Gehrig bats were first issued with a large “LOU GEHRIG” facsimile barrel stamping, later it was reduced to a much noticeably smaller version. This is the larger, earlier version.

Game use: Bat exhibits heavy game use with compression of the grain found both above and below the barrel stampings. The handle and reverse barrel have been restored

Final Grade: MEARS LOA, PSA/DNA 9.

To view this auction listing please click on the following link, http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=51238

Oct 5, 2012
Category: Archived News

In September, MEARS Auctions set a record price with the sale of a 1965 Hank Aaron Milwaukee Braves Game Worn Home Jersey, final price $104,765, the highest price obtained for this item in auction.

MEARS Auctions continues to set World Record Prices in both the game worn jersey and game used bat arena. Recent sales include:

1979 Rudy Meoli Phillies Saturday Nite Jersey $8,711
1926-30 Hack Wilson Louisville Slugger Game Used Bat (MEARS A9) $11,596
1957 Hank Aaron Louisville Slugger Game Used Bat (MEARS A7) $7,919
1996-2005 Hideo Nomo Game Worn Glove $9,446
1921-30 Babe Ruth Louisville Slugger Game Used Bat (MEARS A7) $30,768

We have an immediate need for quality game worn flannels / knits and high grade game used bats. Especially looking for members of the 500 homerun club, Yankees, rare styles, side written bats, and any Babe Ruth items.

Act now to have your item or collection featured in our October sale. Cash advances available, and consignors paid in 30 days or less with collected funds.

For a free appraisal, contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414)-828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Sep 21, 2012
Category: Archived News

Lot #24, September 21st – 29th, MEARS Online Auction,

http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=50646

“I was told I would never make it because I'm too short. Well, I'm still too short. It doesn't matter what your
height is, it's what's in your heart.” … Kirby Puckett

Of the superstars of the 1980-90’s, nobody had more heart than Kirby Puckett. When his shortened
career was over, Kirby Puckett had won two World Championships (1987 & 1991), 6 Gold Gloves, and
was elected by his adoring fans to 10 consecutive All Star games. Offered for the MEARS September
Auction is a quality bat that attempts to mirror the high caliber baseball achievements of the man.

For this lot is presented one of the finest Kirby Puckett game used bats extant. Iron clad documentation,
heavy game use, and personal traits are all included and aid in setting this example far apart from the
pack.

Used during the 1993 season, this P116 model was specifically requested by Puckett at its 34 ½” length
and 31 ounces. The P116 model can best described as having a smaller sized knob, thin handle, and a
cupped barrel. Not much unlike other contemporary models, but having small customizations preferred by
Puckett.

For advanced bat collectors that appreciate player specific signs of heavy game use and documented
player traits, this bat is one of the finest known examples of a Kirby Puckett gamer.

Heavy is the strongest word our grading criterion allows us to document game use, but this examples
pushes the boundaries. Starting at the knob and working up towards the cupped barrel end, the entire
length of the bat is touched by use. The knob edges shows signs of handling and small amount of pine tar
was transferred to the knob bottom.

Moving up, the presence of pine tar becomes notable. Starting directly at the knob and extending
upwards approximately 8” is a medium coat of pine tar. Then there is a 4” skip where the pine tar was
spared until it was heavily applied in a 7” area that extends to the left edge of the center brand. The
application, tar, skip, tar, was a documented use characteristic of Puckett game used bats and a practice
consistent with Kirby.

In the area of the center brand to the barrel end, over three dozen ball marks with deeply embedded
seam marks are present. The seam marks are remarkably pronounced, and only a bat generating the
utmost of power could generate such penetration to the bat’s wood. Finally, in the area directly
surrounding the Powerized logo is the ghost image of a bat doughnut ring. While Puckett was waiting his
for his turn at bat on the On Deck Circle, he added the batting doughnut to this specimen as he took
warm up practice swings. This game use is simply stunning.

It is my opinion this bat traveled on at least two road trips with Puckett and the Twins. Over 17 bat racks
marks are visible, with 3 colors present. Long streaks of black, blue, and red can clearly be seen,
indicating the sliding in and out of the bat rack.

Besides the game use and pine tar, the bat boasts two very unique personal player traits exclusive to
Kirby Puckett. His jersey uniform number, “34”, is placed on the knob in period, vintage green ink. The 3
has a 45 degree angle moving back towards the bottom of the three, and is partnered with an open 4.
The style of the numbering is consistent with numerous authentic Puckett game used bats examined by
MEARS. In the same green marker, “PUCK” is neatly written in the cupped end of the barrel end. Again,
this is another personal player trait associated with Kirby Puckett, and found only on the most authentic of
examples.

Accompanying is the original Letter of Authenticity printed on official Minnesota Twins stationary. Dated
October 1st, 1993, the letter states this “Kirby Puckett Game Bat” was purchased at the Twins Pro Shop.
The letter goes on to read, This “Puckett Game Used Bat” was actually used by the Minnesota Twins
during the “1993” season. Signed by Mike Stiles, Pro Shop Manager.

Our examination confirms that the game use, bat model, and Puckett player traits are all consistent with a
bat used by Kirby Puckett during the 1993 season.

Final Grade (MEARS A10): 5 base points were awarded for the bat matching Puckett’s personal ordering
records, 3 points were assigned for heavy game use, 2 points were assigned for Twins team letter /
documented player traits.

If we could have graded this bat a MEARS A12, we would have. With verifiable team pro shop
documentation, heavy game use, and documented player traits, this is one of the finest Kirby Puckett
game used bats known.

Kirby Puckett game worn jerseys wanted

Kirby Puckett game used bats wanted

Kirby Puckett memorabilia wanted

Contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828 9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Sep 21, 2012
Category: Archived News

Lot #35, September 21st – 29th, MEARS Online Auction,

http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=50689

The Braves provided the city of Milwaukee and all of Wisconsin many fond baseball moments. From the
team’s arrival in 1953 which drew 3,000,000+ fans, the 1955 All Star Game, and the 1957 World Series
Championship, the state was blessed with quality baseball. But with an aging roster and sagging
attendance, almost in the dark of night the team decided to move to Atlanta.

All good things come to an end.

This 1965 Milwaukee Braves home jersey is representative of Hank Aaron’s final season as a Milwaukee
Braves, and the franchise demise. It is also a permanent representation of the finest moments in
Milwaukee Baseball history.

When Aaron returned from the player’s tunnel back into the lock room, it was the last time Milwaukee fans
would ever see the Braves play again.

Fortunately, Aaron’s career did not end. He moved onto Atlanta and soon passed Babe Ruth to become
the games all time homerun king, but to local fans, Hank will always be a Milwaukee Braves.

Presented in this lot is a perfect MEARS A10 example of a 1965 Hank Aaron Milwaukee Braves Home
Game Worn Jersey, worn during his final season in Milwaukee.

Style: During the 1963 season, the team dropped the tomahawk and opted for a cleaner front design.
This style was continued through the team’s final 1965 season. It represented the teams third and final
design change, which started with the Boston Braves style Indian with tomahawk, followed by laughing
Braves Indians with tomahawk, and this final design.

As a 7 button down front (all original), the Braves laughing Indian patch is found on the left sleeve.
Examination indicates the patch is original and unaltered. “BRAVES” is sewn with double satin tackle twill
on the front, and is all original. Matching uniform numbers “44” appear on both the front and reverse, and
are all original with no restoration. Examination was completed with a magnified light source and use of a
light table. A black light was used to look for the introduction of foreign materials, none were found. A
navy braided soutache completes the style.

Manufactured by Wilson, the style of tag and supplier was verified as being correct for 1965 Milwaukee
Braves. The Wilson tag, red line, three lines of cleaning instructions, is correct for the era (1958-66,
Grob). Additional examples of 1965 Wilson Braves jerseys include:

1965 Gene Oliver (Home)

1965 Rico Carty (Home)

1965 Felipe Alou (Home)

Therefore, the style of tag is verified as being correct, along with Wilson being verified as a correct
manufactured when compared to other known examples that have entered the population.

Size 40

Comparison to other examples of Hank Aaron jerseys that have entered the population were used for
comparison:

1966 MacGregor Road size 40

1972 Sand Knit Road size 40

1954 Wilson Road Size 40

These examples support the size 40 as correct for Aaron during various spans of his playing career.

The player, year, and set identifier are found in the jersey collar. Sewn on a swatch that does not extend
through the fold of the neck is “Aaron H (player), 65 (year) Set 1”.

This identification compares favorably to the Gene Oliver example examined by MEARS, which appears
as:

“Oliver, 65, Set 1”.

Game Wear: Jersey exhibits optimal game wear, with no signs of abuse. Wear is evenly distributed
throughout the inner and outer body shell, causing consistent and visible wear to the fabric. The team
name “BRAVES” and the front and reverse numerals show heavy puckering, yet all anchor stitching
remains intact. The soutache shows lighting fraying to the outer fabric, but remains complete with no
breaks. There are no tears, repairs, or noticeable stains.

Pants: A period pair of Wilson supplied game worn Milwaukee Braves pants accompany this lot. The
1958-66 era Wilson tag is found in the inner waist. Written in black marker is, “16, Guinn”. The pants are
in very good condition, with one belt loop broken. The zipper is in working order.

Autograph: The jersey is signed in large black marker, Hank Aaron. A certificate from the actual signing is
included, along with a letter from JSA.

Final Grade (MEARS A10): Based on all available categories used for evaluation, manufacturer, style,
size, numbering, and use, the jersey is awarded 10 base points. Zero deductions were found. LOA Troy
R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions (X0437)

Hank Aaron game worn jerseys wanted

Hank Aaron game used bats wanted

Hank Aaron memorabilia wanted

Contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828 9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Sep 21, 2012
Category: Archived News

Lot #4, September 21st – 29th, MEARS Online Auction,

http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=50642

On August 12, 1957, Sports Illustrated published the following headlines and article,

“Murder With A Blunt Instrument”

The tag line of the article read, “The culprit is Hank Aaron, chief pennant hope of the Milwaukee Braves,
who has been called the killer of all pitchers. At 23, 'Mr. Wrists' is the league's best right-handed hitter
since Hornsby.” Once the season was complete, Hank Aaron used this bat to lead the Milwaukee Braves
to the city's first World Championship.

For this lot, one lucky bidder can win the blunt instrument referenced in the article. Recently discovered
in Milwaukee, WI, this bat has remained in a long time collection where its historic significance was
unknown until the recent MEARS evaluation. To date, this is the only 1957 (exclusive) Hank Aaron bat
examined by MEARS.

Examination reveals this bat (A93 model) was manufactured during the 1950-60 time span and dated to
1957 only via H&B records. The bat currently measures 35” in length and weighs 34 ounces. Review of
Hank Aaron’s personal H&B Louisville Slugger bat records recorded the following:

A93 Model

5-20-57 (one order only, A93 model, 35”, 34 ounce, 4 ash bats)

This is the only order recorded in Hank Aaron’s personal bat records matching these specifications and is
dated to the 1957 season ONLY.

With the bat being documented as matching 1957 factory records, MEARS examined the game use traits.
Much like his no bells and whistles style of play, Hank Aaron’s game used 1950s bats were examples
of the bare essentials. During the mid 1950s, examined Hank Aaron game used bats were sans uniform
numbers, pine tar, or tape. Hank liked it simple and this bat mirrored those personal tastes.

Game use is determined as heavy. In the area above the barrel facsimile signature are dozens of light
ball marks and deep baseball seam impressions that have penetrated the wood grain. Scattered ball and
seam marks are also found below the bat barrel. The heavy use is consistent with an extended period of
game use (many games and series) and was undoubtedly used to achieve the 198 hits, 132 RBI’s, and
44 HR’s that contributed to Hank Aaron’s 1957 MVP season. Two sets of distinct bat racks marks are
present, blue (County Stadium) and red. This supports the extended use of the bat and the fact it traveled
on at least one road series. Remnants of removed handle tape are present which was most likely not
applied by Aaron.

Final Grade (MEARS A7.5). Base grade of 5 points were awarded for bat matching factory records,
3 points for heavy game use, plus ½ point for bat matching pinpoint factory record, minus 1 point for
removed handle tape and small chip under Hank Aaron’s name on barrel.

Hank Aaron and his accomplishments during the 1957 will never be forgotten, and the fans of Milwaukee
will always be grateful that “The Hammer” brought the only Championship to this city. This lot represents
a direct link to that great 1957 season. (X0383) LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

Hank Aaron game worn jerseys wanted

Hank Aaron game used bats wanted

Hank Aaron memorabilia wanted

Contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828 9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Sep 21, 2012
Category: Archived News

Lot #9, September 21st – 29th, MEARS Online Auction,

http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=50643

Offered is a Frank Robinson professional model H&B Louisville Slugger Bicentennial game used bat from
his 1976 season with the Cleveland Indians. Model number R182 is stamped on the signature barrel
while Robinson's uniform number 20 is written in faded black marker on the knob. Frank has also signed
the barrel in blue marker.

This ash bat currently weighs 34 ounces, measures 35" in length and matches known player factory
records with a regular knob and round barrel. It exhibits signs of medium use with ball marks, deeply
embedded stitch marks and bat rack marks. Handle remains uncracked.

Bat receives 5 points for matching known player records, 2.5 points for use and 1 point for a documented
uniform number resulting in a final grade of MEARS A8.5.

Frank Robinson game worn jerseys wanted

Frank Robinson game used bats wanted

Frank Robinson memorabilia wanted

Contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828 9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Sep 20, 2012
Category: Archived News

Starting at the National Convention in August, MEARS Auctions has been on the road picking up quality
consignments. The first collections, the East Coast Mets Collection and the Boston NBA Collection have
successfully been returned back to the MEARS Auction Center where we have began processing for the
September and October MEARS Auctions.

Both collections are fresh to the hobby, with the Boston NBA Collection being personally assembled via
gifts to our consignor. Not one item was purchased via auction, eBay, etc. The collection represented
an accumulation of personal mementos that were given as tokens of friendship, and our consignor had
some pretty special friends.

Below is an example of several lots that will appears in the September 21st – 29th, 2012 MEARS Auction.

1979-80 Dave Cowens Boston Celtics Pre Season Game Worn Road Jersey “Final Season as a Celtic” –
MEARS A10 (Ed Borash Collection)

With his career winding down, Dave Cowens wore this jersey during his final training camp with the
Boston Celtics.

During the era, Sand Knit was the official supplier of the Boston Celtics regular season game worn
jerseys. Manufactured by Wilson (size 46, 3” X Length), this mesh body shell jersey bears the 1979-
86 version of the Wilson tag and supports the dating. Other Wilson physical characteristics which
differentiate this from Sand Knit products include the round tail (straight tail for Sand Knit) and the
different style of player’s name font and numbering.

Jersey shows heavy game wear, with puckering to the numerals, lettering, and tagging

Jersey originated from the personal collection of Ed Borash, a Boston area printer that supplied the
team. Mr. Borash maintained several long term relationships with many Celtics and NBA players, and
this item was gifted to him by the Boston Celtics. Final Grade MEARS A10, LOA Troy R. Kinunen /MEARS

1978-79 Jo Jo White Boston Celtics Pre Season Game Worn Autographed Road Jersey “Final Season as
a Celtic” – MEARS A10/JSA (Ed Borash Collection)

A gold medal winner on the 1968 USA Olympic Basketball team, 1st round pick in the 1969 draft, and
a member of two World Championship Boston Celtics basketball team, Jo Jo White was a winner. This
jersey was worn by White during his final training camp with the Boston Celtics. He was traded to
Golden State Warriors during the 1979 season.

1980-81 Robert Parrish 1st Ever Boston Celtics Pre Season Game Worn Autographed Road Jersey –
MEARS A10/JSA (Ed Borash Collection)

When asked about being traded from Golden State to the Celtics, Parrish replied it was like going from
the outhouse to the penthouse. With Bird and McHale, his addition to the team had an immediate
impact and the Celtics won the 1981 NBA Championship title. When his career was complete, Parrish

won 4 NBA Championships, voted to 9 All Star teams, and was voted as one of the 50 greatest players of
all time.

1981 John Bagley Boston Celtics Pre Season Game Worn Autographed Road Jersey – MEARS A10/JSA
(Ed Borash Collection)

Invited to training camp but left on October 4th, 1981 to finish his college career. Played his NBA rookie
season with the Cavaliers in 1982, and officially joined the Celtics in 1989 and remained with the team
through 1993.

1979 Pete Maravich (MARIVICH, sp) Final Pre Season Boston Celtics Pre Season Game Worn Road
Jersey – MEARS A10 (Ed Borash Collection)

Dazzling for certain, Pete Maravich never accomplished the goals that he and his father Press set out to
obtain. Injuries and alcohol slowed the Pistol down, but when the smoke cleared, he was still one of the
best ever. Pete Maravich played his final season with rookie Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics and wore
this jersey during this final Pre Season. The equipment manager obviously wasn’t a fan of Maravich or a
student of the game, as the jersey was issued with a spelling error, “MARIVICH”.

Many more game worn items and special autographed items will be featured in our September and
October auctions.

Seeking consignments for our October auction. Contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email
troy@mearsonline.com

Sep 14, 2012
Category: Archived News

MEARS Auctions has recently returned from an East Coast consignment tour with a large collection of vintage New York Mets game worn jerseys. The collection spans from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000’s. During the next several months, starting in September, we will be featuring flannels, knits, and jackets from this collection. All of the major stars are represented including Strawberry, Gooden, Dykstra, Berra, Carter, Hernandez and many more.

Auction dates are September 21st – 29th, 2012. Also, stay tuned for our announcement of the NBA collection we have obtained. Consignments are wanted for our October auction. Deadline is October 15th, 2012. If you have a quality item that you are interested in consigning for our October sale, please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414)-828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com.

Sep 5, 2012
Category: Archived News

After having been acquired from the Minnesota Twins in June of 1976, Danny Thompson only appeared
in 64 games for the Texas Rangers that season. By December 10th of that same year, Thompson had
succumbed to leukemia. When the Rangers took the field in 1977, they honored their recently departed
infielder by departing from convention by wearing both a mourning armband and Thompson’s #4
on their left sleeves. While finding these additions to a major league uniform was not new, their
combination was.

Prior to 1972, teams would typically wear a black armband on their left sleeve in tribute to a deceased
player or someone else who had a close affiliation with the team. In 1973, the Pittsburgh Pirates were
the first club to feature a player’s number as part of their tribute to Roberto Clemente. Two years later,
the Houston Astros would follow suit, displaying the circular “40” patch in honor of pitcher Don Wilson.

In 1976, The New York Mets paid tribute to both their departed first owner (Mrs. Joan Payson) as
well as their first manager (Casey Stengel) via their uniforms featuring the traditional armband on the
left sleeve. Additionally, the center of the 1976 Mets Yearbook featured a wonderful two page photo
essay titled “Casey and Lady-For Whom the Bells Tolled.” Simple and classic elegance befitting both
individuals.

However, for the first time in major league history, the 1977 Rangers opted to combine these two facets
of player number and armband. What I think is even more interesting is that all of this was actually
combined as the construction was in fact done with a single section of fabric. The appearance of this
design was certainly a rarity in 1977. Fast forward a few decades and surviving examples with the
original #4/armband combination are extremely rare. While I imagine there might be a few more of
these uniforms out there, I have only seen a couple of them actually offered in the hobby over the past
decade. I also know that the #4/armbands were subsequently removed for extended use on some level
as I have seen those jerseys appear with far greater frequency than those with this accoutrement intact.

The removal of these various player patches or armbands is not uncommon. Rather just the opposite is
true, so finding them original to garments presents a real challenge to team, style or theme collectors
(yes, I know of folks whose collections’ center on jerseys with armbands and similar patches).

While I by no means have a complete or extensive collection of these uniforms, my on-hand knit
reference library does include a few of them from the 1970s & 1980s:

1973 Pittsburgh Pirates (Clemente “21” patch)

1975 Houston Astros (Don Wilson “40 patch)

1976 New York Mets (Payson/Stengel Armband)

1977 Texas Rangers (Danny Thompson #4/Armband)

1984 San Diego Padres (RAK lettering for Owner Ray A. Kroc)

1986 Milwaukee Brewers (“Sully” patch for long time clubhouse man Robert Sullivan)

1988 Baltimore Orioles (EBW lettering for owner Edward Bennett Williams)

1988 Milwaukee Brewers (“HK” patch for former manager Harvey Kuenn)

For next year’s National in Chicago, we are toying with the idea of featuring a different display of jerseys
for each day of the event. Should we go this route, I think a day dedicated to shirts like these as well as
patches might make for some interesting show and tell. Would love to hear your thoughts on this…

As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.

Dave Grob

For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com.

Aug 29, 2012
Category: Archived News

For advanced game used bat collectors or Boston Red Sox historians, offered is the finest, and only Harry Hooper game used bat known. There is simply not a better known example.

Hooper was born in Bell Station, CA. A graduate in engineering at Saint Mary's College of California, he broke into the majors with the Red Sox in 1909. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox in the 1921 season and finished his career in 1925.

Hooper was known as a top-caliber defensive right fielder and a solid leadoff hitter. Between 1910 and 1915, he teamed with Tris Speaker (CF) and Duffy Lewis (LF) to form one of the finest outfield trios in baseball history.

Over his career, Hooper scored 100 runs or higher three times; batted .300 or higher five times, and stole 20 or more bases nine times. He also finished in the top ten list in triples seven times and in home runs three times.

Hooper is the only person to be a part of four Red Sox World Series championships: in 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918. On October 13, 1915, he became the second player to hit two home runs in a single World Series game. Hooper was also the captain of the Red Sox in 1919.

He holds the Red Sox franchise records for most triples (130) and stolen bases (300).

Examination of the bat reveals its production date as 1911-15, as evidenced by the second version of the Louisville Slugger center brand which reads, “JF Hillerich & Son Co”. The barrel was originally blank, as was custom during the earliest days of bat history. Not until 1918 did Babe Ruth make the practice of adding signature to the barrel popular.

In order to identify this bat, “HOOPER” was factory applied 2” right of the center brand. Additionally, “HOOPER” was stamped into the knob. Both served as the earliest forms of player bat identification.

As is the case with most pre 1920 player bat records, little information survived at the Louisville Slugger plant, but this bat is documented via surviving examples of Harry Hooper’s file cards, which noted the following information:

“File Card: His Old Harry Hooper, H4, 35”, Caliper only.

1920 – His Model / n/s (length not specified) and 36/37 ounces.

1923 – His Old Hooper Model

1925 – His Old Hooper, 38-39 oz.

Therefore, the length of the bat (35”) and weight (36.5 ounces) falls within an acceptable range of surviving Hooper records. Also, the actual notation of the side writing, “OLD HARRY HOOPER” is a direct reference to one of the references on Hooper’s personal bat card which was archived as part of the Louisville Slugger factory.

This bat boasts a double whammy in terms of authenticity. Besides being side written, this bat was also vault marked.”H41” is factory stamped and painted white on both ends of the bat. This practice is consistent with all documented H&B vault marked bats. The practice of vault marking a bat was to place the model number on the barrel’s end and paint it white. During Louisville Slugger’s earliest days, this served as the companies’ database for which future bats were produced.

Bat exhibits heavy game use with a small 2” handle crack. The bat’s finish remains original and untouched, as it last left the H&B factory. Bat receives 5 points for matching known player factory records, 3 points for use and 2 points for the H&B letter resulting in a final grade of MEARS A10.

Until 2004 when this bat sold in auction, it remained housed in the Louisville Slugger vault room with hundreds of other vault marked examples. It had been stored in the exact same location of over 80+ years. To document the sale, a “LOUISVILLE SLUGGER” hologram appears on the handle of the bat. Sold in 2004 for $21,500 (sale price plus buyers premium).

Simply the finest Harry Hooper bat extant.

View this item in our August auction at the following link: http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=50038 


 

Aug 29, 2012
Category: Archived News

Centerbrand Dating: 1917-21 circa factory center brand stamping. Actual dating 1917-19 per the remnants of side writing.

Length 34 ½: According to H&B factory records, 34 ½ was the index (preferred) length of Ty Cobb bats.

Weight (currently) 35.75 ounces: Although available factory records do not lists the weights of Cobb’s bats for the years of 1917-22, his 1920s H&B factory records verify his bats weighing 36-42 ounces, therefore this bat was manufactured within an acceptable weight range for Ty Cobb professional model game used bats.

Model C28: This was the preferred model bat ordered by Ty Cobb and factory recorded. Bat is described in Cobb’s personal bat records as “His model a.k.a. His original model – small barrel, large handle, half round end” (Model C28).

Side Writing: This bat was returned to the H&B factory during the 1917-19 era, as evidenced by the visible Ty Cobb 191_ grease pencil dating remains. Examination of the side writing reveals its formation is consistent with the hand writing of Louisville Slugger lathe hand, Henry Morrow.

Barrel Stampings: Bat was manufactured by H&B sans facsimile barrel stampings. It is my expert opinion this bat was manufactured between 1916-17. Reason being it was the standard practice of the day for professional model game used bats to be supplied to the major leaguers’ without name on barrel. The practice of stamping the player’s name on the barrel did not begin to appear until 1918 with any regularity.

Handle: The handle is untapped with an eight inch handle crack with no separation of the grain. When examining photographic evidence of Ty Cobb bats from the year 1917-1919, it was documented for him to be seen using bats without handle tape.

Provenance: As supported by the visible side writing, this bat originated directly from the vaults of Louisville Slugger. The bat exhibits heavy game use. Use can be seen starting at the knob and is applied consistently to the barrel end. There is deadwood, caused from heavy and repeated contact with the ball, on both the front and back barrel. Remnants of the shipping label are found on the front left side of the barrel. This would have been the label applied to the bat as it was sent from the ballpark back to the H&B factory for additional models to be produced.

Importance of the bat: Due to the fact this bat was returned to Ty Cobb (evidenced by the mailing label), side written (documented by H&B records) and the amount of game use, this bat was favored by Cobb. Judging by the amount of heavy use, the bat was used by Ty Cobb over the course of two or three seasons. It is documented that Cobb would keep his favorite bats for several seasons when possible.

Grade: Bat was awarded 5 points for meeting factory criteria of correct Cobb model, length, and weight. 3 points are awarded as the bat exhibits optimal game use. 2 points were awarded for provenance in the form of factory side writing. ½ point was subtracted for the deadwood on reverse of barrel that has a very small piece missing (almost unnoticeable) and the light handle crack (combined deduction).

Auction Sale notes: (March 2008 Sale, Hunts) – Original catalog description: Significant Ty Cobb professional model bat with Hillerich & Bradsby factory side writing, c. 1917-21.

Louisville Slugger 125 dash dot dash model bat measures 34 ½” long and weighs 36 ounces. The bat shows strong use including ball marks, grain swelling, and a repaired handle crack. The side of the barrel has factory side writing in grease pencil that reads, “Ty Cobb, 191?. Although faded, the date appears to be either 1917, 18, or 19. The first three numerals visible in the side writing are clearly “191_”. In addition, the barrel retains remnants of a paper factory shipping label, which has left a shadowed area from the lack of exposure to light as seen on the remainder of the bat. To date, there are less than one half dozen documented Ty Cobb professional model game bats with Hillerich & Bradsby Co. Factory side writing, one which still resides in the permanent collection of Louisville Slugger.

LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

View this item in our August auction at the following link: http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=50035

Aug 29, 2012
Category: Archived News

Exceptionally rare Eddie Collins originally dating to the 1911-16 era. This early Collins bat would have been made during the 1911-16 era, and could have been used by Collins during any or all of those seasons. With the side written notation of “Chicago White Sox”, it was possibly used during the 1915-16 seasons, Collins first with the pale hose.

Eddie Collins signed his first endorsement contract with Louisville Slugger on 4/16/10. This model bat, with the 1911-16 center brand, would have been one of the first professional model signature bats supplied to Collins.

Game use is heavily concentrated above the barrel brand of this 34.5", 35 ounce stick. In the area directly above the facsimile signature you can see signs of deeply embedded stitch marks, ball marks, and scattered cleat marks. The handle is scored and covered in an early resin mix, similar to modern day pine tar.

The center brand label is distinct and deeply defined, while the Collins' facsimile signature stamping at the end of the barrel is lightly worn but is still very clear and legible. This bat originated directly from the H&B vaults and is clearly side written "Edw T. Collins - Chicago White Sox" on the back of the barrel in grease pencil. Remnants of the shipping label used to return the bat to the manufacturer are still visible on the front of the barrel. Handle is cracked (10”), which prompted Collins to return the bat to H&B for more models to be made. This is the earliest known Eddie Collins bat to enter the market.

Bat receives 5 points for matching known player factory records, 3 points for use, 2 points for side writing and loses 1 point for a light barrel stamping and .5 points for the handle crack resulting in a final grade of MEARS A8.5

As the earliest rookie era Collins bat known, this lot presents an extremely rare example for bat collectors to obtain the toughest of all Collins bats. Sold during 2005 for $37,700.

LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions (V0218)

View this item in our August auction at the following link: http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=50037

Aug 28, 2012
Category: Archived News

The greatest homerun hitter’s career wound down at Milwaukee County Stadium at the conclusion of the 1976 season.  It was fitting, as 22 years earlier; a young 19 year old Henry Aaron began his career in this very stadium while playing for the Milwaukee Braves.

When it was all over, Hank Aaron owned many batting titles. During 1976, this exact bat would have been available for Aaron to hit any of the following:

6,856 Total Base Hits

2,297 RBI’s

1,477 Extra Base Hits

755 HR’s

3,771 Total hits (3rd All Time)

Hank Aaron’s personal bat records verify this exact Louisville Slugger Bicentennial model bat was sent to him during the 1976 season. Although none of these achieves are documented via accompanying provenance (the stories were lost to time), it probable this bat aided in achieving those final milestones.

Measuring 35” and weighing 32 ounces, this bat perfectly matches Aaron 1976 H&B per bat records.

Game used is measured as medium+, not quite enough to be considered heavy, but close. Over 14 distinct ball marks are found above the barrel. 6 ball marks are found below. On the end of the barrel is blue and red bat rack marks, meaning the stick traveled with Henry to at least on city on the road. As was the custom for Aaron during parts of 1976, 14” of medium pine tar is found on the middle of the handle.

I have personally examined dozens of Hank Aaron game used bats that have originated in Milwaukee. When examining the knob, the open “44” is consistent with most Aaron bats that I have examined which bore a uniform number.

Finally, as a classy gesture, Aaron signed the bat for the original recipient simply, “Best Wishes, Hank Aaron”. The signature appears in black marker and appears to have been signed circa 1976.

Final Grade (MEARS A9). Base grade of 5 points were assigned for bat matching factory records, 2 points were assigned for medium game use, 2 points were assigned for player traits (pine tar, pinpoint factory record, documented 44 on knob).

With its perfect “Henry Aaron” barrel signature, proper application of handle pine tar, documented open “44” ‘s on the knob, and vintage autograph, a finer example does not exist. Presented is a rare chance to obtain a bat used in the record setting final season of Hank Aaron’s illustrious career.

LOA Troy R. Kinunen /  MEARS Auctions

View this item in our August auction at the following link: http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=50303

Aug 28, 2012
Category: Archived News

Offered for consideration is what experts consider to be the finest Hack Wilson bat ever offered.  Described at www.deadballera.com, “ He was all muscle, a barrel-chested powerhouse with blacksmith arms, and bulging thighs and calves on short legs that tapered to tiny feet. He had an 18" collar and size #6 shoe. Hack Wilson was a physical oddity in baseball and a physical phenomenon. Sporting 195 pounds on a 5'6" frame he was the prototype for a slugger in the new age of the lively ball.....a man who swung first and asked questions later!”

Just as he had an atypical physique, Hack Wilson also swung an odd shaped bat. The Hack Wilson Louisville Slugger model bat was certainly unique. Wilson’s club of choice is best described as having an ultra thin handle with a very small, yet defined knob. Although contemporary super star Roger Hornsby designed a bat with a very small knob, this example should not be confused with his flared variation. This model is unique to Hack Wilson. H&B designated his bat as the W64 model.

Measuring 35” and currently weighing 35 ounces, this bat is consistent with Hack Wilson’s personal H&B shipping records as being ordered throughout the 1926-30 era. His records list his bats to be ordered at weights of 36-38 ounces during the era. The customization of Wilson’s bat is documented via his factory records. On his 1/30/26 person bat card reference, it is notated, “His 1/30/26 shave a little near knob”, which are instructions to create the thin Wilson handle.

With the bat being consistent with orders from 1926-30, the following achievements should be noted:

1926

Hack Wilson joined the Chicago Cubs during the 1926 season. It was his best season to date, highlighted by the game on May 24th, 1926 when Hack hit a drive to centerfield which smashed off the scoreboard. Up to that point, it was the longest shot ever hit at Wrigley Field, and the Cubs came from behind to win the game. While celebrating after the game, Wilson was caught at one of Al Capone’s speakeasy joints trying to sneak out the back window during a policy raid. When the season was over, Wilson led the league with 21 homeruns.

1927-28

Although the team struggled, Wilson continued to have monster years and led the league both season with homeruns totals of 30 and 31.

1929

With future Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby joining the team, the Cubs won the National League Pennant and played the Philadelphia Athletics during the World Series. Wilson was very instrumental in the Cubs success as he hit .345 with 39 homeruns.

1930 “The Peak”

Considered by many baseball historians as the greatest single performance ever in baseball history, Hack Wilson continued to thrive. Aided by a lively ball wound with special Australian wool, Wilson belted a then National League record 56 Homeruns and an all time record of 190 RBI’s – A record which still stands today.

With the bat’s label period, length, and weight, this model would have been available for Hack Wilson to use throughout the 1926-30 time span which would have included all 4 of his homeruns title season, the 1929 World Series, and his finest season ever, 1930, when he set the All Time record of 190 RBI’s. Hack Wilson was also photographically documented as using a bat with handle tape during the same relative time span.

This pristine example exhibits heavy game use, evenly distributed from the small Wilson style knob extending towards the barrel. End. The woods complete surface shows signs of grain compression, created from the swinging, handling, storage, and contact of bat to ball.

Known as a free swinger, the heavy use is found on all surfaces of the barrel, with heavy concentration above the barrel signature. In that area directly above the facsimile signature are dozens of ball marks, seam marks, and compression of the grain.

Directly below the barrel stampings are numerous deep stitch marks, and light clusters of ball marks. Hack Wilson left his final marks by adding over 24 cleat marks on various surfaces of the bat.

Aesthetically, a better Hack Wilson model bat does not exist. “Lewis “Hack” Wilson” is perfectly stamped on the barrel end where the amber color ash serves a perfect frame for his bat’s identification mark.

Documented Player Trait – Tightly Twisted Taped Handle

In addition to documented personal factory bat ordering records, this offered bat contains an 8” area of white tape tightly wrapped in 23 twists. Imagery analysis confirms that Hack Wilson did indeed tape his bats in a very similar manner in the years of 1926-30 while playing for the Chicago Cubs. The attached images are close-ups which document the practice.

Provenance

Our consignor received this bat from his grandmother, who was a lifelong Chicago resident who lived in the same house dating back to the 1920s. Although the provenance trail ends there, we can guarantee this bat has been in Chicago since the 1920s.

Final Grade (MEARS A9). A base grade of 5 points was assigned for bat matching Hack Wilson’s personal bat records. 3 points were assigned for bat having heavy game use. 2 points were assigned for player attributes, including documented Hack Wilson tape pattern. Minus 1 point was assigned for light deadwood on reverse (Very, very small amount of grain loss was the need for the deduction) and discoloration near the handle.

Based on its Chicago origin, inclusion in H&B factory records, heavy game use, and documented Hack Wilson handle tape pattern, this bat can certainly be dated to the 1926-30 era.  

LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

View this item in our August auction at the following link: http://www.mearsonlineauctions.com/lotdetail.aspx?lotid=50282

Aug 24, 2012
Category: Archived News

In hiding for nearly 70 years, MEARS Auctions is proud to present an item that is very special to the fans
of St. Louis. With over 600+ lots, the current MEARS Auction, www.mearsonlineauctions.com runs from
August 24th-September 1st, 2012. Bidding begins at 8:00 CST.

We are currently accepting consignments for our September Auction. Please contract Troy R. Kinunen
at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com . Aggressively seeking St. Louis Browns game used
bats, game worn jerseys, autographs and memorabilia.

Presented per the auction description:

1944 (October 4th, 1944) George McQuinn St. Louis Browns H&B Louisville Slugger Game Used World
Series Bat – Actual bat used to hit the First World Series Home Run for the Browns! (MEARS A10)

History was made in St. Louis on October 4th, 1944, when All Star 1st baseman George McQuinn
homered off St. Louis Cardinals Mort Cooper in the 4th inning. With 1 on, and 2 out, George McQuinn
used this bat to hit the very first World Series homerun in team history, and leading his Browns to the
franchise’s first ever World Series victory.

Born in Arlington, VA, the first baseman McQuinn was drafted by the New York Yankees (playing behind
Gehrig) before joining the St. Louis Browns in 1937. During his sophomore season, McQuinn put
together a 34-game hitting streak in 1938, finishing at .324. He remained a St. Louis regular for eight
years, leading AL first basemen in fielding three times and in assists twice.

It was with this very bat the he hit the 1944 World Series homerun. Manufactured by Hillerich &
Bradsby, this bat measures 34” and currently weighs 32 ounces. The label period is 1938-44 circa, which
is exact for a bat that was available to be used during the 1944 World Series.

Bat shows signs of visible, medium game use, which is appropriate for a 6 game series. During the 1944
World Series, George McQuinn batted .438, going 7-16, with 5 RBI’s and one homerun. 2 red (St. Louis
Cardinals bat rack colors) are found on the upper barrel. Over 10 distinct ball marks are found above the
barrel facsimile signature stampings, with one most likely being residue from the homerun swing.
Scoring is found on the handle near the knob.

The provenance comes in the form of a vintage inscription found on the bat's barrel below the facsimile
signature. In period steel tip fountain pen appears the notation,

“This Bat hit home run in first game of World Series, Oct 4 1944 – Score Browns 2, Cardinals 0, By
George McQuinn. Fred Hofman Coach, St. Louis Browns”.

Coach Hofman immediately recognized the historic nature of this bat and kept it as a memento of the

historic feat. The notation is vintage, and appears to be in Coach Hofman’s own hand.

The expert bat has been carefully examined for manufacturing characteristics, player use traits, and
provenance. With the bat matching George McQuinn’s personal records, and signs of distinct game use
appropriate for World Series game use, we then examined the vintage notation. It is our professional
opinion that the bat’s notation is vintage and was applied shortly after the 1944 season. With the
authentication complete, MEARS graded the bat as follows:

5 base points were assigned for bat matching player factory records, 3 points were assigned for heavy
game use, 2 points for World Series / vintage provenance inscription. Final Grade: MEARS A10.

This bat represents the biggest moment in the St. Louis Brown’s 52 year team history. A rare
opportunity to own a true baseball rarity. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

Aug 22, 2012
Category: Archived News

 

The first half of 2012 has been extremely busy and productive from a uniform evaluation standpoint.
All of this has enabled me to continue to purchase exemplar uniforms and references to support the
work I do in the manner that I feel it deserves to be done. When a collector is basing a purchase
decision on my work, they deserve an opinion based on something substantial and objective. When
given the choice, I think we are all more comfortable with work supported by on-hand exemplars and
contemporary references as opposed to “I saw one once” and “I looked it up on line” as the standard for
research. For the past two years, I have spent a significant amount of money buying various styles of
knit uniforms based on the increased demand that I look at jerseys from the 1970s through the 1990s.

While I won’t pretend to own one of everything, from every team, from every year; the 200+ knits I have
amassed do represent a fairly compressive collection of styles, manufacturers, and sizes that support
objective comparative analysis. Once again, not complete by any stretch of the imagination, but I know
of no one else in this industry who can work from such a library on a daily basis.

With all that in mind, I am now comfortable refocusing my efforts back on my first love; flannels. Within
the past few months, and in close cooperation with those involved with the MEARS Museum Center,
I have been able to add a number of new, rare, and exciting references to my working library. Even
more exciting, is that we are beginning to share these with collectors at events like the National and the
displays being curated at MEARS in Milwaukee.

Recently Added Exemplar Uniforms
-1932 Detroit Tigers Home Jersey
-1933 Boston Braves Road Jersey
-c1935 St Louis Cardinals Home Jersey (Palm Beach Fabric)
-1937 New York Yankees Home Jersey
-1939 Brooklyn Dodgers Home Jersey
-c1940 St Louis Browns Road Jersey
-1941 Boston Braves Road Jersey
-1945 Boston Braves Road Jersey
-1948 Boston Braves Home Jersey (Satin)
-1948 St. Louis Cardinals Home Jersey
-1949 Chicago Cubs Home Jersey
-1949 Chicago Cubs Road Jersey
-1951 Boston Braves Home Jersey (Original 1951 NL 75th Anniversary Patch) Jersey
-1956 St. Louis Cardinals Road Jersey (One Year Style)
-1956 Milwaukee Braves Home Jersey
-1964 Milwaukee Braves Road Jersey
-1967 Los Angeles Dodgers Road Jersey

Recently Added Manufacturers Fabric Sample Catalogs:
-1951 MacGregor-Goldsmith Baseball Uniforms

Recently Added Print References:
-Who’s Who in Baseball (run of 1927-1949) for contemporary sizing data. This makes my library
complete for this publication through 2000.
-Lot of 200+ assorted team yearbooks/programs (1960s-1980s)

These latest additions represent a continued investment of tens of thousands of dollars towards my
personal and professional commitment to “get it right”. They are also in line with the various tenants of
the Mission Statement of the MEARS Museum which is something I am just thrilled to be a part of.

As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.

Dave Grob

For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com.

Aug 20, 2012
Category: Archived News

The following lots will be featured in the August 25th – September 1st, 2012 MEARS Online Auction, www.mearsonlineauctions.com . We are currently accepting consignments for our September auction, and are aggressively seeking football / baseball memorabilia, game worn jerseys, leather helmets, rare model gloves, catcher’s masks, autographs, programs, tickets, vintage photography, advertising, etc.

These images were carefully selected as choice representations of early American football and baseball team photography. Many of the photographers are identified with the studio name appearing on the cabinet card portion of the photo. Examination revealed amazing detail of the equipment, uniforms, and fashion of the day.

These images provide a rare opportunity for bidders to add images to their collections which capture the essence of early sports in America. Although baseball had a professional league and college football had swept America, it was the local town teams and schools that sprouted the roots of America’s pastimes, and led to the growth of professional sports, which then led to the organized hobby that we now participate in.

Examination of the faces captured in these timeless images show the individuals that fueled the love of the game for future generations.

Football Photography

1913 Unidentified Small College Football Team Mounted 7” x 9” Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo (MEARS LOA)

Measuring 7 ½” x 9 ½” on 11”x14” grooved mount; this image depicts a small college football squad. 12 players stand in line against the backdrop of a small University building. The period melon football is simply painted, “1913”. The cardboard mount is dated 1914 in pencil at the bottom center border. The third player from the right must have been a 6th year senior, as he is proudly wearing the old fashioned union football suit with sewn on shoulder pads. The rest of the team wears a contemporary, simple dark colored long sleeved shirt with reeded football pants. At least four distinct styles of leather football helmets are depicted, including the Princeton Model, Rain Cap, and Dog Ear football helmet varieties. Two men in civilian clothes flank both sides of the football team.

The image retains exceptional contrast and hue. The images itself grades in near mint condition, with the only exception a small 1.5” indentation (not quite a tear) near the upper right window.

Mount remains in excellent condition with only minor chipping of one corner. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1935 Pleasantville High School Football Team 8”x10” Type 1 Original Photo – Friction Stripe Jersey

Measuring 8”x10”. 28 player depicted wearing friction striped uniforms with front numerals. Players are outfitted with high waist pants with full thigh pads. Uniforms are finished with black, high top cleats. Stamped on reverse, “Leader Photo Service, 400 So. New Road, Phone 1342-W, Pleasantville, NJ”. Player seated in the front row holding a football which reads, “PHS, ‘35”

Photo remains in very good condition with pinholes to the corners.

1903 F.D. Catholic High School Football Team Oversized 10”x12” Type 1 Original Cabinet Photo on Mount – Featuring turtleneck sweater & quilted pants uniforms (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 10”x12” on 12”x14” cardboard mount. 13 players wearing white turtle neck with long sleeve football jersey tops with quilted pants and reeded shin guards. 12 players have the school’s “F” positioned on the front, with on seated player seen without the team letter. Player sitting on bottom middle is holding a vintage melon football with the white writing, “F.D.H.S., ‘03”. The school’s father, who also served as coach, can be seen in the back row with cap and collar. Uniforms are completed with high top leather lace up high shoes. Photograph taken indoors with special note to the Victorian carpet.

Image remains in excellent condition, with only exceptions of small scratch on face of player (center/back row) and a small stain on the teammate next to him. Mount is in very good condition, and may have been trimmed.

LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1936 Pleasantville High School 8”x10” Type 1 Original Photo – Friction Stripe Jersey – Photo by Alton R. Bowen

Measuring 8”x10”, 21 uniformed players are featured, with four alternates standing in the back row not wearing official team jerseys. Majority of the players are wearing friction striped jerseys, some with uniform numbers, some without. Two gentlemen in the back row are wearing jackets with “Pleasantville” across the front. The boy in the bottom center row is holding a football which is painted with white lettering, “P, 1936”. All players are outfitted in black leather high top cleats. Image remains in excellent condition, with some damage in the form of pinholes to the outer 4 corners.

1893 Rare Oversized 19th Century Unidentified Football Team 13”x17” Type 1 Original Cabinet Photo – Lace Up Vest, Quilted Pants, & Reeded Shin Guards (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 13”x17” on borderless mount. 14 players compose the team. 11 players are shown wearing lace up vest with quilted pants and reeded shin guards. 3 players are shown wearing a rare variety of a long sleeve striped lace up front sweater with oversized “hoodie” collar. A seated man sits in the middle wearing civilian clothes. The team’s uniforms are completed with dark colored leather wooden cleated high top lace up shoes. One seated teammate is holding the oversized melon football which is painted in white lettering, “’93”, indicated the 1893 date. Image taken in studio setting. Sepia toned in color, images remains in excellent condition with only slight wear to the outermost edges. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1912 Chehalis High School Football 8”x10” Type 1 Original Cabinet Photo on Mount – Striped jersey & Reeded Pants – I.N. Kent Photographer (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 8”x10” on 11”x14” double bordered mount. 14 players featured. 13 are wearing the long sleeve striped shirts with solid front. 1 player is wearing a jersey without stripes. Pants are all consistent and the popular reeded version. High top football shoes complete the uniform. The team manager can be seen wearing civilian clothes with bow tie and hat.

Player’s names are written on upper border on cardboard mount. Names visible are:

Back Row: Abel “Butch” Walters, Dick Forney, Fred Hamilton, Walter Brunning, Frank Michaels, JA Wright (coach)

Middle Row: Bill Jensen, Noel Lowry, Ike Mayfield, Ike Giblin, Peter Summerset

Bottow Row: Pearcy Prewitt, Martin Diggler, Roy Davis, Digger Boone

Images were taken inside photo studio as evidenced by the Victorian style curtains with printed palm. Images remain in excellent condition. Mount is in very good condition. Small chip from upper right corner. Water staining on right border. “I.N. Kent, Chehalis WASH” is stamped in the bottom right corner. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1913 Chehalis High School Football 8”x10” Type 1 Original Cabinet Photo on Mount – Wide Striped Jersey & Dog Ear Helmet – I.N. Kent Photography Stamp (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 8”x10” on 11”x14” double bordered mount. 13 players featured all wearing matching single stripe (wide) long sleeve football jerseys with reeded pants. Uniforms are completed with dark colored lace up high top football cleats. Team manager can be seen in back row, center, wearing a dark suit and bow tie.

Players name are written with arrow drawn, in order:

Back Row: Norman Ross, Fred Hamilton, J. Arthur Wright, Frank Michael, Ike Giblen

Middle Row: Herb Scott, Walter Gregg, “Digger” Boone, Les Henderson, Temp Hewlord

Front Row: Percy Prewitt, Al Gregg, Ike Mayfield, John White

Written in red pencil on the bottom is, “1913 Chehalis High School”.

The two players on the far right are holding rain cap style dog ear helmets. Images itself remains in excellent condition. Cardboard mount grades very good with damage to the upper right corner and right border. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1890s Rare Unidentified Philadelphia Area Football Team Oversized 11”x14” Type 1 Sepia Tone Original Cabinet Photo on Mount – Gilbert Bacon Photographer – Lace Up Vest, Quilted Pants, Reeded Shin Guards (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 11”x14” on 16”x20” cardboard mount. “Gilbert Bacon, 1030 Chestnut St., Philad’a” factory stamped on bottom border. 16 players featured. 15 are wearing full lace up front vests with quilted football pants. 2 players are wearing striped socks. Many of the depicted athletes can be seen wearing reeded shin guards. The uniforms are completed with lace up high top wooden cleated football shoes. One player sitting with both hands on thighs is wearing the rare full sleeved lace up vest style jersey. Image appears to have been taken outside in front of a stone building.

Players’ last names are neatly printed along bottom border:

Top Row: Fairbanks, Gillinder, Synder, B. Frazier, Bay, Tappen

Middle Row: J. Frazier, Bruce, Coombs, Woodward, Baker, McAvoy

Bottom Row: Conway, Padgett, Morris

Images itself remains in excellent condition with the exception of foxing on the left border and the right third. Mount has some chipping to upper left edge, piece missing on bottom right corner, and a heavy water stain on the left edge and bottom area. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1900-10 Unidentified Sweetwater TN Football Team 8”x10” Type 1 Original Cabinet Photo on Mount – Princeton, Rain Cap and Dog Ear Leather Helmet, Striped Jersey – Gallant Studio Stamp (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 8”x10” on 11”x14” double grooved mat. 13 players pictured wearing dark long sleeve jerseys with some having multi striped sleeves. Two players have sewn on elbow pads. The team’s uniforms are completed with dark colored, lace up, high top football cleats. A small pile of 5 leather football helmets can be seen in the bottom center of the image.

Image remains in near mint condition. The mount grades in excellent condition. The photographers stamp, “Gallant, Sweetwater, Tenn.” is factor stamped in the bottom right corner of the mount. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1903 Columbus, OH High School Football 8”x10” Type 1 Original Cabinet Photo on Mount – Ziegler’s Studio- w/ 4 Spoke Helmet, Union Suit, Nose Guard, Quilted Pants (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 8”x10” on trimmed 12”x12” cardboard beveled mount. 16 uniformed players and one coach dressed in civilian clothes are pictured. Combination of jerseys can be viewed including full lace up vests with striped long sleeve undershirts, large single horizontal striped high collared sweater/jersey, dark colored long sleeve sweater/jersey, and multi striped long sleeve jersey with added on shoulder padding. 7 players are wearing nose guards from their necks. Combination of reeded and quilted pants. The middle seated boy is holding a small dog statue on his right knee, presumably the team’s good luck charm. Image is taken inside the photographer’s studio.

Player’s names are identified on bottom border of mount:

7. P. Wright, R Tackle, ‘04

8. F. O’Rourke, L Tackle, ‘06

9. E. Feelyater, R Guard, ‘04

10. J. Zick, L Guard, ‘05

11. C Parsenalu, Center, ‘08

1. W. McCormick, Capt, Full Back, ‘04

2. W. Richards, L Half, ‘04

3. R. Bresee, R. Half, ‘05

4. L Blumenthal, R. End, ‘05

5. E. Jackson, L. End, ‘04

6. H. Jones, Back, ‘04

Subs: J. Grace ’06, H. Brown – Manager ’04, Prof. G.E. Bunsa – Coach.

Each player is indentified by a number written in ink on the photo and then identified below in the bottom border. Image remains in excellent condition mount remains in very good condition in spite of being trimmed and has chipping and pinhole in upper left corner. Pinholes in bottom right corner and additional edge chipping. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1900 circa Autographed Oversized Unidentified “C” Football Team 10”x14” Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo on Mount – Pach Bros – Turtle Neck Sweater, Quilted Pants, Melon Football (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 10”x14” on 14”x17” cardboard mount with color inner border. “Pach Bros, 935 B’Way, NY stamped on inner mount border. 17 players depicted wearing dark colored turtleneck sweaters with large “C” on front. 4 players are found wearing sewn on shoulder pads and elbow pads. Several of the players are depicted wearing reeded shin guards. The uniforms are completed with dark colored leather lace up high top wooden football cleats. The seated player in the middle is cradling a vintage melon ball with laces.

Image remains in excellent condition with light but concentrated spotting on the outer border of the actual image, but does not affect the eye appeal of the actual image. The outer mount remains in excellent condition with only a small chip on the upper right corner. Framed.

Each player has signed the back of the cardboard mount. On the reverse the following names appear in period fountain ink:

C. Wood (capt.)

M.I. Cornell

C.M. Stetson

F.H. W. Cutler

Spencer W. Aldrich

John Cornell

George Parsons

Harry Beales

John Sloane Jr.

J.W. Rutter

L.H. Potter

John S. Olney

John P. Dabney

Oliver Perry

First autographed cabinet photo we have encountered. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1894 Rare 19th Century Oversized St. Paul’s School Football Team 10”x13” Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo on Printed Mount – Kimball Photo – Lace Up Jersey, Melon Football, Quilted Pants, Turtle Neck Sweater Jersey (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 10”x13” on 11”x14” printed cardboard mount. “Kimball, Photo”, “S. Paul’s School Football-Ball Eleven, 1894”, “Concord, N.H.” is stamped on bottom border of mount. 14 players are depicted in full uniforms. 7 players are depicted in lace up vests with quilted pants. The remaining teammates wear dark colored long sleeved jerseys with quilted pants. There is a mix of players wearing reeded shin guards. The uniforms are completed with dark color leather lace up high top wooden cleats. The seated player on the left is holding a period melon football with laces and in two color paint is the inscription, “S.P.S., ‘94”. Image was taken inside the photographer’s studio. Image remains in excellent condition. Mount remains in excellent condition with some light wear to outer edge of borders. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1893 Rare 19th Century Oversized Old Hundred Football Eleven Football Team 10”x13” Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo – Kimball Photo – Lace Up Jersey, Melon Football, Quilted Pants, Reeded Shin Guards (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 10”x13” on 11”x14” printed cardboard mount. “Kimball, Photo”, “Old Hundred Foot Ball Eleven, 1893”, “Concord, NH” is printed on the bottom border of the mount. 13 players are depicted (eleven starters, two alternates). 8 players are dressed in lace up front vests, one with the interlocking “O/H” (Old Hundred) logo. Two players were dark, long sleeve sweater uniforms. Two wear striped long sleeve jerseys. Each wears a pair of quilted pants. The player seated on the far right wears a pair of reeded shin guards. Two players are holding contemporary school caps with the interlocking “O/H” logo. The player seated in the middle is holding a melon football which is painted “OH”. Image is taken inside the Kimball photo studio.

Actual image remains in excellent condition with a slight blemish to the outermost portion of the bottom right corner. The mount is in very good condition, with two pinholes on the top border, one on the bottom border. Some chipping to the bottom right corner. LOA Troy R. Kinunen

Baseball Photography

1900 circa Near Mint P&C New York Town Base Ball Team 5” x 7 “Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo on Mount (MEARS LOA)

Measuring 5” x 7” on 8” x 10” grooved mount. Studio name embossed on bottom center, “Hillig, Liberty, NY”. Nine players are depicted with two adult managers. The three center players are wearing the 1900-1910 circa full web gloves. The two catchers are holding high grade buckle back catchers mitts. The short brimmed baseball caps are consistent with 1900 era uniform styles. The team is posed in front of a vintage stone fence.

The actual image is in near mint condition, with striking contrast and clarity. The grooved mount is fully intact, with slight water spotting in the area of the upper left corner, which does not affect the actual image. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1922 Unidentified New York College Champion Baseball Team 8” x 10” Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo on Mount – William J. Helmke Studios (MEARS LOA)

Measuring 8” x 10” on slightly larger trimmed mount. Photography studio, “William J. Helmke, Commercial and Newspaper, PHOTOGRAPHER, Utica, NY, Phone 300L” stamped on reverse. William Helmke was a prominent New York Photographer and his work is recognized in museums and archives throughout the United States.

12 players standing single file while sporting their team baseball sweaters and striped flannel pants. All wearing identical baseball caps (small brim) with the exception of the second man from the left, who stands out by wearing his white with “B” cap. The catchers are first in line (wearing reeded shin guards) and his holding a trophy. The manager stands in the center wearing civilian clothes and fashionable cap. In pencil on the reverse are the following names, “xxxxxx, Mills, J. Kelsey, Johnson, Kelsey, Stuber, Hight, Scheideman, Halin, Houck, Mack, Pflanz, and Kelly”. Dated 1922.

Actual image remains in excellent condition with some light surface creasing in the upper left quarter of the top background image. Line of 8 spots in the background area of the bottom right area. Mount is in excellent condition. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1900-1910 Near Mint circa Unidentified G.F. Town Baseball Team 6.5” x8.5” Cabinet Type 1 Photo on Mount – Depicting Chicken wire fence & Field (MEARS LOA)

Measuring 6.5” x 8.5” on decorative bordered mount. Starting nine players depicted including batboy or mascot. ¾ button down flannel jerseys and short brim caps are consistent with the 1900-1910 style of baseball uniform. The simple chicken wire fence and bleacher seating of the stadium can be seen in the background.

Actual image is in near mint condition, with only a very small ¼” chip out of the bottom border. Mount remains in excellent condition with slight chipping on outer edges. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1906 Cargill Press Baseball Team 4.5”x 6.5” Type 1 Original Photo on Decorative Mount - Taken from Glass Negative of photographer Stephen Deming – Grand Rapids Public Library

Measuring 4.5” x 6.5” on decorative flowered embossed 7”x9” mount. 10 players wearing the period 1906 style ¾ button down flannel uniform with collar. “Cargill Press” is lettered on the front. The dapper looking manager with suit and derby also appears in the photo. Image is a treasure trove for equipment collectors. Seen at the bottom of the photo is a pile of baseball gear including several webless workman’s gloves, bird cage catcher’s mask, two bats, one with handle tape, and the lace up baseball shoes.

Actual image survives in near mint condition, with damage to the bottom left corner of the mount which does not affect the photographic image. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1900 circa Near Mint Unidentified Picnic “Beers, Baseball, and Pipes” 5”x7” Baseball Cabinet Photo on Mount (MEARS LOA)

Measuring 5”x7” on decorative 7”x9” bordered mount. Group, possible family of 43 is depicted. Notable images of a gentleman with a long, grey beard, guy with straw hat and mustache holding the game ball, another gentleman in the first row standing holding a beer while wearing a glove, guy on far right dressed in a suit holding a beer, gentleman seated holding a beer and smoking a pipe, young kid holding a bat, and in the center of the photo, criss cross bats balancing on an empty bottle of bear which is placed in front of the catcher’s mitt.  Photo is approximately dated by the seated gentleman, right of crossed bats in a dark shirt and suspenders, who is holding what appears to be a webless workman’s glove which was last used circa 1900.

Image remains in near mint condition, with the mounting grading a conservative excellent condition due to slight soiling from handling on the borders. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1900-10 circa Columbia Baseball Team 7”x9” Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo on “Hills” photography studio mount (MEARS LOA)

Measuring 7”x9” on 10”x12” Hills Photography mount. 11 players depicted with manager who is dressed in civilian clothes. Three players are wearing workman style baseball gloves. On the foreground are an inflatable chest protector, Spiderman cage catcher’s mask, two crossed baseball bats, and a catcher’s glove. The players are wearing ¾ flannel jerseys, small brimmed caps, and striped wool socks.

Image remains in near mint original condition, with the mount also in near mint condition, with the exception of very slight chipping to the outer corners. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

 

1921 Canterbury, MA Youth Baseball 7.5”x11” Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo on Tri-Bordered Decorative Mount – Arthur S. Adams Photographer Stamp on reverse (MEARS LOA)

Measuring 7.5”x11” on 10”x12” Tri-Bordered Decorative Mount. Photographers stamp on reverse. 13 young players depicted along with manager wearing civilian clothes and hat. Mix of “C” and “Canterbury” uniforms. Two players are holding award plaques and two trophy cups are displayed on the floor. Players can be seen wearing high top baseball cleats. A trophy baseballs painted ’21 can be seen carefully placed inside the catcher’s mitt. Player on far right is wearing a 1” web glove on his right hand while holding a bat.

Reverse is stamped, “Arthur S. Adams, Photographer, 421 Main Street, Worchester, MASS., June 17, 1921”. Some back damage on reverse which does not affect the structural integrity of the photo. Actual image remains in near mint condition, with some damage and trimming of the edges to the mount. Heavy crease on right border. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1923 Near Mint New Berlinville Baseball Team 8”x10” Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo on Art Deco Mount – “The Erb Studio, Boyertown, PA” photographers stamp (MEARS LOA)

Measuring 8”x10” on 12”x14” decorative “The Erb Studio” original mount. 12 players are depicted wearing their 1923 style uniforms. “NB” adorns their jersey fronts in a diamond shape. Photograph taken a ball diamond infield. Extremely high grade condition.  LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1900-10 circa Unidentified “M” Team 8”x10” Cabinet Type 1 Original Baseball Photo on Original Mount – White Buckskin Glove, 1” Web Glove, Spiderman Catcher’s Mask, Mushroom Knob Bat   (MEARS LOA)

Measuring 8”x10” on 12”x14” decorative mount. 15 players depicted, and surrounded by detailed shots of vintage baseball equipment. An interesting note is that the players are wearing team issued uniform shorts, similar to the pants Bill Veeck would introduce to the White Sox 50 years later. First three kids seated in the front are wearing button back 1” web workman’s gloves. 4th kid is wearing a catcher’s mitt on his left hand. The next kid on the right is wearing a white buckskin fielder’s glove, and the final kid wears a black 1” web fielder’s glove. The large boy in the back row has a fob on hanger adorning his belt. Front lower center depicts criss cross bats holding a catcher’s mask. One of the bats has a visible mushroom knob.

Image remains in high grade condition, with perfect contrast and tone. Some light chipping to outer left border of the mount. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

1938 Municipal Baseball Team 8”x10” Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo on shaded mount – JM Elliot Photography Studio (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 8”x10” on 11x14” shaded border mount. 12 uniformed players depicted along with batboy and 5 men in civilian clothes. Uniforms contain “MUNICIPAL” on front in simple block lettering with trimmed button path. Front row of players are all holding 1930’s model gloves, as evidenced by the lace design.

Image remains in high grade near mint condition, with perfect contact and tone. Mount remains in excellent condition. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS

1900-10 circa Unidentified “C” Connecticut Baseball Team 8”x10” Cabinet Type 1 Original Photo on Decorative Bordered Mount – Ruben’s Studios, Torrington, CT (MEARS LOA)

Image measures 8”x10” on 12”x14” decorative bordered mount. “The Ruben’s Studios, Inc, Torrington” photography studio stamp in lower right hand corner. 10 players depicted with two boys in civilian clothes. Taken at a photography studio.

Players are wearing to distinct jerseys styles and two different team sweaters. First uniform style is the ¾ button down with “C” on left breast pocket. Second style is the full button down with left breast pocket with no letter. Player on far right is wearing a full sleeve length wool sweater with large collar and big button up front. 5 of the players in the first row are wearing full web fielder’s gloves. The fourth player from the left is wearing a catcher’s mitt.

Both image and mount remain in near mint condition. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

For free consultation of appraisal, please contact Troy R. Kinunen of MEARS Auctions at (414) 828-9990 or email troy@mearsonline.com

Aug 17, 2012
Category: Archived News

1899-1900 circa Anonymous Football Player CDV Collection (Lot of 6) Flagg & Plummer &
Howard Studios (SGC Graded)

 

This collection will be available for sale in the August 25th-September 1st, 2012 MEARS Online
Auction, www.mearsonlineauctions.com . Consignments wanted for our September sale.

Surfacing at the 2012 National Sports Convention in Baltimore, these images date to the early
years of football and are representations of anonymous east coast teams. Designated as CDV’s,
the carte de visite was a type of small photograph which was patented in Paris, France by
photographer André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri in 1854.

Subject is usually made of an albumen print, which was a thin paper photograph mounted on a
thicker paper card.

Both the players and team remains anonymous, but the photographer is noted as his studio
appears in gold embossing on the green paper mount.

Images are exceptionally clear and crisp, offering the viewer a quality study of the proper use of
contrast, tone, and hue. Subjects are posed in complete football attire and appear at the respective
photographer’s studio. Each card was examined by the staff of SGC to verify originality and
turn of the century dating. 5 were given the final grade of “Authentic”, with one being assigned
a grade of SGC 84 NM. To the knowledge of MEARS, these are the only surviving examples
known.

Howard Studio of Lewiston, Maine

(Card 1 Standing Pose, Dark Sweater) 1900 Circa CDV Anonymous Howard Studio, SGC
Authentic, Posed in a black turtleneck full sleeve length football uniform and wearing quilted
pants with stripes knee high socks. Uniform is complete with dark leather lace up high top
football cleats. Posed in studio.

Image remains in near mint condition. Mount grades excellent condition with wear to the corners
and a small crease which has broken the surface on the left reverse. Keene is written in pencil
on top of reverse. Front of CDV in gold embossing is, “Howard, Lewiston, Maine”. Mount and
overall grade was determined by the experts at SGC to be “A” Authentic.

(Card 2 Standing Pose, Holding Football) 1900 Circa CDV Anonymous Howard Studio, SGC
Authentic, Posed in a white turtle neck full sleeve jersey / sweater top. Cuffs and neckline are
dark in color. “H” adorns the jersey front. Player wears pads in his quilted pants. Uniform is
complete with dark leather lace up high top football cleats. Player is holding a melon football
which has been painted, “’99”. Posed in studio.

Image remains in near mint condition. Mount grades excellent condition with minimal wear
to the corners. Keene is written in pencil on top of reverse. Front of CDV in gold embossing

is, “Howard, Lewiston, Maine”. ” Mount and overall grade was determined by the experts at
SGC to be “A” Authentic.

(Card 3 Crossed Arms, Nose Guard) 1900 Circa CDV Anonymous Howard Studio, SGC
Authentic, Posed in a white turtle neck full sleeve jersey / sweater top. Cuffs and neckline are
dark in color. “G” adorns the jersey front. Player wears quilted pants with dark socks. Uniform is
complete with dark leather lace up high top football cleats. A period nose guard hangs from his
right side. Posed in studio.

Image remains in near mint condition. Mount grades excellent condition with minimal wear
to the corners. Keene is written in pencil on top of reverse. Front of CDV in gold embossing
is, “Howard, Lewiston, Maine”. ” Mount and overall grade was determined by the experts at
SGC to be “A” Authentic.

(Card 4 Crossed Arms) 1900 Circa CDV Anonymous Howard Studio, SGC 84, Posed in a white
turtle neck full sleeve jersey / sweater top. Cuffs and neckline are dark in color. “G” adorns the
jersey front. Player wears quilted pants with reeded shin guards. Uniform is complete with dark
leather lace up high top football cleats. Image remains in near mint condition. Mount and overall
grade was determined by the experts at SGC to be a near mint 84. No writing on reverse. Front
of CDV in gold embossing is, “Howard, Lewiston, Maine”. Posed in studio.

Flagg & Plummer Studio of Lewiston, Maine

(Card 1 Delbert Lundgrens Hands on Waist) 1900 Circa CDV Anonymous Flagg & Plummer
Studio, SGC Authentic, Posed in dark lace up top, no logo, long sleeve jersey. Player wears
quilted pants with dark socks. Uniform is complete with dark leather lace up high top football
cleats. Image remains in near mint condition.

Mount remains in excellent overall condition. Written in pencil on reverse is, “Delbert
Lundgrens, ’99, R.T.” Posed in studio. Front of CDV in gold embossing is, “Flagg & Plummer,
Leading Gallery, 39 Lisbon ST, Lewiston, ME”. Mount and overall grade was determined by the
experts at SGC to be “A” Authentic.

(Card 2 Player Standing) 1900 Circa CDV Anonymous Flagg & Plummer Studio, SGC
Authentic, Posed in gray wide collar jersey / sweater with lace up front. Striped sleeve cuffs. No
logo present. Player wears heavily quilted pants with reeded shin guards. Uniform is complete
with dark leather lace up high top football cleats.

Mount remains in excellent overall condition. Written in pencil on reverse is, “Boyd, F__s,
’99, sub C”. Posed in studio. Front of CDV in gold embossing is, “Flagg & Plummer, Leading
Gallery, 39 Lisbon ST, Lewiston, ME”. Mount and overall grade was determined by the experts
at SGC to be “A” Authentic.

A seventh card, graded by SGC as “A” authentic, was retained as a permanent display for the
MEARS Museum Collection.

For questions, consignments, or a free appraisal, please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414)-828-
9990 or email at troy@mearsonline.com

Aug 16, 2012
Category: Archived News

1906 High Grade/Rare Pennsylvania Military College Sepia Tone Oval Fabric Type 1 Photo on Gold
Embossed Cabinet Mount (MEARS LOA)

This item will be a featured lot in the MEARS August 25th-September 1st, 2012 Auction,
www.mearsonlineauctions.com . Consignments wanted for our next auction.

As fall approaches and football season is about to begin, collectors have a short window to evaluate
their collecting goals for the remainder of 2012. One area that has unlimited potential upside is vintage
football memorabilia. I define vintage football memorabilia as non professional league items.

Rooted in 150+ years of history, early football collectables are readily available and quite affordable at
current pricing levels. Items that have the best upside are collectables that are directly tied to a noted
team or institution.

Offered for consideration is a very rare style oval fabric covered photograph of a team with early
football history. While researching this 1906 team, much history was revealed which provided insight
into the early game of football and its influence on the future of the Pennsylvania Military College.

This author felt that the background information was both interesting and important to understanding
the historic and collectable value of this item.

During 1862, the military academy relocated from Wilmington to West Chester, PA. In 1868, the
academy again relocated to its present location in Chester, PA. Located on 108 acres southwest of
Philadelphia, its stated aim was “The development of character to secure greatest efficiency”. One of its
most famous alumni was legendary film director, Cecil B. DeMille.

It was shortly after that football came to the academy. During its early days, the school was known
as “the Pennsylvania Military Academy.” While continuing my research, the following was taken from
the Widener University Archives Collection…

On November 11th, 1879 the first intercollegiate football game took place in Chester, PA.

The Chester Times reported, “The football match between the University boys and the cadets of P.M.
A. on Saturday did not end favorably to the latter. The University gained the victory by a score of six to
nothing. They were too heavy for the cadets and have had a great deal more experience. It was short,
sharp, and decisive. The cadets entertained the victors with a good supper and drove them to and from
the depot in a carriage”.

The article further goes on to explain the events of the day, “The cadets who battled Penn that day
in their skin tight canvas jackets were the forerunners in a sport that would produce much color and
heroism at the Chester school as the years wore on. “

An even more graphic account of the early days of PMA and the players was chronicled by Major John
w. Loveland, ’87, who wrote:

“In those days the games were not the complicated ones of today. The plays were simple, the strategy,
elementary. No tackling below the waist, which made the straight arm defense of the runner most
effective. It was not unusual to see such a master of this particular trick, as Macaulay Hunter ’86 – leave
three or four successive tacklers put out as he galloped triumphantly down the field. “

During 1887, P.M.A. played the college football powerhouse Princeton University. As early as it may
have been to detect, early football plays were set in motion by having the team’s captain call out the
name of the player who was to receive the ball. In 1887, when the Princeton team came to Chester
to clash with P.M.A. (the cadets were still not permitted to play away from home) the captain of
the cadet squad called out the cadet numbers of his players rather than their names. The effect was
bewildering to Princeton and enabled the cadets to make substantial gains. Princeton was quick to see
the advantages of the new system, and shortly thereafter began using numbers instead of names.

The article continues to note,

Football in the nineties had finally come to be recognized as a major college sport, and even the most
hardened administrators were forced to make concessions. The fact that P.M.A. teams of the ‘90s were
enjoying winning seasons made it even more difficult to ignore the popularity of this rough and tumble
pastime.

P.M.A. continued to gain football success. During the 1888 campaign, the team went undefeated and
untied, and even more impressive, un-scored upon during the entire 9 game schedule.

In 1892, PMA became Pennsylvania Military College (PMC). By the turn of the century a move was afoot
to also change the school’s colors from blue and white to red and yellow, and the change took place in
1903.

According to the school newspaper, the varsity color change was well received, “such jerseys as
these will make a startling combination of chromatic splendor, and the cadets will have rather an
impressionistic appearance when they trot out on the gridiron for their first game.”

During the early 1900s, football continued to remain quite popular at PMC. Players that were not cut
out to make the actual team readily volunteered for the “scrub” or practice team. Just being associated
with the program was good enough for them as they resolved themselves to be living practice/tackling
dummies for the varsity team.

I found the background history quite interesting as I researched the actual item. Measuring 5”x7”, the
actual image is oval with the photographic image printed on a cloth covering, which is rarely seen in
high grade and was an relatively expense process when compared to alternate photo printing methods.
The oval photo is then mounted on an 8”x10” gold embossed scripted decorative cardboard mount. A
ribbon, (red, white, yellow) represent the team colors and is found mounted in the upper left corner.

Although printed in sepia tone, the uniforms depicted would have been red and yellow in color, as noted
in the article and matching the accompanying team colored ribbon.

13 uniformed players are depicted, along with one man in full cadet uniform. The gentleman on the far
right in the middle row is wearing civilian clothes and overcoat. Players are seated in front of a brick
campus building.

The image depicts a wealth of football memorabilia references. Four players are wearing vest and
reeded pants. They are topped off with beehive rain cap helmets. 3 players are found wearing sewn on
shoulder pads.

All are wearing reeded shin guards and football cleats, most likely wooden. The player in the front row
far right is holding an 8-spoke helmet. The player in the center of the second row is holding a melon
style football and wearing a full length dark colored jersey top. “P.M.C 1906” appears on the bottom.

The actual photo remains in near mint condition. The gilded cardboard mount has a light crack in the
bottom right corner. There is additional wear to the outer edges of the mount. The gold gilding is
complete. Item has been fully inspected and is guaranteed to be 100% authentic and vintage to the 1906
era. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions

MEARS Auctions is aggressively seeking quality football memorabilia which includes:

Vintage Football Memorabilia

Vintage Leather Football Helmet including:

4 spoke helmet

8 spoke helmet

Executioner helmet

Dog ear helmet

Grange Style helmet

Flat top helmet

Princeton style helmet

Union Suit

Football Vest and reeded or quilted football pants

Nose guard

Melon football

For free appraisal or consultation, please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414)-828-9990 or email
troy@mearsonline.com

Aug 13, 2012
Category: Archived News

I recently came across and purchased a wire-photo of Bucky Walters dated to July 1948. The
uniform that Walters is wearing is clearly not the conventional road gray flannel jersey provided
to the Cincinnati Reds by MacGregor-Goldsmith. To date, the Cincinnati Reds have not been
included in various uniform references as being a ball club that made use of satin uniforms. I
believe there is now more than ample evidence to establish as a matter of record, that the
Cincinnati Reds made use of satin uniforms both on the road and at home at least for portions
of the 1948 season. To my knowledge, no example of these uniforms has surfaced in any public
or private collection.

The actual existence of these satin uniforms is substantiated by a combination of both imagery
analysis and contemporary accounts from period publications. The earliest reference I have
found of these comes from the Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune from 4 May 1948. That article makes
mention of the Cincinnati Reds “new satin uniforms” in game against the Giants. A check of the
1948 Cincinnati Reds schedule will confirm that the Reds played the New York Giants at home
(Crosley Field) on 3 and 5 May. I also found a reference contained in the 21 July 1948 edition of
the Sporting News that chronicles how the Cincinnati Reds opted not to wear their “jockey satin
night-game uniforms” in St. Louis because of the heat. The article makes note that the Reds
player’s had in fact worn them the night before.

For comparative analysis, I have included an image of Bucky Walters from 1948 in a
conventional road gray flannel uniform. What you will notice when you view both garments are
differences in the surface texture of the fabric of the body of the uniforms as well as the surface
texture of the material used for the lettering of the name CINCINNATI. You will also notice a
difference in the button color between the satin garment and its wool flannel counterpart.

While actual surviving examples of satin uniforms are very rare, what we now know is that in
1948, they were worn by half the clubs in the National League; the others being the Brooklyn
Dodgers, Boston Braves, and the St. Louis Cardinals. The MEARS Museum collection includes
a 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers road and a 1948 Boston Braves home satin. To the best of my
knowledge, the only surviving Cardinals satin jersey is that of Nippy Jones and it resides in the
St. Louis Cardinals Museum collection.

What appears even rarer than the 1948 Nippy Jones Cardinals satin, would be one of the all red
satin uniforms ordered by the Cardinals in 1946 (The Sporting News: 26 June 1946 in an article
titled Article titled “Cards Sell Satin Suits”). This little hidden gem of an article conveys that
“Red satin suits purchased by the Cardinals for night games on the road will be worn instead
by the North Side Teen Town Team of the St. Louis Muny League. Manager Eddie Dyer felt the
uniforms were too fancy for the present day successors of the old Gas House Gang. The uniforms

were purchased from the Redbirds by Fred C. Steffens, a St. Louis Sportsman who donated them
to the Teen Town players.”

I have always taken pride in the fact that the MEARS name includes the provision for Research
(Memorabilia Evaluation and Research Services). Over the past year, the bulk of my time has
been devoted to servicing our ever growing number retail clients on historic items such as the
record setting $4.4M 1920 Babe Ruth New York Yankees road jersey. More than a fair amount
of my time has also been devoted to obtaining artifacts and curating displays for the MEARS
Museum. My hope in the future is to get back to researching in earnest in order to find and
share information on baseball uniforms that you won’t find anyplace else but at MEARS.

As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.

Dave Grob

For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at
DaveGrob1@aol.com.

Aug 7, 2012
Category: Archived News

I have always been intrigued in the wearing of memoriam (Latin for "in memory of") arm bands and similar accoutrements on baseball uniforms. From what I have been able to gather, the notion of an armband on a uniform has its early ties to military men who because of prescribed dress codes, could not adopt the practice of full mourning wear (all black) during a time of grief; the end result being a black band worn on their uniform.

According to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Dressed to the Nines webpage, the practice of a memoriam arm band on a baseball uniform has its earliest occurrence in professional baseball starting 1876. Between 1876 and 1972, there were some 56 instances where a black band or ribbon was worn on some part of the uniform. While I am clearly not old enough to remember baseball in 1876, by the early 1970s I was well entrenched in following baseball on the radio, TV, and through the daily box scores; attending major league games when I could; and collecting baseball cards with every free dime I could find. In retrospect, I now consider this to have been a wonderful time to have come of age as a baseball fan/collector in that it was transition period for the game, players, stadiums, and of course; uniforms. In short, I remember the 1972 baseball season with fond memories and the fact that I can say that I saw Roberto Clemente ply his trade as a peerless ballplayer that year.

Even the most casual fan/student of the game knows the Clemente legend and lore…closed all too prematurely by the tragic events of 31 December 1972. While I watched what in fact would be Clemente’s final game on TV (Game 5 of the 1972 NLCS), those memories are consumed with Bench’s game trying homer off of Dave Giusti and George Foster scampering home from third to win in it on a wild pitch from Bob Moose. "Baseball Stars of 1972", a paperback book that could had from the "Weekly Reader" for 60 cents featured Clemente on the cover based on his stellar 1971 World Series performance. The 1972 Topps set had three Clemente cards (regular, "In Action", and he appeared on one of the World Series cards). I guess my point in all of this is to say actually I remember Clemente, his passing, and the fact that it was acknowledged by the Pirates at the time it actually occurred.

Fast forward to today where I find myself collecting, researching, and evaluating baseball uniforms…at times still with the wonder and curiosity of that 8-10 year kid alluded to above. This brings us to the topic for the day and the 1973 Pittsburgh Pirates uniforms. I have titled this article as "patching it all together" in that it is my attempt to pull together information and references that many of you may have seen over the years in bit and pieces as it actually relates to a patch.

The Pittsburgh Pirates first effort to pay homage to Clemente came in the form of a black ribbon sewn loosely to the left shoulder of their uniforms in spring training 1973. I can only suspect they opted for this because the uniforms already featured a black band around the sleeves and simply adding another might not be readily apparent. No doubt that these flapping black ribbons stood out. Although I have never seen one of these in person, I would estimate they were about 4" long and about 1 ½" wide. On 20 March 1972, the Pirates announced that they would replace the ribbon with a circular patch featuring Clemente’s "21" and there is contemporary photographic evidence to confirm that it was worn in spring training. This patch was actually three layers of fabric; black numbers sew to a white backing sewn to a black disc of some 3" in diameter. This was also the first time a player had been memorialized in this manner.

The Pirates would wear this patch on both the home and road uniforms for the duration of the 1973 season. When we combine the period newspaper accounts and examples of uniforms in the hobby (1972 Pirate jerseys with the patch), we can now reasonably consider the wearing of this patch to have predated the April 6th 1973 home opener against the Cardinals in which the Pirates formally retired Clemente’s #21.

In looking into this topic in detail, I came across a wonderful photograph of Danny Murtaugh from 1973. As you can see in the image, Murtaugh’s uniform features a trimmed version of the ribbon and what looks to be a very thin single layer fabric (almost paper like) #21 patch. I think this photograph can be reasonably dated to the period of 10-13 September based on when he took over from Bill Virdon (7 September) and what appears to be a Wrigley Field backdrop (brick wall). With Murtaugh taking over while the Pirates were on the road, this may help to explain what appears to be a "quick fix" on the uniform.

So far we have looked at this "first of its kind" patch during the context of prior to the 1973 season and during the 1973 season. The next area for consideration and the question to be asked and answered is did the Pirates continue to retain this patch on uniforms in 1974 and beyond? I wanted to look at this aspect since I think it has potential bearing on the rarity of the patch and the uniforms that bore them originally. I am of the opinion that the longer the patch stayed on the uniform, the greater the likelihood you would be able to obtain one with an original patch. If they did not stay on for long, then the chances of finding one in all original condition diminishes.

I first looked at Topps baseball cards starting in 1974. I did this because these photos are often taken in spring training. The problem with this is that you don’t always know which year or which "spring training" the photograph was from. To highlight this, we need look no further than Clemente’s own 1973 card. The backdrop is spring training and the photograph cannot be from 1973. The black ribbon and or patch shows up in Pirates Topps cards in 1974-1976, but was it really worn that long? I tend to think not based on period images contained in dated newspapers from 1974. I did find one photograph attributed to March of 1974 (team publicity shot) that does feature the circular patch. What this suggests to me is that if I did come across a Pirates uniform from the 1973 time frame I should more than likely to expect to find the patch missing or having been reapplied.

I bring up the possibility of patches being reapplied by collectors as I have seen both individual patches for sale ($500-$900 range) and it is considered one if not the most highly sought after patches of the 1970s. In addition, all the examples of uniforms I have seen to date have had the patches missing:

-1973 Pirates Dave Parker Home (Rawlings); Patch Missing

-1973 Pirates Willie Stargell Road (Rawlings); Patch Missing

-1973 Pirates Steve Blass Road (Rawlings); Patch Missing

-1973 Pirates Gene Clines Road (Rawlings); Patch Missing

Granted, this is an extremely small sample when you consider the number of players and coaches the Pirates would have outfitted in both home and road uniforms for 1973. My point being the patch is extremely rare as are the uniforms from this same time frame. When you combine both facets, being able to find one in original condition is even more of a remote possibility. I base this off of what appears to evidence of the patch’s removal for spring training in 1974 as well as the requirement the Pirates would have add to continue to use the 1973 uniforms for either extend major league organizational use or by use and wear at the minor league level.

The AAA Club for the Pirates at this time was the Charelston Charlies. Their uniforms did not feature PIRATES across the front nor is there any sign that they wore the #21 patch in either 1973 or 1974. The AA Clubs were the Sherbrooke Pirates (1973) and the Thetford Mines (1974). I was unable to locate images of the Sherbrooke Pirates from 1973 and the Thetford Mines would not have featured PIRATES based on naming convention.

What I did find is that the Single A level Salem Pirates of the Carolina League can be seen wearing Pirate knit uniforms in both 1973 and 1974. The 1973 uniforms are without the Clemente patch so this seems to indicate the patch was not worn at the minor league level. This means if you do come across a vintage Clemente "21" patch, it can be attributed to use and wear by the Pittsburgh Pirates. No patches are found on the 1974 Salem Pirates uniforms so those that may have been handed down from 1973 for use in 1974 had the patches removed. When you combine this minor league information with what we saw from major league Spring Training in 1974, we can begin to account for the 1973 Pirate uniforms and the Clemente patch in a much larger and complete organizational perspective. This seems consistent with what I have seen even in a small sample of 1973 Pirate uniforms; if you can find one, expect to find it without the patch.

So there you have it…patching things together as we look to remember one of the greats of the game and a Major League Baseball first for how his team chose to remember him and honor his passing.

As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.

Dave Grob

For Questions or comments on this article, please feel to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com

 

 

Jul 25, 2012
Category: Archived News

Recently I was asked to evaluate a Los Angeles Lakers purple road jersey purported to have been worn by Wilt Chamberlain. If authentic, the value is certainly north of the $65,000+ range, but with any problems present, the jersey is basically worthless.

Unlike baseball jerseys, the majority of pre 1985 NBA jerseys were produced without year tags. This particular example, Tiernan, was supplied by the Glendale, CA company.

In order to determine is this jersey was worn by Chamberlain, we had to ascertain

  1. Style – Was this style of jersey worn by Chamberlain, and if so, during what years? To determine this, MEARS examined the front font “LAKERS” and the trim (piping) found on the shoulders and neckline of the jersey. We also examined the body shell fabric, light weight durene and compared it to mesh fabric found on later era Lakers jerseys.
  2. Manufacturer – Did Tiernan supply the Lakers with jerseys during this era, and is the style of the tag correct for the period.
  3. Size – Other examples of authentic Los Angeles Lakers jersey that have entered the hobby and supplied by Tiernan from the late 1960s early 1970s were found without size tags. How could be determine if this jersey was indeed the correct size to have been made to be worn by Chamberlain during the era.

Finally, as standard protocol, MEARS recorded the degree of game wear, used a magnified light source to determine originality or any possible number/name changes, and we assigned the final grade based on the results of our research. All of our work was recorded via our worksheet and transferred to the final LOA (Letter of Opinion).

To determine the style, I examined digital images of the 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, and 1973 Los Angeles Lakers. My research concluded the following:

1966: Old style Lakers script

1967: Old style Lakers script

1968: Matching Lakers font

1969: Matching Lakers font

1970: Matching Lakers font

1971: Matching Lakers font

1972: Matching Lakers font

1973: Matching Lakers font, trim piping has changed, thus verifying the end range of the dating

Style: Offered for examination is a 1968-72 Wilt Chamberlain Los Angeles Lakers road jersey. The purple road jersey is manufactured from a lightweight durene material. The neck and shoulders are trimmed in with purple, yellow, purple (pyp) piping.

 

The style was determined by an examination of game action photos. As noted in the accompanying diagram, 1967 found the Lakers wearing the old style script “Lakers”. The 1968 photo shows the Lakers switch over to the new Lakers team name design, thus allowing us for the beginning dating range of the jersey. In addition to the “Lakers” font, we studied the piping. This style was adorned by purple/yellow/purple shoulder and neck piping.

The piping changed in 1973 to a two color piping, yellow and purple, thus creating the back end dating of this style jerseys. The body shell was made from lightweight durene. 1973 also found the introduction of mesh jerseys to the Lakers team. Therefore, this body shell is consistent with pre 1973 Lakers materials.

In summary, the imagery analysis allowed us to verify the style of the jersey (1968-72), jersey material (light weight durene), and piping (tri color –p/y/p) were all correct.

Next, I had to determine if Tiernan was the correct supplier of Los Angeles Lakers during the time of Wilt Chamberlain’s career.

Manufacturer: Supplied by Tiernan of Glendale, CA, this company is documented as supplying the Lakers with jerseys during the era. Other documented examples of Tiernan jerseys to enter the hobby include:

1969 Chamberlain

1971 Goodrich

1971 West

1973 Riley

Therefore, Tiernan is verified as being the correct supplier of Lakers jerseys during the same relative era as this jersey.

Regarding the Tiernan tag, it compares favorably to other examples that have entered the hobby, they are:

1970 tag

1971 tag

1972 tag

By comparison, this examples tag is consistent with respect to size and design to other Tiernan tag examples that have entered the hobby. I was confident the tag was original and the correct design for the 1968-72 era.

To continue with the evaluation, we had to determine whether or not the size was correct for Wilt Chamberlain during the late 1960s, early 1970s. This created a challenge since Tiernan did not include size tags on their jerseys during this timeframe.

In order to address this, we can apply the method of taking a chest measurement to determine the actual size of the jersey. Additionally, with the MEARS database, we were able to compare the chest and torso measurement to additional jerseys evaluated by MEARS. Our findings were:

Size (approximately size 44): Although not listed, the chest measurement is 22” across with a 28” torso measurement. This equates to an approximate size 42 or 44 jersey. MEARS examined a 1962 All Star Chamberlain game worn jersey, which was actually tagged as a size 42. This sized tagged example is consistent with this Tiernan version. Another example of a Chamberlain jersey was examined by MEARS, its measurements were:

1968-72, Chest 22”, 29” torso.

Therefore, this example compares quite favorably with respect to size to two other Chamberlain jerseys examined by MEARS.

Game wear: Jersey shows heavy game wear. Puckering is found on the lettering to the name “Chamberlain” and the numeral, “13”. The is staining in the area of the right shoulder (heavy) and left shoulder (lighter) that appears to be blood, but has not been tested. It is the authenticator’s opinion that it is most likely blood, would have occurred during a game setting, and does not require a deduction of points.

Final Grade MEARS A10: Evaluation of supplier, material, lettering, numbering, and game wear allowed for 10 base points to be assigned for their respective categories. Zero points were found for deduction.

Conclusion: Although some obstacles were present, by applying the techniques of imagery analysis, comparisons to the MEARS database, and physical observation of the actual jersey with the aid of a magnifying light source, MEARS was able to successfully determine this jersey was indeed worn by Chamberlain during the 1968-72 timespan.

MEARS is buying game worn Los Angeles Lakers Game Worn Jersey. MEARS is buying game worn Wilt Chamberlain game worn jerseys. MEARS is buying game worn jerseys of any caliber player.

Contact Troy R. Kinunen at troy@mearsonline.com or call (414)828-9990

 

Jul 24, 2012
Category: Archived News

MEARS Auctions is going vintage.

After analysis of the current market, it is the author’s opinion that vintage sports memorabilia (pre war
football, basketball, and baseball) is severely undervalued at its current price point. In recent months
I have became re-acquainted with vintage memorabilia which includes flannel baseball uniforms and
gloves, leather football helmets (harness, 4-spoke, 8-spoke, rain cap), and early basketball uniforms with
quilted pants. When handling these items which often are often more than 100 years old, the quality
of construction of the items and history of the user always leave a strong impression on my collecting
memory.

With respects to early sports memorabilia, the stuff is really neat, and quite affordable. Vintage
photography, early pennants, equipment, jerseys, balls, gloves, shoes, pinback buttons, and postcards
can all be found with a little hard work and serve as fantastic tributes to the early days of American
sports history. Additionally, they make great display items.

As I have been building collections for the MEARS museum, I assembled a small grouping of vintage
football artifacts containing a leather helmet, leather shoulder pads, cleats, period CDV and a melon
football. When I was done, it really made for an impressive display which truly captures the essence of
the game during that specific era.

Vintage sports memorabilia is defined in this article as non professional sports teams. This encompasses
town teams, high school, college, semi professional and industrial leagues. With its inception during the
late 19th century, football and baseball continued to explode during the early 20 th century. Many fans
were first introduced to the sport while playing locally. Access to major league (professional) sports was
limited in the early years by newspaper accounts only, with radio soon to follow, and then TV becoming
prevalent. The surviving relics of this early era memorialize the pioneering men that helped build
modern day sports and should be considered with the same collecting importance as our professional
brethren.

Just as reflected in the modern memorabilia market, baseball is still king. With its earliest roots as a
sport, the game of baseball was first played in the early 1800s. This head start gave baseball a huge lead
among future athletes, and also introduced future collectors to the hobby first. Baseball card collecting
was the first formalized hobby with organization developed from the National pastime.

In today’s market, much promotion and organization has been geared towards baseball cards,
autographs, and game used collecting of professional baseball teams. Much of the nation’s true baseball
history which was born from the tavern leagues, independent leagues, and local ball diamonds is
overlooked as we search for members of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Grandpa Fronsee,
Great Uncle Kinnunen, and members of the local Elks lodge contributed to the love of the game at
a very personal level. While doing so, they were photographed, wore jerseys, gloves, mitts, and had
broadside posters made to notify the locals of the next big game. Their memorabilia exists, and it should
be collected and appreciated.

Although not easy to find, with a little hard work CDV’s and cabinet photos can be found with crystal
clear depictions of early equipment. Many team photos will show players holding Spiderman catchers
masks, workman’s gloves, and lace up jerseys with quilted baseball pants. The details of the image help
document the evolution of the game.

Baseball glove collecting has been around in an organized manner for almost 25 years now. Much
research has been done on the study of manufactures (Reach, Spalding, D&M) and the types of gloves
they supplied – fingerless, workman’s, 1” web, tunnel web, Bill Doak Model, etc. This hobby again
captured the evolution of the sport and helped document the history of the game. During the 1920s
when player’s names first appeared stamped on the glove, collectors can now associate an artifact with
a big league player. Gloves bearing the names of O.L. Bluege, Joe Cronin, Howard Emke, Babe Ruth, and
Bill Sweeney serve as reminders to all of the players that contributed to the nation’s love affair with
our national pastime. Although bearing a facsimile signature, but not worn by the players represented,
these store model gloves offer an affordable way to collect items that capture the individuality of the
player and the companies they represented.

Moving onto football, Walter Camp is credited with inventing football in 1876. Within a couple of
decades, his version of the game was adopted by colleges along the east coast. In order to support
football’s growing popularity, sporting goods company like the A.G. Spalding Company began supplying
teams with helmets, uniforms, shoes, nose guards, and shoulder pads. Sporting goods catalogs offered
pages of beautifully illustrated merchandise which helped document the styles of early football gear,
and also served as a checklist for future collectors of early football memorabilia.

Football also was photographed as early as the 1880s. These vintage images capture the men that
played the game and the early gear they adorned. Early examination of cabinet photos capture images
of players wearing lace up union suits, Chicago style head harnesses, Morrell nose guards, wood cleated
shoes, and shoulder pads sewn on the outside of their protective uniforms.

Football was certainly a sport which epitomized student school spirit. My research has uncovered
images of young adults playing football in college, high school, and even kindergarten. The six year old
were outfitted in youth sized union suits, miniature melon footballs, and 4 spoke helmets. Memorabilia
from all of these stages exist.

As the popularity of football grew, the sport moved to the Midwest. Football teams were found in
Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, and eventually, west of the Mississippi. My research has captured
images of players in college, high school, semi-pro, and industrial leagues all playing football.

For collectors, each era of football creates a new collecting challenge. For example, football pants
changed. The 1880s found players wear quilted pants, very similar to what was worn in baseball, with
the exception of internal pockets which allowed for the addition of extra padding. By 1900, reeds had
been inserted and created the earliest version of football body armor. By the 1920s, hip pads were
added and noted in images as he design reached high above the belt line.

Review of images of the evolution of football helmets also help chronicle the changes of football gear.
The early 1880s found players wearing simple head harness that only protected the ears. The 1890s
introduced the 4-spoke helmet design, which boasted padded ear muffs and a criss cross head support.
Technology moved slowly, and the next major style innovation was the 8-spoke helmet, which only
double the number of straps, but offered no other major advancement.

By 1910, full head covering helmets were created, which were similar to rain caps. Other styles such
as the Princeton model became popular. The 1920s found hard leather shell “Red Grange” styles
supplied by Reach and Spalding to be quite popular among grid iron participants. By the 1930s, technical
advancements continue to improve the safety of football equipment. It is an obtainable goal to try
to collect one each of each early football helmet. All of these styles are available, and I encourage
collectors to consider adding these homegrown artifacts to their collections.

Last but certainly not least is James Naismith, the man credited with inventing basketball in 1891.
Touted for its physical fitness attributes, basketball could be played indoors and soon became a
staple exercise regiment for high schools through the United States, and both boys and girls could
play. Typically consisting of teams made of 12 or less, organized team basketball equipment offers
the greatest challenge for collectors, as the small number of spots on the team created the shortest
supply of inventory. Although rare, early 1900-20s basketball jerseys were quite colorful and often multi
colored in design. Again, early cabinet photos capture and document the transformation of the game
and the equipment worn by the participants.

In sum, early baseball, football, and basketball equipment offers collectors many potential areas of
interest of which to collect. With the soaring prices of major league memorabilia and the relatively low
market pricing on vintage sports memorabilia, today’s market place can still afford many opportunities
for the collector willing to venture from the center of established collecting paradigms.

Watch in upcoming month as MEARS Auction will begin to feature quality, rare, and vintage sports
memorabilia.

Sincerely,

Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS

troy@mearsonline.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 30, 2012
Category: Archived News

A collector walks into a sports memorabilia shop and says to the proprietor, “Hey, I have something
rare to show you. It’s a 1920s-1930s baseball signed by Babe Ruth.”

Dec 1, 2011
Category: Archived News
Immediate need for high end memorabilia. Top prices realized.
Nov 30, 2011
Category: Archived News
Paying $100,000+ for this jersey!!!
Nov 23, 2011
Category: Archived News

Luis Aparicio model the strip tag of a 1963 Wilson Home Baltimore Orioles flannel.

Sep 16, 2011
Category: Archived News

This was one of the items we took in for evaluation at the National this year. I have had this article ready for some time, but needed to make sure to folks submitting it had ample time to review my findings.

Sep 2, 2011
Category: Archived News

MEARS is an acronym that stands for Memorabilia Evaluation andResearch Services. In my mind, the words Evaluation and Research must go hand in hand. Nothing grates on me more than to see an evaluation or Letter of Opinion on an item that is simply a regurgitation of the physical description/ characteristics and a photograph of the item in question; and yes this becomes even more irritating on those occasions when I have seen a MEARS evaluation done do this standard. Enough of the soup box lecture, let’s get the heart of the issue for today.

Sep 2, 2011
Category: Archived News

Being “earth friendly” is everywhere and I guess that’s a good thing. My large black coffee at Starbucks (still haven’t broken on the code on the whole “Grande/Venti thing) comes in a cup that is made with 10% post-consumer recycled fibers

Aug 29, 2011
Category: Archived News
How long did teams keep uniforms? The pictures that may surprise you...
Aug 25, 2011
Category: Archived News
The long and the short of it...sleeves or tails?
Aug 11, 2011
Category: Archived News
A look at a century of player growth and the impact on uniform sizes...
Aug 7, 2011
Category: Archived News
Great show for so many reasons...
Jul 30, 2011
Category: Archived News
War Era Uniforms and NY Yankee Crests...
Jul 18, 2011
Category: Archived News
One of the most historic modern Yankee baseballs ever offered
Jul 14, 2011
Category: Archived News
A fixed series or fixed to the series? You decide...
Jul 4, 2011
Category: Archived News
How did the Mets outfit Nolan Ryan when he was called up in September of 1967? I have some thoughts on this issue...
Jun 29, 2011
Category: Archived News
In 1965, the tumult of the ’60’s thundered on...
Jun 20, 2011
Category: Archived News
Images and things I have picked up that might be of interest to you....
May 27, 2011
Category: Archived News
Lou Gehrig's Last Glove? What collector might now be the unluckiest fan on the face of the earth and why...
May 23, 2011
Category: Archived News
A true one year hit in my book...
Apr 2, 2011
Category: Archived News
A Foucs on Process and Product and Why I Detest the Phrase "Photo Matching"...
Mar 20, 2011
Category: Archived News
When Pride of the Yankees Becomes Shame On You...
Mar 20, 2011
Category: Archived News
In spite of his limited play behind the plate, Richard Smith, the "Brews" bulky backstop was the cornerstone of Milwaukee's strong foundation from 1936-1952...
Mar 19, 2011
Category: Archived News
Let's be very clear about the use of the pronoun "WE"...
Mar 15, 2011
Category: Archived News
Expanding what we know about expansion era baseball...
Mar 14, 2011
Category: Archived News
Charlie "O" could take the heat, but could his players?
Mar 5, 2011
Category: Archived News
These were the coolest jerseys of the day and I can prove it....
Feb 24, 2011
Category: Archived News
A "content concept" I would love to hear your thoughts on...Now batting, Ted Williams.
Feb 16, 2011
Category: Archived News
Many a South Side youngster dreamed of making it to the big leagues while playing on the sandlots of Milwaukee. For Chester Peter Laabs, his dream would come true ...
Feb 10, 2011
Category: Archived News
Hot and Cold...Cotton and Polyester
Feb 2, 2011
Category: Archived News
The wild tumult of the decade continued apace; audaciously assaulting the senses with its shameful, shameless impudence. In Braves' country everyone speculated and argued whether or not the Braves were moving....
Jan 29, 2011
Category: Archived News
Never equate a grade with rarity...
Jan 9, 2011
Category: Archived News
The Dodgers, Mizuno, Goodman & Sons and All Star Game Jerseys...
Dec 25, 2010
Category: Archived News
Getting what you want because you know what your buying...
Dec 19, 2010
Category: Archived News
Forgotten Treasures From The Daily Edition
Dec 19, 2010
Category: Archived News
Hobby's Finest Autographed Ty Cobb game used bat available for sale!!! MEARS Elite Winter Auction, December 21st - 30th, 2010
Dec 17, 2010
Category: Archived News
Being weight conscious over the Holidays...
Dec 10, 2010
Category: Archived News
A picture of a MEARS LOO should not be taken at face value...
Nov 28, 2010
Category: Archived News
Even if you buy it...don't buy it...
Nov 25, 2010
Category: Archived News
A sweet connection and great story..
Nov 14, 2010
Category: Archived News
This was a test....
Nov 11, 2010
Category: Archived News
Mini Me in the 1950s by way of Sax Fifth Avenue...
Nov 1, 2010
Category: Archived News
"Praise the Lord, And Pass the ... Inspiration."
Oct 31, 2010
Category: Archived News
Getting back to my first love...flannels...and early ones...
Oct 22, 2010
Category: Archived News
Style or Variation? You Decide...
Oct 13, 2010
Category: Archived News
Patching together information to form a more complete picture of MLB in 1976...
Oct 3, 2010
Category: Archived News
Maybe you can tell what he's wearing or not...but how do you know?
Sep 25, 2010
Category: Archived News
Making the most of jerseys that may never have made it...
Sep 17, 2010
Category: Archived News
Look at your knit jersey. Are they really what you thought you were buying?
Aug 29, 2010
Category: Archived News
A picture is worth a thousand words, and in some cases a thousand dollars...
Aug 27, 2010
Category: Archived News
Before "Jolting" a certain New York Yankee back to reality on July 17, 1941... the hometown fans already knew that Kenny Keltner was destined for stardom...
Aug 16, 2010
Category: Archived News
Superstar knits that turned out to be anything but...
Aug 8, 2010
Category: Archived News
Chasing Ghost Figures and Auction Reform...
Aug 1, 2010
Category: Archived News
Chapter 15: 1963--The tumult continues...The 1960's have been called the "Greatest Decade of the Century" by some...
Jul 31, 2010
Category: Archived News
Shill bidding could have cost one bidder thousands of dollars. Has this happened to you?
Jul 28, 2010
Category: Archived News
Looking for the founding fathers of flannel forgery...
Jul 17, 2010
Category: Archived News
Take stock of what you have been told and decide for yourself...
Jul 7, 2010
Category: Archived News
This diminutive Brewer, inch for inch, pound for pound, proved to be a "Mighty Mite" for Milwaukee
Jul 3, 2010
Category: Archived News
Answering questions of a Cubs fan...
Jun 27, 2010
Category: Archived News
Answering your questions by showing you which ones to ask...
Jun 21, 2010
Category: Archived News
Wilson and MacGregor should have sent a big thank you note...
Jun 17, 2010
Category: Archived News
Is supply and demand as simple as that...?
Jun 12, 2010
Category: Archived News
An interesting story for those who actually look into it...
Jun 4, 2010
Category: Archived News
"Do your own homework" is a common phrase. But what does it mean when it comes to bidding in auctions?
Jun 3, 2010
Category: Archived News
Barrel branding, court decsions, and what it really means....
May 8, 2010
Category: Archived News
Does popularity drive value or does value drive popularity....
May 8, 2010
Category: Archived News
Looking at the evolution of Wilson products over four decades...
May 8, 2010
Category: Archived News
Using dated film for dated jerseys is a must...
May 8, 2010
Category: Archived News
A lot has changed about the game in the past half century and sizing is no exception...
Apr 30, 2010
Category: Archived News
Sport shirts packed away, "Leatherneck" Bill was occupied in the Pacific, while Charlie Grimm was hearing the siren call from the "Walls of Ivy." Veeck would be fuming, Stengel was assuming ... the management of the Brews...
Apr 28, 2010
Category: Archived News
John Lang inspecting his consignments on display in the MEARS museum
Apr 23, 2010
Category: Archived News
What I wrote and did not write about this exceptional jersey and why...
Apr 13, 2010
Category: Archived News
By applying the same principals, MEARS evaluates a high grade jersey of a hockey icon.
Apr 3, 2010
Category: Archived News
Chapter 14--In 1962 the turbulence of the ‘60s continued…in various forms—inexorably!! It touched us, changed us; personally and culturally. Some of it was distant from us, some very close at hand. Some was, seemingly, not important to us; some was very important. Whether it was Viet Nam, civil rights, Baby Boomers coming of age, the sexual revolution, feminism or rock and roll; it affected our lives and the lives of those around us...
Apr 3, 2010
Category: Archived News
What I Liked and Why...
Apr 2, 2010
Category: Archived News
A Hands On Approach to Evaluations...
Mar 28, 2010
Category: Archived News
The 2009 Audit results and policy changes for 2010...
Mar 14, 2010
Category: Archived News
The value of information and research for one very fortunate collector...
Mar 11, 2010
Category: Archived News
Meet Reggie Jackson in person on April 17th, 2010 at the new MEARS Auction and Museum Center
Mar 11, 2010
Category: Archived News
Giving birth to both an industry and a hobby...
Mar 2, 2010
Category: Archived News
While some shamelessly point only to his 1945 "Merkle Moment" in the Philadelphia sun, George Binks shined in Milwaukee during the summer of 1944...
Feb 20, 2010
Category: Archived News
In some cases, "All Dressed Up and No Place to Go..."
Feb 13, 2010
Category: Archived News
What I would bid and why...IF I COULD..
Feb 12, 2010
Category: Archived News
Avoiding one to find the other...
Feb 11, 2010
Category: Archived News
Flannels and variations...what a great combination.
Feb 11, 2010
Category: Archived News
The last time we focused on the pre-1920s. How about as recent as the late 1940s?
Feb 10, 2010
Category: Archived News
A real passion for the game and a true talent for telling the story of our National Pastime...
Feb 10, 2010
Category: Archived News
This little Birdie told me a lot...
Feb 5, 2010
Category: Archived News
Maybe knits are as cool as flannels...
Feb 5, 2010
Category: Archived News
You could say that Charles Arthur Shires was never lacking in self esteem. When your traveling trunk is emblazoned with the sobriquet Art "THE GREAT" Shires, it is a good bet that you exude confidence...
Feb 2, 2010
Category: Archived News
A new twist on an old debate...
Jan 26, 2010
Category: Archived News
Cey Hey! What is this...?
Jan 23, 2010
Category: Archived News
What does "teams" mean?
Jan 23, 2010
Category: Archived News
It starts with what they are...
Jan 14, 2010
Category: Archived News
Value and Value Added? You Decide...
Jan 10, 2010
Category: Archived News
Over 1,000+ lots of rare and historic photos offered for auction...
Jan 9, 2010
Category: Archived News
They are out there...
Dec 29, 2009
Category: Archived News
The value of researching via newspaper...
Dec 26, 2009
Category: Archived News
Who In The Heck Dressed These Guys...?
Dec 25, 2009
Category: Archived News
Hardly candidates for the Island of Misfit Toys...
Dec 20, 2009
Category: Archived News
Looking at the 1972-1974 Oakland A's beyond on line references...
Dec 19, 2009
Category: Archived News
The $1500 a day guy vs the $1500 a jersey guy...
Dec 19, 2009
Category: Archived News
Following an outline of analysis and not a patch outline...
Dec 17, 2009
Category: Archived News
"The ‘60s” showed no hesitation whatsoever in getting right into the tumult and change that would evermore mark this as a watershed decade…
Dec 15, 2009
Category: Archived News
The stuff we collect comes in all types...
Dec 14, 2009
Category: Archived News
Folks...It's all finally starting to come together.
Dec 10, 2009
Category: Archived News
So many pennants and so little space... by David Bushing
Dec 8, 2009
Category: Archived News
Is the current Cobb bat the sleeper and steal of the December Auction?
Dec 5, 2009
Category: Archived News
What constitutes an honest and ethical standard?
Dec 5, 2009
Category: Archived News
Think about price, value, and timing when considering a bidding strategy...
Dec 4, 2009
Category: Archived News
High Value Historic Negro League Game Used bats offered for auction document the practice of discrimination and acceptance by equipment suppliers
Nov 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
What goes into looking at such vintage pieces? It's far more than just looking at the MEARS jersey census...
Nov 26, 2009
Category: Archived News
As a consigner or a bidder in MEARS Auctions, what do you want to see and why? Good or bad, I honestly want to hear what you have to say...
Nov 17, 2009
Category: Archived News
"Doc" Buckner was the Milwaukee Brewers much loved trainer. He died while on his way to join the team for spring training in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1938. The Milwaukee Brewers mourned his passing...
Nov 15, 2009
Category: Archived News
Increasing Market Value by Decreasing the Legtimate Supply of Flannel...Trust Me, It has Nothing to do with the Sheep...
Nov 9, 2009
Category: Archived News
You may have to spend a $1.00 to save yourself thousands...
Nov 8, 2009
Category: Archived News
See why this forger is seeing red now because he failed to see red before...
Oct 31, 2009
Category: Archived News
Making gains, market trends, and interesting parallels...
Oct 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
Looking at questions and getting away from old inadequate answers...
Oct 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
Common problems and the "So What Factor"..
Oct 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
It never gets easier to give collectors bad news...
Oct 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
Spahn got better with age and so do unifoms like this...we just don't see things like them very often.
Oct 19, 2009
Category: Archived News
While most of us didn’t know it at the time, 1959 had been a watershed year…we were now entered into “the ‘60’s”…a time of turbulence, turmoil and transformation…This was the very cusp of great change—in our nation, in our culture and in all our lives.
Oct 17, 2009
Category: Archived News
Doing your own research is rewarding and adds to to the fun and excitiment of adding to your own collection...
Oct 13, 2009
Category: Archived News
A Hall of Fame Player with Hall of Fame Fabric...
Oct 13, 2009
Category: Archived News
Sometimes what you don't see is more important than what you do...
Oct 10, 2009
Category: Archived News
With the world at war, baseball was declared to be an important diversion for the folks back home by FDR. Milwaukee's "Mr. Baseball" did his part to "divert" them and the team was pretty entertaining too. Out of the primordial ooze of the Waukesha "Moors" came the 1943 Milwaukee Brewers...
Oct 4, 2009
Category: Archived News
Something special for so many reasons...
Oct 4, 2009
Category: Archived News
Old topics, a new jersey, and a glimpse of what is on tap for the MEARS December Auction...
Sep 29, 2009
Category: Archived News
Once again, very happy about the money we didn't make...
Sep 20, 2009
Category: Archived News
Understanding the Authentication Process: MEARS examines a 1918-22 Babe Ruth game used bat
Aug 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
Low density/ high demand memorabilia offered in a transparent and legitimate venue.
Aug 22, 2009
Category: Archived News
Low Density-High Demand Historic Offerings In an Honest and Transparent Venue...
Aug 20, 2009
Category: Archived News
Stirring up oral history vs. factory records
Aug 20, 2009
Category: Archived News
Understanding the Authentication Process: 1922-24 Ty Cobb H&B Louisville Slugger Professional Model Game Bat (5-5-24 side written with over 100 cleat marks)
Aug 20, 2009
Category: Archived News
Sports Illustrated covered this maker of bats 55 years ago.
Aug 19, 2009
Category: Archived News
Ignoring Adolph Hitler's call to return home to Berlin, Heinz "Dutch" Becker kept his "not so happy feet" firmly planted on the infield of Borchert Field. A fan favorite in spite of the war and his country of origin, he let his bat do his talking in Milwaukee.
Aug 16, 2009
Category: Archived News
Answering questions for a fellow flannel fan...
Aug 2, 2009
Category: Archived News
Some thoughts, questions, and frustrations...
Jul 12, 2009
Category: Archived News
Gather as much information from as many sources you can and then decide for yourself...
Jul 3, 2009
Category: Archived News
Something to Talk About While Watching the All Star Game Festivities...
Jul 2, 2009
Category: Archived News
Curious Collector "Braves" The World of Flannels For The First Time...
Jun 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
Understanding the Impact of Sensitive Assumptions...
Jun 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
Red Sox or Red Herring? You Decide...
Jun 19, 2009
Category: Archived News
1959 was an amazing year politically, culturally, musically and even for the Braves it was a year to remember.
Jun 10, 2009
Category: Archived News
JERSEY JAM

The weekend before this one saw some new special-issue uniforms being worn.

First off, the White Sox and Reds dressed up in Majestic knits resembling their 1964 MacGregor flannels at the Civil Rights Game in Cincinnati. Both styles of uniforms were made well, though not totally accurate to the 1964 originals. The powder blue White Sox jerseys had a CHICAGO front at lease an inch taller than the original flannel did. Meanwhile, the Reds vests...well, on the good side, they replicated the originals' NOB under the number, a first in pro sports at that time. Not so good: those NOBs were in a smaller, wider font than the originals. Still, a good uniform overall with a nice added touch: the Civil Rights Game patch on the back of the neck, where the MLB logo is normally found. I wonder if the MLB website or the individual teams will get the nod o market these? In the past, most Chisox TBTCs were sold at the next Sox Fan Fest.

On Fathers' Day, the AAA Syracuse Chiefs promoted prostate cancer awareness by wearing white caps with a light blue logo on the front, and a blue ribbon on the back. Check www.syracusechiefs.com for availability of game-worn or other versions.

Finally, for those keeping track, the one game in which Manny Ramirez played for the Albuquerque Isotopes before his return from suspension found him in an Isotopes home white #99 jersey.

MORE JERSEY JAMMIN'

Tag carryovers happen, but rarely this extreme: Eric Atkinson noticed a common player Red Sox road knit up for auction that was tagged for 2000. Provenance was fine, as it came from Kruk Cards, normally not a game-used dealer but an entity that did obtain a sizeable number of Red Sox gamers at last winter's Fenway Park Garage Sale. This 2000 Bosox piece carried a Russell manufacturers' tag...the style used in 1992!

Just curious...what will happen to the Lakers Game 2 NBA Finals uniforms? The Game 1 apparel (Lakers gold, Magic blue) as well as the Game 3 outfits (Magic white, Lakers purple) were tagged and recorded by MeiGray were sold through NBA Auctions. Game 2, though, found the Lakers wearing the Sunday home whites for the only time in the 5-game series. Where will these end up? Will MeiGray obtain these, as well? Will the Lakers auction/sell them on the team website? Will Lakers expert and dealer Dan Cisneros acquire them? Someone else? I guess we'll have to stay tuned.

DID YOU KNOW..., That, while the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB have made league anniversary patches pretty much and all-for-one concept in terms of uniform display, be it a patch (MLB 125th Anniversary, for example) or a special uniform feature (gold Jerry Wet logo for the NBA's 50th Anniversary), one defunct league only found a single team wearing its anniversary logo? Yep, the American Football League celebrated 10 years of life in its final year before the NFL-AFL merger. The only team wearing the 10-year AFL patch was the Kansas City Chiefs, and only on their Super Bowl 4 unies, which were the home reds.

The bulletin board on MEARS posted the news of the game-used sale of Red Wings NHL gear this past Saturday in Troy, Michigan. If you couldn't make it, you may be in luck, as the Red Wings will make any unsold item from the sale available to non-attendees on July 1. Team contact is Christi Forgacs at christi.forgacs@olyent.com .

HAVING A BALL

Finally, the recently held Midwest League (low A) All-Star Game involved a first. For the game, Rawlings made a limited number (240) of 2009 Midwest League All-Star Game baseballs for the event, held at the home park of the Clinton Lumber Kings. The original plan called for 60 to be put aside for game use and the other 180 to be sold as souvenirs. No word on the team website as to current availability, but try checking again in the near future (www.lumberkings.com) .



QUOTE: "I don't know a steroid from a reefer."...Cubs manager Lou Piniella, after being asked about former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa's failed 2003 drug test.

Jun 10, 2009
Category: Archived News
Style Matching and Year Dating Caps...Some Thoughts and Images That Might Surprise You...
Jun 7, 2009
Category: Archived News
The Devil is in the Details...
Jun 6, 2009
Category: Archived News
Things MEARS should set its sights on in the very near future...
Jun 1, 2009
Category: Archived News
Public Announcement on a Policy Issue
May 31, 2009
Category: Archived News
A misguided tribute that turned into a very desirable style jersey...
May 30, 2009
Category: Archived News
It's no good because it's not like mine...
May 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
MORE LEGIT JERSEY ODDITIES

Recent viewings on eBay and a trip on Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine have led me to some more unusual jerseys that are, or may, be the real deal after all.

Jose Cardenal was a diminutive fellow who played for roughly 17 years in the Majors. He began the 1971 season with the St. Louis Cardinals, but was dealt to Milwaukee during the season. Being a little guy, it was amusing to see a '71 Brewers home flannel of his owned, at the time, by Brewers collector and Miller Park program seller Rich Lulloff. The jersey had Cardenal's #1 added to the back, but did not have a number change...the jersey was originally a size 38 Bat Boy jersey, which was blank-backed. How often does a batboy shirt end up being used by a Major League veteran?

Speaking of Brewers, a first I saw on eBay recently was a Majestic gamer using a pre-2000 Majestic BP jersey tag. The jersey was an alternate worn by Milwaukee benchwarmer Jason Conti, and had normal and complete 2003 strip tagging in the collar. The oddity was the tail-located 1998-99 Majestic label as found on BP attire. That was the first time I saw a carryover of a BP jersey Majestic label onto a game Majestic jersey.

Finally, I didn't try to photo match this item, so I can't verify it as game-worn, but a seeming oddity on the piece was verified with a photo in the eBay listing that at least created a style-match. The jersey was a Reebok 2004 Chargers powder blue Ladanian Tomlinson top. The oddity on this item (although I've also seen it on a small number of Reebok issued Throwback styles in 2001-03) was the lack of an NFL neck logo on the LT jersey. The eBay-listed jersey was sans logo, and so was the jersey LT wore in the photo. Like I said, without hands-on inspection and access to the MEARS Database, I can't positively peg it as a game-used jersey...but the lack of neck logos on both shirt and game photo means that I can't automatically dismiss it, either...at least until I could perform more research.

NBA FINALS JERSEY BREAKDOWN

The 2009 NBA Finals found the Orlando Magic wearing only their basic home and road uniforms in all 5 games. The Lakers, meanwhile, wore their purple road threads for all three Orlando-based games, but split the styles in Games 1 and 2 at the Staples Center, wearing the standard gold home unies for the first game, and the Sunday home alternate white outfits for the second game.

JERSEY ODDITIES THAT ARE NOT LEGIT

I also saw a pair of jerseys on The Bay that were lacking in authenticity for visible reasons.

For starters, a 1973 Brewers road knit of Jerry Bell was offered, with a slightly errant numeric font on the front, and a very errant font on the team nickname on the front. "BREWERS" was affixed in serif bearing letters, whereas the BREWERS front on both home and road knits of the era are sans-serif. This poorly-done counterfeit may well have been a 1970s/early 1980s creation, put together in an era where certain teams were very tough to find jerseys of in the hobby (and back then, the Brewers were among them), and even a common could be a $200 or more sale when found. Research sources were nothing like they are in 2009, and a rather uneducated hobby market of 30 or so years ago may have accepted this fake, obvious in 2009, as genuine back then.

Another jersey that isn't what it ought to be seen on eBay recently was a 2001 Rams home jersey of Orlando pace. The jersey had proper collar and tail tagging for a 2001 Reebok jersey, as well as the correct NFL neck logo, but still had one noticeable flaw...the numbers were your basic serifed block numbers, last used by the Rams in 2000. In 2001, the team went to a more stylized numeric font, which this Pace piece should have had, but didn't.

While we're at it, another "game used" piece advertised on the Bay was a road Indiana State Larry Bird shirt. The jersey was made by Starter, a company that, as far as I know, didn't make jerseys for anybody in the late 1970s. A cheesy looking name/year tag accompanied the Starter label, leading me to believe it was a retail item.

OBITUARIES

Dusty Rhodes, a hero for the underdog New York Giants in their 1954 World Series upset of the Cleveland Indians, died June 17 at age 82. Rhodes hit 2 home runs in that 4-game sweep, both off Hall of Famers (Bob Lemon and Early Wynn). He played for the Giants in New York from 1954-57, and for them in San Francisco in 1959.

Jack Littrell, a 1950s infielder, died at age 80 on June 9. Littrell played for the Philadelphia A's in 1952, the Kansas City A's in 1954-55, and the Cubs in 1957.

Ray Hamrick, a wartime MLBer, died at age 87, also on June 9. He played at both middle infield positions for the Phillies in 1943-44.

Woodie Held, a shortstop-outfielder who played in the Show in 1954 and from 1957-69, died June 11. he was 77. Held's entire career in the Majors was in the American league, where he played for 7 of the 10 teams in the circuit before the 1969 expansion. Seven of those seasons were in Cleveland Indians flannels, and he also served as a back-up on the World Champion Orioles in 1966. Held also had stops with the Yankees, Kansas City A's, (expansion) Senators, Angels and White Sox.

Hal Woodeshick, a southpaw pitcher who played in the Bigs in 1956 and also from 1958-67, died June 14th at age 76. He was on the first rosters of two different expansion teams (1961 Senators and 1962 Colt .45s), and finished his MLB career in grand style, earning a World Series ring with the 1967 World Champion Cardinals.

Finally, Frank Dasso, a pitcher with the 1945-46 Reds, died on June 8. He was 91.

SAM-ME: YOU REALLY DIDN'T SURPRISE ME
May 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Would Be Pleased...
May 24, 2009
Category: Archived News
Thursday April 16, 1942 was opening day for the hometown fans at Borchert field. The preparations for a memorable day were in place and not even a little rain could stop him now. Look out American Association...here comes Bill Veeck.
May 16, 2009
Category: Archived News
FOUR PLAYERS, TWO JERSEYS

Recycling jerseys for spring training and even the regular season was far more common in the 1970s and 1980s than today. Two such examples will be detailed here.

The 1971 Dodgers issued #36 to an infielder, Marv Galiher, who never made the Majors, in 1971 or otherwise. After the 1971 season, the Dodgers worked a trade with Baltimore that landed them one Frank Robinson. Robby was not able to wear his standard #20, as Don Sutton had it and wouldn't part with it. As a result, Robinson wore #36 in 1972, and, with the team still wearing flannels in spring training...yep, Robinson was given Galiher's unies to wear. Topps card #754 from the 1972 set carries a picture of Frank in Galiher's #36 1971 flannel.

Turn the clock forward to 1981, and the Mariners saw a field staff change during the season. Manager Maury Wills, #30, was fired in mid-season, and when Rene Lachemann took over, his coaching staff included Vada Pinson, like Wills, a MLB star in the 1960s, and, like Wills, the wearer of at least one of the same 1981 jerseys. I recall a Chicago show a few years ago, in which a Wilson gamer, tagged "30 81" in the tail, bore Pinson's NOB and his #28 both front and back, one jersey worn by two stars post-career.

ICE AND HOOPS AUCTION ACTION

Both the NHL and NBA websites have some good stuff up for auction at this time. The NBA auction site at www.nba.com has the jerseys worn in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, both Lakers home and Magic road. At last look, Kobe's yellow #24 shirt was already over $10,000. Bids will be taken until 8PM CST on June 18.

Over at www.nhl.com, the run of alternate blue jerseys with tie front necks worn by the St. Louis Blues are up for bids, with closing time on the 15th at 7PM CST. For both the Blues sweaters and the NBA Finals gamers, MeiGray tagging and database entry are part of the package.

MORE WNBA MADNESS

The Life Lock...er, Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA are being joined by the Los Angeles Sparks in going corporate with their uniforms. The Sparks predominant jersey front logo will not longer be the city or team name, but instead will be the Farmers Insurance Group logo. Ugh!

NICE TRY

Although the seller may well not be the original source of this lacking item, an eBay listing of recent days had what was described as a 2001 Expos home knit of Vladimir Guerrero. The Russell Expos jerseys of the early 2000's do not carry year tags, and the jersey does have team-issued flag tags underneath the Russell label, but there is still a noticeable problem with this piece. The Russell tag shows the slanted "R" in the Russell name, the current logo for the supplier which first saw tags in 2004. Guerrero last wore an Expos uniform in 2003. Nice-looking, to be sure, but not what it ought to be.

TURN BACK THE CLOCK...100 YEARS

Today (Sunday) the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers will wear retro 1909 uniforms during their interleague game. The Bucs and Tigers were opponents in the 1909 World Series, with Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner big names in the action.

OBITUARIES

Jim Owens, longtime football coach at the University of Washington, died last week at age 82. Owens coached the Huskies from 1957-74, leading them to three Rose Bowl berths. He played in 8 NFL games with the Baltimore Colts in 1950.

Pio Sagapolutele, a 7-year NFL veteran who was a starter in Super Bowl XXXI, died of an aneurysm at age 39. He played from 1991-97, with his first 5 years wearing the original Cleveland Browns uniform, 1996 with New England, and his final season in 1997 was as a Saint.

ZEN MASTER: MAKE IT 10 AND PASS RED!
May 16, 2009
Category: Archived News
Collector confidence in MEARS touches non-contract auction houses...
May 16, 2009
Category: Archived News
ANOTHER TAGGING ODDITY

There are actually two groups of set 1 and set 2 1985 Cubs home and road jerseys in circulation. While the jerseys worn by the Wrigleys in 1985 carry the 85 year notation in the collar strip tag and tail box tag, such is also the case for their 1984 NLCS attire. The Cubs were intending to wear their 1984 postseason garb as their standard '85 duds, but the gut-wrenching loss to the Padres in the NLCS (up 2-0 only to lose the next three and the series) caused the team to discard these sets.

How does one tell and 85 tagged 1985 regular season shirt from an 85 tagged 1984 playoff wearable? The key is the right sleeve of the jersey. The 1984 playoff team wore a large round patch proclaiming themselves as 1984 NL East Champs. The patches were removed, but the round imprint is still there on these postseason threads. No imprint, and you've got yourself a 1985 regular season item.

PRE-1987 RAWLINGS LOGO

A recent auction allowed me to learn something about Rawlings advertising logos on MLB game uniforms. While the 1987 contract was the first widespread use of the manufacturer name on the jersey sleeve, there was at least one occasion upon which a Rawlings emblem was worn on an MLB uniform before that. In this case, it was the 1978 Reds Tour of Japan uniforms. While the grey roads during the season were Wilson products, the Reds went to Rawlings for the traveling grays worn in the postseason Japanese exhibition tour. On the pants, a red circle with a white script upper case R is featured on the left rear side of the pants, near the pocket. You learn something new every day!

THEMED UNIFORMS: MLB AND MILB

May 30th saw the White Sox and Royals donning Negro League Turn Back the Clock outfits. The home Royals wore Monarchs unies which were white with dark characters and pinstripes, while the Chisox donned dark blue American Giants togs, with white pinstripes and characters.

In the minors, the last few days have seen a couple of highly unusual themed jerseys. On June 4th, the Midwest League West Michigan Whitecaps, wearers of camouflage shirts earlier in the year, held a Pink Floyd Night. In honor of the rock group, jerseys with a theme based on their Dark Side of the Moon album cover were used.

Not to be outdone in terms of 60s/70s nostalgia, the following evening found the New York-Penn League Binghamton Mets beaming onto the field with Star Trek themed jerseys. The fronts included METS in print and a Starfleet Command logo on the upper left chest. Not sure if it's logical, but it's unique.

UNIFORM NEWS, OHL AND WNBA

The NHL website's auction section (www.nhl.com) is offering sweaters from the February 4th OHL All-Star Classic. Jerseys will be up for bids until June 11, with staggered closing times beginning at 8PM CST. The jerseys are registered in the MeiGray database.

Meanwhile, the WNBA will be featuring a first-of-its-kind uniform for the four major North American professional sports leagues. Following the lead of pro soccer and NASCAR, the league's Phoenix Mercury will wear uniforms in 2009 with the front side name of prominence not being PHOENIX or MERCURY, but rather LIFE LOCK, the result of a sponsorship deal between the Mercury and the nationally known ID theft prevention company. I really hope this trend is born and dies here, but, then again, I can recall collectors in 1987 (including myself) decrying the appearance of manufacturer insignias on pro uniforms, something that, with the exception of NBA game jerseys (though not warm-ups, shooting shirts nor practice shirts) is the norm in the NBA, NFL, NCAA football, NHL, MLB, and WNBA.

LOOK CLOSELY AT...

1992 Cubs road jerseys (and homes) in a size 46 with no wear and the #21 on the front and/or back. The Cubs original run of unies had the #21 jersey assigned to Alex Arias, who was cut during spring training, and the number was then assumed by Sammy Sosa. A name-changed road jersey would be an Arias that Sosa never saw, as the Cubs sold these jerseys as Arias items during their 1990s convention sales.

OBITUARIES

Randy Smith, an NBA star for several different teams from 1971-83, died of unknown causes this past Thursday. He was 60. Smith's career was dominated by stints with the Buffalo Braves, who moved to San Diego and became the Clippers. He also spent brief stays with the Cavs, Knicks and Hawks.

CONGRATULATIONS, BIG UNIT, FOR A BIG #300 .
May 16, 2009
Category: Archived News
TWO MORE GENUINE JERSEY ODDITIES

Cardinals bat and jersey expert Jeff Scott (www.birdbats.com) shared a genuine uniform oddity he has encountered in several photos. The head-scratcher is an apparently recycled pre-1966 Cardinals flannel issued to newcomer Joe Torre for at least the 1969 Grapefruit League season, and possibly the regular season as well. The tipoff: Pre-1966 Cardinals shirts depicted the Birds-On-Bat logo with the left (to the viewer) bird having his tail located behind the bat, while the bird seated on the right has his tail in front of the bat. The two sides were flip-flopped into an opposite arrangement after 1965. Photos of Torre in this at least 4-year-old flannel can be seen on a popular MLB licensed 8x10 color photo of Joe, as well as a team photo used as a yearbook picture. I wouldn't have expected the Cardinals to go that route to supply a star like Torre, and Jeff was surprised, as well.

My other tale is a case of a legitimate common jersey repeatedly offered by its owners as a minor star's gamer. The item is a 1971 White Sox flannel with the name "Moloney" chain-stitched onto a collar strip tag. Problem is, several previous owners have been deluded into believing the owner was former Reds ace Jim Maloney. Maloney spent 1971 with the Angels, and never pitched for the White Sox.

As it turns out, the #48 jersey in question was made for, but not worn by, pitcher Dick Moloney, whose MLB career consisted of one appearance for the 1970 Chisox. He had jerseys made for 1971 usage, but was cut, and #48 was re-issued to Rick Reichardt, who may or may not have worn these. I make the use factor a "maybe" based on both Moloney and Reichardt being 6-foot-3, but Reichardt being 30 pounds heavier (215 to Moloney's 185). Whatever the case, anyone who attributes this jersey to Reds star Jim is just plain wrong.

MLB UNIFORM LOG

The May 24th finale in the Cubs-Padres series at Petco Park found the Pads wearing their annual military tribute jersey with a camouflage motif.

The next day, while the wearing of red caps for Memorial Day has been duly noted multiple times, it was interesting that the umpires also wore red lids.

MILB UNIFORM LOG Some spottings of what MLB veterans wore while rehabbing on the farm include:

Tigers hurler Jeremy Bonderman, rehabbing with the Midwest League West Michigan Whitecaps, wearing a military camo jersey during a rehab start.

Tom Glavine, back with the Braves, was rehabbing to the tune of 2 starts in Class AAA. He wore a Gwinnett Braves jersey with a "Gwinnett" Tomahawk logo on the front, his standard #47 on the back, with no NOB, and with the jersey being a faux vest (navy blue body, red sleeves).

Oklahoma City had Josh Hamilton rehabbing on a Red Hawks road trip. Hamilton wore a NNOB #19 Rawlings grey road jersey on May 10 and May 11.

NBA UNIFORM AND MEMORABILIA LOG

NBA Auctions on the league website (www.nba.com) has a number of special issue 2008-09 gamers up for bids, with staggered closing times beginning at 8PM CST on April 4. Among the offerings are a run of the yellow Hardwood Classics Cavaliers gamers (including a Lebron James in a size 48+4"); as well as Noche Latina Hispanic night jerseys of the Lakers, Rockets and Spurs (all white jerseys), and orange Suns gamers as well as green Mavs garb).

Plus, for those interested in how the auction of Randy Brown's three NBA Championship rings (all from the second Bulls Three-Peat), the final price for the trio of rings was (drum roll, please.....) $53,833.00. Not a bad piece of change.

OBITUARIES

David Glenn Lunceford, former OL for Baylor and the Chicago Cardinals, died at age 75 after a long illness.

Terry Barr, a DB/WR for 9 seasons with the Detoit Lions, also succumbed to a lengthy illness. He was 73. He played DB for the 1957 NFL Championship Lions team (their last championship squad) and, after converting to WR, was selected to two Pro Bowl teams (1963-64).

Peter Zezel, an NHL center who spent time with 7 different teams, died of multiple causes at age 44. He played in 873 games during his career.

Lude Check, a center that spent brief stints with the Red Wings (1943-44) and the Blackhawks (1944-45) died May 11, 11 days short of his 91st birthday.

CONGRATULATIONS, BLACKHAWKS...THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!
May 16, 2009
Category: Archived News
I wish them the best of luck, I really do...
May 12, 2009
Category: Archived News
Let's take a little something off and see what we can see...
May 10, 2009
Category: Archived News
WHAT WERE THE WHITE SOX DOING?

In the 1960s, the Chicago White Sox were owned by a money-challenged owner who cared deeply (Bill Veeck) and money-challenged owners who didn't care as much (the Allyn Family). What is to follow is a recap of some of the uniform oddities that the team trotted out on the backs of it's on-field personnel in the '60's.

Uniform recycling: The team was notorious for both major and minor league recycling of its 1960s flannels. Finding a pre-1969 Sox jersey, home or road, with original NOB is a major challenge. Also of note is the 1967-68 era, in which many 1967 road powder blues (by MacGregor) were recycled for 1968 with the addition of the Illinois Sesquicentennial patch that both the Sox and Cubs wore that year. One notable such jersey I have seen is the road blue of Ken Boyer, a former NL MVP who was playing out the string by then. He spent part of a season with the Chisox in 1967 after coming from the Mets, and spent an even shorter stint with the Pale Hose in 1968 before going to the Dodgers. The 1968 road flannel Boyer wore was a 1967-issued item.

Extreme Uniform Recycling: Then, there's the case of longtime AL slugger Rocky Colavito. While the title of a written piece suggested "Don't Knock the Rock", that is exactly what the White Sox did upon his arrival in 1967, in terms of providing a jersey for a player of his magnitude.

The Sox grabbed a road flannel (this example I have seen) with a name and number change, and issued it to Rocky. Even more low-ticket was the fact that it was a 1966 flannel, meaning that the team also had to change the front of the jersey, from the arched dark blue CHICAGO to the 1967-68 style Chicago script, with the slash underneath bearing the team name WHITE SOX in white. How many dollars did they save doing this? I don't know, but it's insulting to give a major star a regular season jersey this refurbished...at least to me.

Another odd recycling didn't involve a name/number/front change, but a TAG change! Don Gutteridge served as a coach under manager Al Lopez throughout 1965. The next season found Eddie Stanky taking over for The Senor, and Gutteridge was not returned. In mid-1968, however, with the Sox floundering after nearly winning the 1967 AL pennant, Stanky was shown the door, and Lopez returned, bringing Gutteridge back with him. The Sox broke out a home jersey of Don's from 1965, and proceeded to change the year tag to reflect the year (1968). The patch for Illinois was added, and voila...you have a jersey Gutteridge wore three years earlier all set to be re-used, with a few adjustments. This tale comes from the 1990s newsletter Diamond Duds.

Overall, the Sox continued the low budget approach for uniforms until the Reinsdorf/Einhorn tandem took over calling the shots in 1981...but even they had a uniform supply problem their first season in charge...that will be saved for next time.

DOWN ON THE FARM

The Salt Lake Bees trotted out pink breast cancer awareness jerseys a week ago. No word as to how these jerseys will be released as of yet.

Also, Carlos Zambrano, rotation ace of the Chicago Cubs, had a rehab start last Monday on the road. Big Z was wearing a grey Daytona front pinstriped jersey, bearing #13, and made by Wilson. That was his only game action in his Advanced Class A rehab.

OBITUARIES

Bill Kelso, a pitcher who spent three seasons with the Angels, died May 11 at age 69. Kelso was a callup during 1964 and 1966, then had his strongest year in 1967, going 5-3 for the Angels in 69 appearances (68 in relief), posting a 2.97 ERA and notching 11 saves. He spent his final big league year (1968) with the Reds.

Clint Smith, a 2-time Lady Byng Trophy winner and Hall of Famer, died this past Thursday at age 95. His NHL career included a stint with the Rangers (1936-43) followed by a stop with the Blackhawks (1943-47). He was the final survivor of the 1940 Stanley Cup Champion Rangers.

QUOTE

From White Sox manager Stanky in 1968, rejecting a clubhouse visit by presidential candidate Hubert H. Humphrey after a galling Sox loss in Minnesota: "Who cares? He can't hit!".

May 10, 2009
Category: Archived News
If all you're looking for is a price list, then don't bother reading this article.
May 3, 2009
Category: Archived News
Got an investment strategy? Some things to consider and why...
Apr 30, 2009
Category: Archived News
What to make of fabrics you are not used to seeing...
Apr 26, 2009
Category: Archived News
Are false impressions a deceptive business practice? I think they are and here's why I think so...
Apr 22, 2009
Category: Archived News
Taking Things to the Next Level...
Apr 22, 2009
Category: Archived News
MORE ONE AND DONES

This time out, I'll start with a pair of one-year jersey styles to discuss, and add a pair of one-year cap designs, also.

1968 Oakland A's: For a one-year style, a nice quantity of these reside within the hobby, although many are in private collections, not being moved at this time. McAuliffe made all three vest styles, which included the city name in chenille print, on jerseys colored white, golden yellow, and mist green. The jerseys first appeared en masse in the 1980s, when the team released the majority of them to a registered pharmacist/collector who has business ties to most of the Phoenix-area based spring training camps. Among the highlights of what this group contained were Reggie Jackson rookie flannels and the first jerseys worn by Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio (#5) in his two year stint as an Oakland coach.

1987 New York Mets road: In the first year of the Rawlings uniform contract, the Mets, a Rawlings user most of the previous 15 years, wore an attractive grey road jersey with a scripted New York, as opposed to the standard block-letter city name, across the front. The scripted New York was also used on that year's road blue mesh BP jerseys as well, one of which was recently offered by an honest, but lousy researcher/dealer as a 1994 item. They're out there, but with many Mets style collectors, bidding is usually spirited, especially on the game versions, when they are offered.

1957 Cubs cap: Wilson was responsible for these, a cap similar to the solid blue design the team has worn since 1958, but with red/white pinstripes going from top to bottom on the crown seams. Originals are extremely rare. For a nice look at one, check out the 1958 Topps card of Ernie Banks, #310.

1976 White Sox road cap: I don't recall if KM Pro or New Era (or both) made these, but this style, thanks to some managerial griping, only lasted for several weeks in 1976. The caps had the navy brim like the normal home version, but the crowns were white with a navy horizontal SOX on the front. Several 1977 Topps cards have pictures of these short-lived lids. Their swan song came when a game against the Yankees found Yanks skipper Billy Martin protesting to the umpires about the caps and the white sleeves of the undershirts that went with the road uniform. Martin's gripe was that the plethora of white made it too difficult for his batters to see the pitched baseball. Very quickly, both the hats and the undershirts were yanked, replaced with all navy examples of each.

MONITORING THE MINORS

Some minor league uniform specials worn over the last month or so include the following:

Stockton Ports (California League): 1950's style TBTC uniforms were worn on April 18. Fresno Grizzlies (Pacific Coast League): Another medical cause was publicized by the Grizzlies on April 24, when Autism Awareness unies were trotted out. Altoona Curve (Eastern League): May 3 found the curve sporting throwbacks designed after the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates, back in an era when the city name was spelled PITTSBURG.

NOTES FROM THE SHOW

The Mariners and Athletics decided to pay tribute to the old Pacific Coast League by wearing TBTC attire of the 1939 Seattle Rainiers and Oakland Oaks, from back in the pre-MLB days of both cities.

Also, the publicized Washington NATINALS error jerseys worn for part of one game by a few Nationals players on April 17 found the home white worn by Adam Dunn being auctioned on May 2 at the Nats' 4th Annual Dream Gala. Final bid on this oddity: $8,000.

STOLEN BLING

Reggie McKenzie, employed by the Green Bay Packers, had a briefcase stolen from his car a couple of weeks ago. The contents of the briefcase included his Super Bowl XXXI ring and a Packers NFC Championship ring. If you are offered these, they are hot...don't buy 'em, but contact the Packers about it.

OBITUARIES

Former AFL QB and former Republican VP candidate Jack Kemp died from a long illness at age 73. He was a quarterback in the old AFL from 1960-69 with the Los Angeles Chargers and the Buffalo Bills, and was the man running the offense of the Bills' two AFL title teams in 1964-65.

Danny Ozark, who, while never playing in the Majors, made his mark there as a longtime Dodgers coach and the manager of both the Phillies and Giants, passed away. Ozark led the Phils to three NL East titles, but never got over the hump to make it to a World Series.

John Schaive, a second baseman whose five-year MLB career was spent with both the original Washington Senators (1958-60) and the expansion version (1962-63), died May 11.

Chuck Daly, a coaching legend who guided the Detroit Pistons to 2 NBA Championships as well as a USA gold medal in basketball with the 1992 Dream Team, died at age 78 of pancreatic cancer.

Wayman Tisdale, a College Basketball Hall of Famer based on his three sparkling seasons at Oklahoma, and also a 12-year NBA veteran with the Pacers, Kings and Suns, died May 15 after a two--year battle with cancer. He was 44.

IT'S TIME, BLACKHAWKS...DEFEAT THE DEAD WINGS!!
Apr 22, 2009
Category: Archived News
Poosh um Up or Push it Aside...You Decide
Apr 14, 2009
Category: Archived News
Early April Auction Highlights...
Apr 4, 2009
Category: Archived News
Loveable Losers Turned Legands and Their Lumber
Apr 4, 2009
Category: Archived News
Pinch Hitting for Dave Miedema with a Look at Model Numbers...
Apr 4, 2009
Category: Archived News
®...It's not Hieroglyphics
Apr 1, 2009
Category: Archived News
Getting back to collecting what I enjoy...
Apr 1, 2009
Category: Archived News
ON A FIRST NAME BASIS

While names on backs (NOBs) have, since their 1960 inception, primarily employed player last names, the occasional first name, nickname, or other ID has popped up over the years. The Shirt examines many of them now.

FIRST NAMES: Vida Blue, whose career took of in 1971 with Oakland, decided a couple of years later to go with VIDA instead of BLUE on his jerseys. The practice continued during his later stints with the Giants and Royals.

Also, his Oakland teammate, Billy Conigliaro, wore 1973 jerseys identifying him as BILLY C., a photo of which can be found on his 1974 Topps card.

NICKNAME: The Cleveland Indians had Ken "Hawk" Harrelson in their employ from a few weeks into the 1969 season through 1971. The '69 season was the final year that the Tribe wore vest flannels, and Harrelson employed a NOB of HAWK on his.

HOMETOWN: The pride and joy of Wampum, Pennsylvania, Dick Allen, played for the A's in 1977, and, in addition to wearing the unorthodox number 60, placed WAMPUM on the back of his McAuliffe gamers.

TEAM TRENDS: The 1963 A's ordered a set of odd vests that were forerunners of the 1970s doubleknits from Wilson, and put player first names and nicknames on the backs of these gold gamers. Pitcher Bill Fischer, for example, was FISH, and infielder Sammy Esposito was SAMMY. This genre also produced one of the most misrepresented baseball jerseys the hobby has ever seen. Pitcher Ed Rakow wore #21 in 1963, with his NOB being ROCK. This jersey has been offered numerous times, however, as a Rocky Colavito gamer, despite the fact that Colavito played for Kansas City in 1964, not '63, and the fact that he wore #7 (see 1964 Auravision record photo) with the A's, not #21.

Also in this genre were the briefly used 1976 Atlanta Braves home NOB jerseys. The red pinstriped home pullovers, made by Wilson, carried first names (MAX for pitcher Maximino Leon) and nicknames (CANNON for outfielder Jim Wynn). The jerseys were banned, however, by humorless Commissioner Bowie Kuhn after Ted Turner, the Braves' owner, decided to push the envelope a bit too much. Acquiring pitcher Andy Messersmith from the Dodgers a few weeks into the season, Turner added the NOB of CHANNEL to Messersmith's #17 jersey...a subtle advertisement for one of his TV stations. Kuhn put the hammer down, and the jerseys were pulled and/or stripped of their NOBs.

MORE PATCHES

With a tip of the New Era cap to Murf Denny, we have news of memoriam patches being worn in 2009 by Cleveland and Toronto. The Indians have a patch for Herb Score, bearing his old uniform number (27) with a microphone representing his broadcasting career separating the two digits. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have a TED patch for their late owner, Ted Rogers.

EYEFULS FROM EBAY

Three jerseys recently offered a look at items that were misidentified as to player, team, and overall authenticity.

Very shortly after the death of Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, a Tigers home knit of the late pitcher was up for bids on the 'Bay. It did draw at least one bid, despite the fact that (a) it was the wrong supplier (jersey was Rawlings, Tigers homes in that era were made by Wilson), (b) no tagging existed of the type used by either of the above companies, and (c) the number font was totally off for the back numerals. Someone thinks they won the Bird, but instead got a phony for the birds.

Not only are minor league-issued Orioles jerseys being offered in some quarters as MLB Orioles BP jerseys, but the same misrepresentation is now being seen increasingly with minor league Padres tops. The jerseys have no NOBs, a feature used on Major League Pads pregame shirts since the mid-1980s. On top of that, the navy blue (post-1989) jerseys, in addition to being bereft of NOB, also have been made by Rawlings, last seen as a Padres source in 1991. The improperly attributed attire dates to the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Padres BP duds were supplied by Russell and Majestic, not Rawlings.

Finally, a longtime excellent dealer of cards who is unfortunately out of his element in the jersey market acquired a load of Red Sox game and BP jerseys from the Fenway Park sale earlier this year. With home jerseys not bearing NOBs nor any name tagging, the seller recently placed a #12 2002 Red Sox home gamer up for bids. The seller evidently consulted a regular season roster, which shows Cliff Floyd as #12. Problem is, the jersey is a size 44. Floyd is 6-4 and 230 pounds...he wouldn't have fit into that jersey after Junior High! A look at the team's 2001 roster shows #12 as Chris Stynes, 5-9 and 170, and the proper size for a size 44 of today. Floyd has been in jerseys as large as a size 56 over the last few seasons. My belief is that the jersey was made for Stynes, but not worn by him, as his 2002 season was spent with the Cubs.

OBITUARIES

Ed Blake, a pitcher with short stints with Cincinnati (1951-53) and Kansas City (1957) died April 15. He was 83. Blake's biggest MLB memory came before his pro career, as, having just graduated from high school, he was tapped to throw BP for the 1943 Cardinals during the World Series.

Gene Handley, a member of the 1946-47 Philadelphia A's, died at age 94 on April 12. Glen Gondrezick, and NBA [layer of the Dr. J era, died from complications from a heart transplant April 27, Age 53 at time of death, he played for the Knicks and Nuggets from 1977-83, and preceded his NBA career with a roster spot on the 1977 UNLV Final Four team.

Finally, Jack "Lucky" Lohrke, nicknamed as such due to several occasions of cheating serious injury and/or death before he made the Show, died April 29 at age 85. His MLB career was with the Giants and Phillies from 1947-53. Before that, however, he had narrow escapes from tragedy in World War 2, surviving while fellow soldiers close to him were killed; and also in 1946, when a phone call at a lunch stop telling him to report to San Diego took him off the ill-fated bus carrying the Spokane team which would later crash, claiming 9 victims.

BULLS-CELTICS...THE NBA DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT!
Apr 1, 2009
Category: Archived News
MAJESTIC/RAWLINGS SLEEVE LOGOS

The sleeve logos used by these two past and present MLB suppliers have changed since they first hooked up with MLB contracts, and the next few paragraphs will detail what was worn when.

MAJESTIC: The current exclusive MLB uniforms supplier, Majestic first was a partial MLB official supplier in 1990, getting a license to create BP jerseys.

From that year through 1993, the sleeve logo was merely the company name in dual case print. Beginning in 1994, and running through 1999, the company name was combined with a multicolored mountain peaks logo, usually related to the colors of the team the jersey was made for. While a few of these were carried over into 2000, the bulk of Majestic BP jerseys, as well as game jerseys, carried a mountain peaks logo with no supplier name. One notable exception involved some Majestic 2000 game jerseys. Majestic was introduced to the game jersey fold that year, supplying seven ballclubs. Four of them, the Brewers, Blue Jays and both Chicago teams, had their unies subcontracted to Wilson, resulting in, among other things, a sewn-on Majestic sleeve patch (Majestic themselves embroiders their logos directly into the fabric). Subsequent years' apparel, as well as the 2000 White Sox Playoff Jerseys, were done in-house.

RAWLINGS:

Rawlings was the first contracted supplier of MLB uniforms, getting the deal from 1987-91, and again as one of three official suppliers from 2000-2002. The company name was used in script form for their first stint as MLB uniform source, and, during the second run, an oval with a scripted capital R was employed.

The changeover from the former to the latter Rawlings insignia was done in 1998, as evident from minor league jerseys of the era. Unlike the Majors, minor league teams have a choice of any supplier, and, with no contract in play with the minors, any supplier can use a sleeve logo. A few Buffalo Bisons gamers from 2007-08 even show a newer logo incorporating both previously-used elements. How many other instances of this dual logo that are out there is something I can't answer at this time.

MLB POTPOURRI

One recent uniform item of note: April 22 was the 94th anniversary of the introduction of the classic Yankees uniform pinstripes, a uniform design still employed by the Yanks to this day on their home attire.

Two uniform items no longer being used in 2009: the Mets have dropped their road alternate NEW YORK front black jersey. The former home "Mets" black jersey now is the norm both at and away from Citi Field.

Also noteworthy, the Cubs have done away with their road game caps, a style with the same blue crown and logo as the home all-blue cap, but with a red brim. The road style was first used in 1994. The all-blue lid is now both home and road standard.

May 16th is the date of the White Sox game-used garage sale at U.S. Cellular Field. Held in conjunction with other events at the ballpark while the Pale Hose are on the road, the sale will run from 9AM-2PM.

New MLB memoriam patches of note: The "34" memoriam patch for Nick Adenhart, wore on the chest of Angels attire, along with the diamond-shaped PRESTON patch on the right sleeve remembering Preston Gomez. Second, the HK patch eulogizing Hall of Fame announcer Harry Kalas, worn on the left chest of Phillies unies. And, last but not least, the Carl patch the Twins have employed for deceased owner Carl Pohlad. This patch is worn on the right sleeve of Twins shirts, underneath the Metrodome Final Season patch.

OBITUARIES

Mark Fidrych, the phenomenon known as The Bird to 1976 era baseball fans, was found dead on his farm April 13th as the result of a farm accident. Fidrych was 1976 American league Rookie of the Year with a 19-9 record, but an arm injury the next season was the beginning of the end of his career.

Harry Kalas, Phillies announcer since 1971, NFL Films voice and Baseball Hall of Famer, was found unresponsive in the announcers' booth before the April 13 Phils-Nats game. He was declared dead at the hospital, the result of a heart ailment.

Merle Harmon, the first voice of the Milwaukee Brewers (1970-79) and owner of the successful chain of Merle Harmon's Fan Fair souvenir stores, died April 15 after a prolonged illness. He was 82.

Doc Blanchard,died of pneumonia April 19th. The 84-year old Blanchard spent his days at Army playing Mr. Inside, while he and teammate Glenn Davis (Mr. Outside) led Army to two consecutive NCAA National Championships in 1944-45.

SHEPP-DOG>>>WELCOME TO THE 500 HR CLUB!
Apr 1, 2009
Category: Archived News
A mix of information some might find rather tasty...
Mar 27, 2009
Category: Archived News
Talk about March Madness? Give some thought to what you have been paying at auction in years past and the possible reasons why...
Mar 20, 2009
Category: Archived News
Do the numbers really tell the tale?
Mar 17, 2009
Category: Archived News
Hi-Lites include the Roman Gabriel III Michael Jordan collection, Charlie Brock Game Worn Packers helmet, and much, much more.
Mar 15, 2009
Category: Archived News
TAGLESS THREADS

Collectors are usually more comfortable with baseball gamers that have tags included. For the purposes of this discussion as well as the previous statement, we're not discussing manufacturer or size tags. No, collectors usually like to see notations such as the year of usage, maybe the set number, a name or numeric player ID, and, on rare occasions, an inventory number. Most teams carry at least one of these items in their current game attire, although a handful...Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Houston, for example...have been largely tagless since 2000.

A few tagless teams is not a recent occurrence. Even in the 1970s, there were a few styles of the then-newfangled doubleknits that didn't feature the numbers and names hobbyists like to see. The Shirt will feature a nearly complete list of 1970s knits that bore only a supplier label, generally with the size included in the design.

Baltimore: The Orioles were very tag-friendly on their Wilson, Rawlings, and Spalding knit gamers, but the one style from 1971-79 not made by those three...the 1971 orange pullover alternates...were tagless. The style was made by Brooks Robinson Sporting Goods, and the HoFer's company tagged pretty much nothing it made...that included O's Old-Timers Game garb in the later '70's, as well as the prototype for the ABA Baltimore Claws, who folded before playing a game.

California Angels: Virtually anything supplied to the Halos by Los Angeles-based Goodman and Sons were tagless items, except for the 1979 Angels ALCS home whites, of which I have only seen two in my 30-plus years of jersey collecting (a Frank Tanana and a Joe Rudi).

Chicago White Sox: The Veeck-designed 1976 Rawlings pullovers with the oversized collars were untagged 90 percent of the time. Occasional examples will emerge with a set 1 flag tag, but those are minimal in quantity.

Cincinnati: Tagless Wilson road knits were the norm for the 1972-76 time frame, although many examples feature a markered set number (1, 2, or 3) handwritten on the Wilson label.

Cleveland: Normally a tagging team, one can find nearly all 1975 Wilson gamers to not bear the year tag that other years included. Also, as in the case of the 1976 White Sox garb mentioned earlier, team budget constraints found the tagless threads being worn periodically one and even two seasons later.

Los Angeles Dodgers: You can find tagged jerseys, featuring year and set notations, for some 1970s Goodman issuances, but not, from my experiences, on home or road Dodgers duds from 1976, 1977, or 1979.

New York Mets: Tag-inclusive for their Rawlings and Wilson 1970s jerseys, their two seasons of ordering road greys from Goodman, 1976-77, found the first of those two seasons being tagless.

Pittsburgh: The first team to introduce and keep doubleknit unies (mid-1970) saw those 1970 productions (by Rawlings) bereft of the standard Rawlings flag tag that the Bucs included later on.

Seattle: Only one year and one style of tagless jerseys, but from guess who? Yep, Goodman, who left tags out of the inaugural year (1977) home whites it made...both the NOB bearing regular season tops and the NNOB spring training version.

Texas: Goodman strikes again, issuing 1976 road powder blues to the Rangers that carry nothing other than a Goodman tag.

WRONGLY TAGGED THREADS

There are still too many NFL retail jerseys, discernable by a separate Pro Line tag on items made by companies who didn't use the notation on team-issued items, being offered as gamers on eBay. Three popped up in the past week, including a Russell Eagles jersey, a Bears Champion shirt, and one from Wilson of the Colts. Sad to say, all three companies never featured Pro Line notations on the tagging of any of their team-issued garb. In the case of the Bears jersey, the Pro Line tag replaced the team-exclusive tag in the dual tagging on the tail. The Wilson fake showed the 1995 shield logo on the tag...appropriate for sleeves on '95 NFL game attire, but NEVER on the Wilson tag.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, LOUISVILLE SLUGGER

Louisville slugger will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of their existence as a MLB bat supplier by placing a logo on 2009-issued MLB game bats. Located between the centerbrand and the barrel ID notations, the logo will bear the 125th designation, as well as the years involved (1884-2009). Louisville has only placed special logos on their bats twice before: the BiCentennial Liberty Bell logo in 1976, and the pink ribbon insignia for Mothers' Day/Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Bats, beginning in 2006.

RETRO BECOMES REGULAR

Word comes from Wisconsin's Murf Denny that the 2009-10 NBA season will find the Philadelphia 76ers making the current season's 1983-style Hardwood Classics design their regular style for all games. As in that bygone season, home versions will be white and road designs will be red.

GIVE IT TO THE KID...

...Not the course of action of most adult game-used collectors, but the definitive choice of one NBA player recently.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas of the Cleveland Cavaliers entered the NBA 10,000 career point club on March 21st, and team officials were looking to retrieve the game ball that scored that milestone point to give to Ilgauskas. Problem was, the ball somehow made it into the stands after the game, and was gone by the time team officials began searching in earnest. Local media immediately began calling for the ball's new owner to turn the ball over to the Cavs for Ilgauskas.

The thing was, the ball was not in the hands of a memorabilia dealer or even a diehard NBA collector, but rather an 8-year old kid. The kid's mother, seeing the media outcry over returning the prized ball, called the Cavs and explained the circumstances. Ilgauskas contacted the family, and, noting the pressure being placed on a grade-school youngster, defused the dilemma by telling the boy that he could keep it. A nice ending if the kid enjoys his souvenir from an NBA game, but not so nice if the ball shows up on eBay in a few weeks...here's hoping for the former.

OBITUARIES

Lou Saban, who played for the NFL Browns from 1946-49, and coached the Patriots, Bills and Broncos of both the AFL and AFC over 16 years, died from heart failure March 29 at age 87. Saban had two coaching stints with the Bills, winning the AFL Championship the first time around in 1964-65, and, after returning, coached O.J. Simpson.

Herman Franks, a former big league catcher and manager, died on March 30 at age 95. Franks caught in the National League (1939-41) with St. Louis and Brooklyn before serving in World War 2, and, upon his playing resumption, caught for the Athletics and Giants in the 1947-49 time frame. He managed both the Giants (1965-68) and Cubs (1977-79), never winning a pennant or division title, but scoring four consecutive 2nd place finishes during his years in San Francisco.

THE BEARS HAVE A FRANCHISE QB AT LAST!!
Mar 15, 2009
Category: Archived News
A missed consignment is the least of my concerns...
Mar 13, 2009
Category: Archived News
CONTRACTED SUPPLIERS

Beginning with the NBA in 1986, the idea of contracted suppliers...official supplier for sports uniforms for a major league...became part of the game-used hobby lexicon. MLB and the NFL soon followed, although the NFL employed a number of official suppliers until 2001. Below is a rundown of contracting sources for game attire in the three major sports leagues.

MLB: Rawlings supplied most of MLB from 1987-91, although five teams (Braves, Blue Jays, Tigers, Yankees and Red Sox) ordered at least one style from Wilson, and two other teams (Padres and Astros) and one player (Nolan Ryan) went to Goodman for a limited number of unies. Russell was the new contracted MLB supplier from 1992-99, with some teams (Braves, White Sox, and Blue Jays) ordering some Wilson attire for the entire time frame, and the Cardinals and Pirates using Rawlings in that same eight year span. The Dodgers wore Rawlings from 1992-94, and the Mets ordered garb from both Rawlings and AIS during a portion of the Russell contract. The contract was split among three companies (Majestic, Rawlings and Russell) from 2000-2002, and two (Majestic and Russell) in 2003-04. As of 2005, all MLB uniforms have been supplied by Majestic. One other exception has been certain Turn Back the Clock outfits over the last 15 or so years, with AIS, Ebbets Field Flannels, and Mitchell & Ness being involved.

NFL: Multiple suppliers were the norm for the NFL from the late 1980s all the way into 2000, with participating official suppliers at some point in that span including Wilson, Russell, Champion, Apex, Starter, Puma, Logo Athletic, Nike, Reebok and Adidas. Sand-Knit uniforms also were made in 1989-90. In 2001, Reebok took over all but a few teams, who used Adidas. The following year, Reebok was totally exclusive, the standard of the league til now.

NBA: Sand-Knit was the whole ball game from 1986-87 through 1989-90, as was Champion from 1990-91 through 1996-97. From 1997-98 through 2003-04, the league used multiples sources, predominant among them Nike, who was involved the entire time. Champion was in the mix until 2000-01, Starter and Puma saw action in 1997-99 and 1998-2000, respectively, and Reebok showed up in 2001-02. Reebok got exclusive uniform rights in 2004-05 and 2005-06, with Adidas succeeding them and the current contract holder.

The next Shirt will discuss the presence of the supplier sleeve logos (also called TV logos) that are connected to this listing.

BASEBALL BITS

Greg Maddux will have two number retirement ceremonies to attend in 2009. In addition to the Cubs' ceremony in which his #31 will be retired for both Fergie Jenkins and himself, the Braves will mothball #31 all for him on July 17.

The Washington Nationals will wear special caps in a game later this year to honor recently departed general manager Jim Bowden. While the red home cap will feature a front side W, instead of the curly W they normally use, the letter will be a logo of two wishbone C's (think the Cincinnati Reds) points down and connected to create a W.

Tag carryovers of manufacturer label designs can ad do occasionally happen, but one eBay item with solid provenance shows one of the more extreme examples. A 1998 Red Sox road knit of Greg Swindell, sourced from the Fenway Park Garage Sale a couple of months ago, bears a Russell label that was the norm for 1992! . That time delay is one of the most extreme time gaps I've ever seen.

BASKETBALL BITS

More sightings of Go Green NBA game uniforms this past week include ones worn by the Bobcats on April 7 and the Bulls on April 9. I'm sure Al Gore will start a collection of these. :)

Just as there seem to be a few Pro Line NFL jerseys being offered, either through lack of knowledge or planned deceit, on the Bay, NBA jerseys are sometimes found with the same problems, as well. Recently, a seller had a Juwan Howard Wizards jersey by Nike that had he gnawing problem of bearing a "Made in El Salvador" notation on the extra length flag tag...a death knell as far as team-issued/game-worn pedigree goes. You don't want to see this tag notation on the tail of a Nike-made NBA jersey.

ALPHA BITS

Not the cereal...but another made-up word recently encountered to describe authentication in an eBay listing. Garbled English has now gone from "authentification" to "authenticizing". I know some vintage football game-used enthusiasts chafe a little when they see "dureen" instead of "durene", but this one is ridiculous!

OBITUARIES

Nick Adenhart, 22-year-old Angels pitcher, was killed in an auto accident in the wee hours of April 9th when his vehicle, carrying three other people, was hit by a van. Two of the three passengers also died. Adenhart had thrown six innings of scoreless ball in a start just hours before his life was ended.

Ken Anderson (not the Bengals QB great) died of a heart attack April 3rd at age 33. He played college ball at Arizona and was a member of the 1999 Bears.

Gus Cifelli, a tackle for 3 National Championship football squads at Notre Dame and a pro with the Detroit Lions, died March 26th of natural causes. He was 84.

Paul Davis, head football coach at Mississippi State in 1962-66 and again in 1987, died at age 87.

Marvin Webster, a 9-year NBA center known as the "Human Eraser", died of an undetermined illness at age 56. Eight steady seasons with Seattle and New York found Webster making a mark on the game, with a NBA Championship ring earned with the Sonics. Two years of hepatitis pretty much ended his career, although a brief comeback was attempted with Milwaukee.

Mike Casey, a Kentucky Wildcats hoops star from 1967-69 and 1970-71, died from heart complications at age 60. He missed the 1969-70 NCAA season with a broken leg.

RIP, NICK ADENHART, AND MAY YOUR KILLER ROT IN JAIL
Mar 13, 2009
Category: Archived News
NOW, ABOUT THOSE OTHER GUYS...

After reviewing the patches/no patches and spring training/season usage of the 1969 Seattle Pilots last time out, similar information will be detailed here on the other three 1969 expansion teams.

Kansas City Royals: Spring and season designs were the same, save for the left sleeve patch. Neither style carried the familiar Royals logo patch, with the spring versions having no patch, and the season designs sporting the MLB 100th Anniversary patch.

San Diego Padres: Patchless in the spring, the Pads home and road shirts during their first regular season bore the San Diego Tricentennial patch. The MLB 100 years patch was not used. Also of note: the Wilson-made 1969 road tan flannels are found with and without NIC tagging. While I can't say this with total certainty, it is highly possible that the NIC-less versions were spring attire.

Montreal Expos: Like the Royals, no change in spring and season styles, home or road, and, also like the Royals, no patch in the spring, and the MLB 100th Anniversary insignia in the regular season.

Some 1969 Topps cards that show the spring training versions of the three teams noted above: Padres: #452 Al Ferrara; Royals: #603 Joe Keough (home) and #463 Dennis Ribant (road); (Expos) #466 John Boccabella and #496 Larry Jaster.

NFL NEWS

For 2009, the Detroit Lions are temporarily shelving jersey #93. That number was worn in 2008 by Corey Smith, one of the two NFL players lost at sea in a boating accident.

The 2009 NFL season will find a season-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the old American Football League. The original AFL teams will do their part by wearing legacy uniforms in games against other original AFL clubs. The teams will don attire of their pre-merger days, and the styles are listed below. Of course, being AFL expansion teams, Miami (1966) and Cincinnati (1968) are not part of the promotion.

Buffalo: Will wear 1965 style unies.

Denver: Patrick Scoggin will like this...retro 1960 brown and mustard yellow threads.

Kansas City: The Chiefs were the Dallas Texans back then, and the Texans' 1962 duds will be revived.

New England: The old red unies of the old Boston Patriots from 1963 will be the deal here.

New York: The Jets will wear TBTC New York Titans outfits, but the style will be the white, not the dark blue used the last 2 seasons.

Oakland: The current Oakland Raiders will mimic the original Oakland Raiders' 1963 design, using white jerseys will silver numbers trimmed in black.

San Diego: The Chargers of SD will wear pants from the era of the LA Chargers...white pants with yellow bolts on the legs.

Tennessee: Formed as the Houston Oilers, a blue and white uniform with red accents will be the order of the day here.

Also, all eight teams involved will also sport retro helmets from the AFL era, ranging from the slightly different Raiders logo used back then to the totally redesigned and differently hued helmets of the Patriots, Titans, Broncos and others.

MORE NBA NOCHE LATINA

More sightings of the Hispanic-themed NBA shirts are s follows:

San Antonio..Los Spurs white March 20.

Dallas...Los Mavs green alternates March 25

Chicago...Los Bulls red worn at home March 26

TWO MORE TO AVOID

More eBay offerings that may not have been intended to be misdescribed, but are nonetheless: Mid-1990s Chicago Bears home Chris Zorich jersey. Described as a game-used jersey, the Champion made shirt is dual tagged, but the second tag is a Pro Line label, not used on Champion NFL gamers.

A 1991 California Angels home, properly tagged, #30 jersey purported to be a Nolan Ryan wearable. Three problems: Ryan was with Texas at the time, the NOB font is wrong, and the jersey is sized a 42 at a time when The Express took 44s and 46s. My own belief? Likely a 1991 legit Angels gamer of Ruben Amaro Jr. (#30, 5-10, 175) that was somehow turned into a Ryan, quite possibly by a previous owner.

OBITUARIES

John Blanchard, former C-1B-OF who played on five straight Yankees pennant winners from 1960-64, died of a heart attack. He was 76.

Whitey Lockman, a 16-year Major Leaguer, predominantly with the New York/San Francisco Giants, passed away at age 82. Lockman also was the manager of the Cubs from mid-1972 to mid-1974.

George Kell, a 3B for the A's, Tigers, Red Sox, White Sox and Orioles from 1943-57, died in his sleep March 24. Age 86 at his time of death, Kell's .306 lifetime batting average helped him get in the door at Cooperstown. He also spent several decades as a Tigers broadcaster.

Elmer Weingartner, a wartime player who appeared in 20 games for the 1945 Indians, died at age 90 in the Cleveland suburbs on March 15.

Jeff Komlo, a five year NFL QB who was a fugitive from the law, died in a car accident in Greece at age 52. Komlo appeared in 16 games for the 1979 Detroit Lions, and spent the other four years of his career as a backup for the Lions, Falcons and Buccaneers.

Butch Komives, a 10-year NBA guard who played from 1964-65 to 1973-74 with the Knicks, Pistons, Buffalo Braves and Kansas City-Omaha Kings, died at age 67.

GET HEALTHY, AARON BOONE
Mar 13, 2009
Category: Archived News
Size 52 uniforms,50oz bats and the only juice was orange...
Mar 12, 2009
Category: Archived News
Jerseys and Bats, It Just Doesn't Get Much Better Than That...
Mar 8, 2009
Category: Archived News
Custom pens handcrafted out of reclaimed wood from historic baseball stadiums and game-used bats of baseball legends.
Mar 6, 2009
Category: Archived News
PILOTS FACTS AND MYTHS

A friendly difference of opinion on Seattle Pilots uniforms with a major game-used seller prompted me to check on his, and other assertions as to what the Pilots did and didn't wear during their lone American League season. The 1969 expansion club will be looked at in this regard with a focus on uniform jerseys and caps.

Myth: The Pilots wore their spring training jerseys for part of the regular season.

Fact: The two spring training styles were both made by Wilson with a simple PILOTS front, number on back, all in blue, with no year tagging. The regular season homes were also by Wilson, with a front left chest design showing a lower case team name and a pilot wheel logo above it, with the front and back numbers being blue with yellow trim. The roads (by Spalding) were powder blue with a front-side city name in yellow with royal blue trim, the same color scheme as the back numbers.

A question regarding this in the 1990s newsletter Diamond Duds was answered with a referral to a midseason edition of the 1969 Pilots yearbook. The photo showed the Pilots players along the foul line on Opening Day for pregame introduction. All were outfitted in the regular season Wilson homes. No evidence has been produced of a regular season game in which the team wore the plain-looking spring shirts.

Myth: The Pilots wore the MLB 100th Anniversary patch on their spring jerseys/regular season jerseys.

Fact: 75% of that statement is, indeed, myth . Topps cards from the last 3 series of the 1969 set (the 5th series was the first to show the four expansion teams in their 1969 spring unies) show Pilots players in their spring attire, and none of the cards from '69 (#651 Gus Gil) or 1970 (#158 Jerry McNertney, #370 Tommy Harper, #323 Wayne Comer, and the 1970 Super card #9 Tommy Harper) that I saw show the patch on the left sleeve, the alleged location of the unbelievers. In addition, licensed MLB Photo File 8x10s of McNertney and Marty Pattin show a blank left sleeve as well. More on those two photos later.

As for the regular season, the road powder blues had the patch on the left sleeve, but the home whites did not. Again, photo evidence of the lack of a patch is evident in a team photo issued by Avis with the usual style of arranging of the players, as well as the only Seattle Pilots team card ever issued by Topps, #713 in the 1970 set. Both photos do not show a single player wearing the patch.

Myth: The Pilots had spring training and regular season caps.

Fact: It is true that two different styles were made: the plain blue cap with a yellow S, and the fancier cap with the pilot wings on the brim and the long yellow stripe at the base of the crown. And, while it's also true that the plain caps were worn only in spring training, the fancier caps, in addition to the regular season, saw at least limited use in Arizona, as well. The McNertney and Pattin 8x10s mentioned earlier show both players with the plain unies, but the "scrambled eggs" caps, the nickname derived from the wings design on the brim.

Here's hoping that sets it straight on 1969 Pilots uniforms.

CUBS CEREMONY COMING

On May 3, before the Cubs-Marlins game at Wrigley Field, the retirement by the team of jersey #31 will be celebrated. The retirement is in honor of both Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux. Expect Andre Dawson to be on hand, as well. Dawson works for the Marlins, and sometimes dresses in uniform with the team, and was a teammate of Maddux.

WEARIN' OF THE GREEN

Three NBA teams were wearing St. Patrick's Day green uniforms once or twice last week. The green garb was donned by the Raptors (March 15 and 16); the Bulls (March 17), and the Knicks (March 18).

A couple of side notes on the above: The Raptors apparently were told by the league to wear the St. Patrick's Day attire, and several members of the Raptors expressed a negative attitude towards the outfits, with one or two even filing complaints with the league. Most of the complaining centered around players feeling that the green garb made them look too much like the Boston Celtics.

Speaking of the Celtics, they were the Bulls opponent at the game on The Day itself, held at Chicago's United Center. With the Bulls dressed up in green, the Celts wore their home whites for this road game.

Also, the Heat wore black Noche Latina unies as part of a Hispanic community promotion on March 9.

OBITUARIES

Former MLB pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who spent 1973-78 with the Brewers and 1979 with the Royals, died on his 57th birthday, March 6

Joe Tepsic, who played in 15 games for the 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers, died February 23. He was 85.

Alf Pike, a six-season member of the New York Rangers and also a member of the Canadian Military for tow years during World War 2. passed away at age 91. He also was the Rangers coach for part of the 1959-60 and all of the 1960-61 season.

Larry Regan, the NHL Rookie of the Year in 1956-57 and who split five NHL seasons with the Bruins and Maple Leafs, died at age 78. He also coached the Los Angeles Kings for one season.

William Davidson, the owner of the NBA Pistons, died at age 86. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year, and became the only man to have three teams he owned win league championships within one full year, with winners being the 2003-04 Pistons, the 2003-04 NHL Tampa Bay Lightning and the 2004 WNBA Detroit Shock.

James Tillman, a center at Loyola University of Chicago from 1963-67, and a member of the school's NCAA Champs, fell to bone cancer at age 62. He was drafted by the Bulls, but, at his agent's advice, chose to go pro in Europe instead.

NICE JOB, MARTIN BRODEUR!
Mar 6, 2009
Category: Archived News
Supplier or Manufacturer...?
Mar 5, 2009
Category: Archived News
More than just retail offerings...
Mar 2, 2009
Category: Archived News
McAULIFFE...THE INITIAL RESEARCH

The issues regarding McAuliffe MLB jerseys that have been discussed on Game Used Forum have prompted me to engage in some research utilizing the MEARS database and also the MEARS jersey population report. The issues, one of which was part of the original posting by well known and knowledgeable collector Lon Lewis and the other of which seemed to spring forth from subsequent posts from other hobbyists, will engage two questions:

1) Did McAuliffe, during the era of their manufacture of MLB knits (1972-81) ever sell game-jerseys (similar to what today would be termed "retail authentics"), with team-issued tagging, over the counter or in similar retail fashion?

2) Is there any pattern in terms of date of issuance that would ascribe a specific time period to a McAuliffe tag with blue vertical lines on the left and right edges vis a vis McAuliffe tags with no such blue lines?

The research I was able to do gathered items from both the database and census report of MEARS, and will be grouped into four categories, listed below with reasonings as to their individual entity status.

1) MEARS A10 jerseys...gamers with no flaws and, where applicable, player or team provenance.

2) MEARS A6-A9 jerseys...gamers with minor flaws, but still regarded as game-used via MEARS standards.

3) MEARS A5 and below...jerseys that, based on the MEARS A5 grade, carry all the characteristics that would be expected to be found in a game-issued uniform. Technically, this is a post-1987 criteria, however, it is being applied here as well as the criteria mentioned appears to have been used or influenced the grading of a number of MEARS-examined jerseys of this genre.

4) MEARS database photos: These were taken from eBay images, websites, and other sources depicting game used and game-issued jerseys. Since selection for the database is based on visual examination, rather than hands-on authentication, while some examples may be jerseys that would grade Unable To Authenticate if examined by MEARS due to obvious flaws, others may depict jerseys with flaws or inconsistencies that are not discernable from basic computer images, and, as such, may be retail or non-team-issued jerseys.

FIRST OFF...THE A10s

The MEARS Census shows four jersey that have been evaluated and graded A10. Two are gamers with "game-used" or "My Gamer" notations inscribed on them as part of an autograph; the other two gained an A10 grade solely on reasonable wear and other pertinent characteristics.

The two inscribed jerseys are a 1976 Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski, gifted by Yaz to close friend and longtime show promoter Dick Gordon, and a 1977 Red Sox Fred Lynn. Gordon's gamer has a McAuliffe tag without blue lines, the Lynn's McAuliffe tag has them.

The other two A10s are a 1974 Red Sox Jim Rice, a late-season call-up gamer, and a 1977 Oakland A's Joe Coleman. Both carry the blue-lined version of the manufacturer tag.

OTHER HIGH GRADE MEARS CENSUS JERSEYS

Eight McAuliffe jerseys in the census have MEARS grades in the A7-A9 range. They are listed below with the notation BLUE if the tags have blue lines, and no notation if they don't.

1973 Red Sox Yaz A8

1973 Angels Nolan Ryan A7

1974 A's Rollie Fingers A8

1975 A's Larry Haney A8 BLUE

1975 A's Reggie Jackson A8

1975 Red Sox Carlton Fisk A8

1976 Red Sox Yaz A9 BLUE

1976 A's Steve McCatty A7 BLUE (1976 shell worn in 1977).

This sampling only includes census jerseys to which I had availability to photographs that showed the McAuliffe tag. Some census jerseys didn't have photos, and they are not included in this sampling.

LOW GRADE AND NO GRADE

MEARS showed four jerseys in the census that were graded A5 or less, or had no grade. They are listed below.

1) 1973 Red Sox Yaz, A5. The jersey was given this grade based on an application of the post-1987 A5 criteria to this older item. No blue lines on tag.

2) 1974 Angels Nolan Ryan, A3. The jersey was found to be a genuine common player Angels gamer that was doctored to reflect Ryan's identity, and was discernable from font differences with game photos in the MEARS database. No blue lines on tag.

3) 1975 A's Reggie Jackson, no grade. This jersey was deemed to be a retail item based in inconsistencies in the A's logo on the front with a photo of Jackson in uniform on Getty Images. No blue lines on tag.

4) 1975 A's Billy Williams, no grade. Jersey was dubbed a salesman's sample or possibly a retail jersey based on a major font inconsistency in the 2 in the jersey number (28). Blue lines on tag.

1977: Red Sox Fergie Jenkins

1977: Red Sox Yaz (2)***

1977: Red Sox Reggie Cleveland

1977: Red Sox Dick Drago

1977: Red Sox #20

1977: Red Sox Ramon Aviles

All have blue line tags except one of the Yaz jerseys.

***Both Yaz jerseys are likely retail and/or tag tampered. One of the two (the one with no blue lines on the tag) has tag tampering only discernable upon an enlarged photo. The other, with a blue line tag, is, like the Rice and Aaron, not a team-issue and likely a retail exemplar, based on it, like the Rice, being sized at a measurement Yaz never wore as an active player (in this case, size 46).

1978: Red Sox Yaz** No blue lines on McAuliffe tag, but enlarged image shows tag tampering in neck.

1979: A's Bob Kearney...blue line tag

1980: A's Lee Walls (no blue lines on tag)

1980: A's Rickey Henderson (no blue lines on tag)

1981: A's Rickey Henderson

1981: A’s A's Keith Drumright ++

The Henderson has no blue lines, but the Drumright game item, a jacket does. The Drumright jacket is dated to 1981 as that was his only MLB season with Oakland.

DATABASE IMAGES Here, now, broken down by years, are the images MEARS has collected on the database that I had access too. Jerseys with the blue-lined manufacturers tags will be marked or categorized appropriately.

1973:

Angels Mickey Rivers BLUE LINES

A's Ken Holtzman

A's Vic Davalillo

Angels Nolan Ryan BLUE LINES

A's Reggie Jackson

A's Bert Campaneris

A's Larry Haney

1974:

A's Joe Rudi BLUE LINES

A's Catfish Hunter (2) ONE BLUE LINES

A's Reggie Jackson (2)

Red Sox Jim Rice BLUE LINES

Red Sox Mario Guerrero

1975:

A's Bert Campaneris

A's Paul Lindblad

Red Sox Rick Burleson

A's Vida Blue

Red Sox Cecil Cooper

Red Sox Johnny Pesky

Red Sox Yaz

Red Sox Jim Rice **

Red Sox Jim Burton

All except the Yaz have Blue Line tags.

** The Rice jersey is believed to be a retail/pro style jersey based on a sizing (40) that has not been documented as a size Rice took during his career..

1976:

A's Vida Blue

Red Sox Fred Lynn

Brewers Hank Aaron **

A's Joe Lonnett

A's Bill North

Red Sox Rico Petrocelli

Red Sox Eddie Popowski

All except the Aaron have Blue Line tags. The Aaron is an obvious retail/pro style jersey, as McAuliffe did not supply the Brewers with any jerseys in 1976.

SO WHAT HAVE WE FOUND?

A few observations from this project:

1) The presence of off-sized, tagged game-type jerseys indicate possibility of retail jerseys with pro tagging being available to fans. Whether these retail/pro-style jerseys were sold on-site, by mail order, or through company insiders is open to debate and has not yet been determined.

2) The transition period for blue line tags replacing non-blue line tags appears to cover two years (1973 and 1974)

3) 1975-79 jerseys look to have been predominantly made with the blue line tags. MEARS graded exemplars used, and a small number of other similar jerseys, may have the old tags due to a carryover that most manufacturers have when a tag design is changed, not a foreign concept to most knowledgeable collectors.

4) The newer non-blue line tags sampled first were seen in 1980 jerseys; however, the sampling was limited, and additional exemplars may show earlier jerseys with the similar tag. The tag carryover design reality is evident with the 1981 A's jacket of Keith Drumright, a 1981 tagged item with a blue line tag. Drumright's only year with Oakland was 1981.

5) Retail jerseys from the era may carry either tag, as evidenced by the improperly sized Yaz and Rice jerseys, as well as the Aaron Brewers piece.. Also, tag-tampered exemplars, including the Yaz mentioned above, as well as one other, suggest tag doctoring as a possible cause for the older tags being in later-issued jerseys in some cases.

This constitutes a start on this study, but there's certainly more out there that will either support the above findings or show possibilities of more liberal tag chronology for a specific style. I'm sure Lon Lewis is accumulating data on this research challenge, being the studious and knowledgeable hobbyist that he is. Also, any additional findings, pro or con, can be emailed to me at ballhawk396@hotmail.com for future expansion of what's been started here.

Mar 2, 2009
Category: Archived News
Not all the neat photos are on line...
Feb 27, 2009
Category: Archived News
Are catalogs and mailing lists overrated?
Feb 26, 2009
Category: Archived News
ANOTHER SINGLE GAME JERSEY

While St. Louis Cardinals superfan/supercollector Jeff Scott continues to research the date of use of the 1999 red MBA gamers, he's found another one-game Cardinals top to share info about.

The Cardinals, as per Jeff, also had an MDA promotion in 1997, complete with special game jerseys. The jerseys, as per some Mets apparel of the same general time frame, carried an MDA patch, this on the left sleeve, as the Jackie Robinson patch was situated on the right sleeve. However, one distinct variance from the norm puts this style beyond the standard MDA-themed unies. It was in 1997 that the Cardinals first opted to remove uniform numbers from the jersey front. As it happened, however, the MDA gamers had a reappearance of the pre-1997 front digits, a variation from the standard 1997 St. Louis home and road attire. Thanks, Jeff, and keep us informed if you land a date on the red 1999 gamers.

NOCHE LATINA IN THE NBA

The first-ever Hispanic themed NBA gamers have begun making their debuts. The first was a white Lakers uniform worn March 3 with a team name of LOS LAKERS . The following night saw both teams in the Dallas-San Antonio contest wearing Noche Latina unies, as well as the Knicks. The Mavs wore green alternate LOS MAVS threads, the Spurs were LOS SPURS in white tops (even though they were the visiting team), and the Knicks used a Spanish city name front, NUEVA YORK .

This genre bears a Noche Latina patch, Noche Latina tagging above the Adidas labels and a MeiGray tag, as theses will be in their database, and likely be released through NBA Auctions.

PATCHING IT TOGETHER

Pro sports patch news, with a big assist from dealer Murf Denny:

After two games of wearing black shoulder strap bands, the Bulls have replaced the bands with a right jersey front patch, using Bulls team colors, eulogizing both Norm Van Lier (2) and Johnny Kerr (Red). The strap bands were limited to 2 games usage (one home, one road).

Among patches to be worn in MLB during 2009 are the following:

Twins: Final season at the Metrodome (NOT 40th Anniversary, as earlier reported, as the dome was opened in the early 1980s). Padres and Royals: Team 40th Anniversary patches. Cardinals: Host city, 2009 All-Star Game Mets and Yankees: Inaugural season at their respective new stadiums.

HOCKEY AND BASEBALL BIDDING

MLB.com is auctioning more Rangers and Braves gamers, as well as a number of Yankees BP tops. The Texas threads begin closing at 7PM CST tonight; the Atlanta apparel at the same time Monday evening, and the Yanks wearables at 7PM CST on Wednesday.

Over in the NHL, the league website (www.nhl.com) has a number of goodies closing up beginning at 8PM CST on March 12th. Up for bids are Rangers sweaters from Andy Bathgate/Harry Howell Night; Doug Gilmour tribute night Maple Leafs jerseys, and V2 Blues gamers.

ZO'S 33...NO MO'

On March 30th, the Miami Heat will hold a halftime ceremony to retire the #33 jersey worn by Alonzo Mourning. Mourning had a solid career that was interrupted by kidney disease, with a comeback that included a NBA Championship ring with the Heat as Shaquille O'Neal's backup at center.

OBITUARIES

Tom Sturdivant, a MLB pitcher who played for 7 different teams from 1955-64, passed away February 28. Sturdivant, 78 at time of death, is best remembered for his 5 seasons (1955-59) with the New York Yankees.

One of the oldest living Negro Leaguers, Curtis "Bingo" Lloyd, passed away late last month at age 99.

George McAfee, Pro Football Hall of Famer, died March 4th at age 90. McAfee played for the Chicago Bears from 1940-41 and 1945-50, serving the three years in between as a member of the U.S. Navy. Drafted from Duke by the Eagles, and immediately dealt to the Bears, McAfee was part of three NFL Championship Bears squads, and had his jersey number 5 retired by the team.

Although athlete spouses rarely make this section, one shall do so here. Colleen Howe, the wife of NHL legend Gordie Howe, died on the 5th due to the effects of Pick's disease. She was 76. Mrs. Howe acted as her husband's business manager for much of his career and for his retirement, with her accomplishments including arranging the deal that allowed Gordie to join his sons Mark and Marty with the defunct WHA Houston Aeros.

T.O. IS AVAILABLE...DIVA OR GAME-BREAKING RECEIVER?
Feb 26, 2009
Category: Archived News
True story or just blowing smoke...
Feb 24, 2009
Category: Archived News
Oh the balls of some people...
Feb 22, 2009
Category: Archived News
Milwaukee lost their hearts along with a baseball team in 1966 when the Braves jilted them for Atlanta. When Allan Selig and others began the battle to bring a major league team back to Milwaukee, a familiar figure led the charge ...
Feb 22, 2009
Category: Archived News
ADDITIONAL ONE-AND-DONES

Here's some more single game jerseys, as well as corrections to one of last week's entries.

NBA: This season's addition to the one-game genre were the Christmas Day gamers worn during all but one December 25th game. Special tagging and a snowflake design behind the NBA logo mark this gamer's uniqueness. This inaugural event was not employed, however, during the Cavs-Wizards game, as the Cavs unies were not properly color-matched to a shoe design Lebron James wore for the game; hence, these were never worn.

Of course, there have been Valentine's Day uniforms worn by a few teams on or around February 14th (though not in 2009, as that was the All-Star break). The Bulls, Knicks, and one or two others have worn St. Patrick's Day green uniforms for games on or near March 17th, taking a page from the MLB playbook.

PATCH ADDITIONS

Adding a special patch to a game jersey has been done in other sports, as well. Baseball has gone that route with MDA (Mets), AIDS ribbons (Giants), RICOH and other Japanese-themed logos for Opening Day games in Japan (Yankees and Devil Rays and others), and the Salvation Army patches worn by the Yankees after Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast in 2005..

. NFL and NBA unies for games in Europe, Canada and Mexico, both preseason and regular season, have marked the attire worn in those events for a number of years, and in the NHL, special sweaters featuring tribute patches to ex-players having special ceremonies before or during a given game have been popping up in the past couple of years, with examples being for Adam Graces (Rangers) and Wendel Clark (Maple Leafs)

Jeff Scott, well-known Cardinals bat expert and collector, mentions a 1999 Rawlings-made red game jersey worn for a MDA promotion. The Cards had an in-park event regarding muscular dystrophy on April 11 of that year, and Jeff has been trying to confirm that as the exact date through team contacts. The date is an oddity, given that the Mets MDA events always centered on Labor Day, in tandem with Jerry Lewis' TV telethons.

Nick DiSalvo reminded me of the end-of-spring training Civil Rights Game unies of 2007 (Cardinals and Indians) and 2008 (Mets and White Sox). The 2009 game is in June between the Chisox and Cincinnati.

Finally, some corrections and clarifications on Red Sox items mentioned last time out, courtesy of Eric Atkinson. The gold-trimmed Red Sox unies, with a 2004 World Champs sleeve patch, were worn for the Opening Day pregame ring ceremony. The game itself had a different run of threads; patch intact but gold trim not present. Both were shelved after the home opener. Thanks Eric.

The green Bosox BPs were worn in both 2007 and 2008. The 2007 version (Majestic 0062) were, indeed, worn for a Red Auerbach tribute, but not with an Auerbach memoriam emblem. Instead, these bore a VT patch for the recent Virginia Tech shooting tragedy. The greens were also used in 2008 (Majestic 0068) for a tribute to the 2007-08 NBA Champion Celtics. Thanks to all three of these hobbyists/gentlemen for their input.

NBA NOTES

As expected, the Utah Jazz have, indeed, added a jersey patch to remember recently deceased team owner Larry H. Miller. The patch is in the form of the original Jazz logo (song note), purple with white trim and small swatches of green and orange on the basketball panels in the bottom of the song note. The top, horizontal portion of the logo has his initials, LHM, added in white.

Krypto-Nate? One of the items associated with Nate Robertson's Slam Dunk Contest victory on All-Star Weekend is off the hobby market, but another is in play. Robertson wore a St. Patrick's Day Knicks jersey, which, after he won, was given to spectator, actor, and huge hoops fan Will Ferrell. However, the green Spalding basketball he used is up for bids on www.nba.com . The green-hued game sphere is up for bids until 5PM CST on March 12.

DID YOU KNOW?...

...that, although Russell's stint as an official MLB uniform supplier began in 1992, that Russell supplied some BP jerseys to the Braves in 1991? Or that a handful of test/tryout uniforms were also made in 1991 for a small group of players, such as Bobby Bonilla (Pirates) and Jack Morris (Twins)?

NEW DUDS FOR NEW YORK

Pictures from 2009 Spring Training in Florida show a new road BP jersey design for the New York Yankees. The new design has a white with grey trim NEW YORK on the front, and a larger, thicker, similarly colored number on the back.

THURSDAY TRAGEDY

This past Thursday, the NBA Chicago Bulls, in a span of under 12 hours, lost two of their most popular team figures in the club's history; one to prostate cancer, the other to still undetermined causes.

Early afternoon saw the passing of Norm Van Lier, who spent nearly 7 of his 10 NBA playing seasons with the Bulls. Van Lier, who also spent time with the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks in his career, was found in his apartment early Thursday afternoon, not responding to efforts to revive him. He was 61.

Before the stroke of midnight, death also claimed the cancer-stricken Kerr, who was age 76. Kerr played 12 seasons inn the Association, 11 of which were with the Syracuse Nats/Philadelphia 76ers, with his final go-round in 1965-66 with the Baltimore Bullets. He immediately turned to coaching, taking the reins of Chicago's first year expansion team, and guiding it to the playoffs in its inaugural season...a feat never before accomplished in the major sports leagues. The Bulls also made the postseason in his second and final season as head coach, after which he also became the first-ever court boss of the expansion Phoenix Suns, but without the same success. He was fired during the 1969-70 season, and soon thereafter became a highly popular broadcaster with the Bulls.

The previous Thursday had it's share of gloom, as well, insofar as Chicago pro athletes were concerned, as Chet Bulger, a 9-year NFL tackle, died from natural causes at age 91. He played all but his last season with the Chicago Cardinals, including the 1944 campaign, when the Cardinals and Steelers undertook a one-year wartime merger, calling themselves Card-Pitt. He was part of the 1947 NFL Championship Cardinals team, and spent his final year (1950) with the Lions.

THE WBC IS COMING...WILL YOU BE WATCHING?
Feb 22, 2009
Category: Archived News
Determining what size jersey a player wore is both a process and a function of time...
Feb 7, 2009
Category: Archived News
MORE ON NOW-YOU-SEE-'EM, NOW-YOU-DON'T STYLES

Part two begins:

Cubs Blue Alternates: This color/style has had a rocky history at times at the Unfriendly Confines. Twice, blue game jerseys were ordered, but never worn (1994 by Russell, due to the strike, and 2007 Majestic, due to orders from John McDonough of the front office). The 1997 season found blue alternates worn...but only twice. They were broken out in Florida for a game the Cubs won, worn again the next day for a Cubs loss, and then retired. Unlike most Cubs jerseys by Russell, there was no collar strip tagging in most of these...just a blue 1 or 2 written on the Russell label to identify a set number.

Blue Jays Canada Day: I recall these going back to 1997, although it's possible these were used before that. Basically, the jersey design is akin to the normal Toronto attire, but colored bright red as opposed to the standard white, gray, or blue. The backs feature a nameplate of CANADA as opposed to the player name. They're nice, and not terribly easy to find.

Hispanic Heritage Jerseys: The San Francisco Giants opened this door in 2005, wearing a home white jersey with the front reading the Spanish "GIGANTES" as part of a tribute weekend to former Giant superstar and HoFer Juan Marichal. The theme was picked up by several other clubs since then for Hispanic Night promotions, including the Mets (Los Mets), Arizona (Los D-Backs), Seattle (Marineros) and Milwaukee (Cerveceros).

Military jerseys: The camouflage look was first worn by The Padres circa 2000-01, and has become an annual tradition in Padre Land. Other teams, such as the White Sox, have copied the idea once or twice, but not on a regular basis.

Opening Day Gold: In 2007, the previous year's World Champions (St. Louis) wore a home opener jersey that was the same as the standard home whites, except for gold trim outlining the logos, names and numbers on the jersey. I think the Red Sox may have done this last year, as well, but cannot recall...Justin, can you confirm this for me?

Red Sox Auerbach Tribute: While Boston used the normal green BPs teams employ for St. Patrick's Day, a night in April at Fenway Park found green BP-style jerseys being worn again, this time with a tribute patch for legendary Celtics great Red Auerbach, who had died some weeks before.

If I missed any non-TBTC jerseys that fit this description in MLB, please email me at sox83cubs84@hotmai.com for inclusion next week. In part three will employ some of the unique designs worn in other sports. Be there!

IN THE BEGINNING, LASTINGS MILLEDGE WORE #44... ...but then he decided to give it, no strings attached, to new Nationals acquisition Adam Dunn, who wore #44 with the Reds. The transaction was basically a gift, with no details of a monetary or merchandise reward being given to the young former Met, unlike many occasions when a new player wants a number already spoken for by a new teammate. Milledge is taking the unusual number 85, as a remembrance of his year of birth.

NHL/NBA/NCAA NUMBERS GAME

Several uniform retirements have been made or announced to be made in the past couple of weeks. For a recap, read on...

In NCAA hoops, the Texas Longhorns will retire the #35 jersey worn by Kevin Durant in ceremonies at the February 28th game.

In the NHL, meanwhile, Glen Wesley, the last original Carolina Hurricane (after the team headed south from Hartford) had his #2 sweater retired on February 17.

NBA activities saw a number retirement ceremony in Sacramento on February 6 (Chris Webber), and a missing logo on Allan Iverson's NBA All-Star Game jersey, based on an action photo for the game on NBA.com. The Adidas insignia did not appear on his shirt in the photo, although I'm not certain if the All-Stars wore more than one jersey in that event. No reason given as to why, so it's one of three possibilities as to why: 1) A boo-boo by Adidas; 2) No Adidas logo because his jersey was ordered from another supplier (not likely, though, as the Adidas emblem is visible on his trunks in the same photo); or 3) A very poorly publicized missing logo contest along the lines of the Reebok promotion for the NHL Winter Classic. Personally, I'll take Door Number One.

OF STEELERS AND STARS

Hey...once in a while I want to title this section with something other than "Auction Action". First off, the final tally on Santonio Holmes' Super Bowl-winning TD catch for the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation ended up at $7,020.

In the NBA, the league website auction is now carrying game-worn jerseys from the All-Star Game and the Rookies/Sophomores Game recently completed. All have MeiGray registration and tagging, and bidding ends on March 5th.

. METS SNIPPETS

The Mets have announced, after the uniform sleeve patch boondoggle, that a different Citi Field Inaugural Year patch will be added to the left side of all Mets game caps in the 2009 regular season. The logo will feature the arches of the stadium's rotunda.

OBITUARIES

Ted Uhlaender, an outfielder for Minnesota, Cleveland and Cincinnati from the mid-60's until 1972, died of a heart attack earlier this past week. He was 68. Another one of my memorabilia swapping pals while he was an Indians coach in 2001, Uhlaender was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer over a year ago. I'll miss this guy.

Linebacker Brad Van Pelt, a New York Giants star for 11 seasons with subsequent stints in Los Angeles with the Raiders (2 years) and his final season being in Cleveland, also fell victim to a heart attack. Age 57 when he passed away, Van Pelt may well have been the last player in the NFL to get away with snubbing the league's strict rules regarding jersey numbers and player positions. Having also been a kicker in college, Van Pelt sought for a way to allow him to keep his jersey #10 in the NFL, where linebackers are only allowed numbers in the 50s and 60s. The Giants submitted their roster to the NFL citing Van Pelt as a kicker "who also happened to play linebacker".

Mike Whitemarsh, a silver medalist in men's beach volleyball at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, took his own life at age 46. He was found in a neighbor's garage, having taken his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning.

Closing this section, Larry H. Miller, the owner of the NBA Utah Jazz, died Friday as a result of complications from type 2 diabetes. The 64-year old Ute also owned the PCL Salt Lake Bees. Word of any memoriam to be added to either team's uniform will be reported in the next edition of the Shirt.

MAN UP, A-ROD...YOU'VE GOT A LOT MORE EXPLAINING TO DO!!
Feb 7, 2009
Category: Archived News
Over 4,000 reasons to very "Kaye-full" about what you buy...
Feb 2, 2009
Category: Archived News
With the entire world riveted by reports of the tragic sinking of the Titanic after hitting an iceberg in April of 1912, a tragedy of sorts was playing out at the same time in Milwaukee which would soon alter the course of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.
Jan 30, 2009
Category: Archived News
Hall of Famers Frisch, Cronin, and Honus Wagner?
Jan 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
Looking at more modern jerseys in same way I look at flannels...It's about a process...
Jan 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
RESPONSE TO TBTC ARTICLES

There were a few thoughts shared on the loved and loathed retro style worn over the years. One Cardinals fan weighed in on a particular liked and disliked styles worn by hsi favorite team.

On his good side are the 1944 TBTC's worn at home against Baltimore, who wore Browns TBTCs, in 2003. Apparently, Liebe Co. of St. Louis, long a Cardinals local supplier, did the lettering, and went to the original templates for font designs. My own favorite touch: the retro WW2 patch on the left sleeve.

Meanwhile, his loathing was reserved for a recent version of the 1982 Cardinals powder blues, trotted out for a 1982-themed series with the Brewers. Among the faults he noted: Current, rather than vintage, NOB and number fonts, sleeve trim far larger than the original Rawlings designs, and, worst of all (this makes me retch, too), the Birds-on-Bat logo was a sewn-on PATCH, not the fancy and quality embroidery the Redbirds have used for decades. No disagreements from me on either one.

Other plusses (+) and minuses from this standpoint:



2007 Marlins TBTC 1997 (-): It's not so much the design, as that era Marlins unies were fine. The difference between then and now, however, other than fancier and more colorful lettering and logos today, are almost nil. Plus, 10 years really doesn't strike me as "Turning Back the Clock" very much. 1991 Reds TBTC 1961 (+): The yin to the yang of the Phillies retros mentioned last time out, Rawlings did a nice job of recreating the '61 NL Champs road look, originals by MacGregor. 1994-95 White Sox TBTC 1964 (+) and (-); The 1964 home retros, made, as were the originals, by Wilson, had a rocky road before their usage. The original game for these to be used in was wiped out due to the 1994 strike. The jerseys were put away for the short term, brought out again and worn in 1995. The acquisition of several new players for '95 resulted in two distinctly variant numeric fonts, and tagging was removed from most of the original 1994 editions. Still, the style is a winner, and, in an exception to my usual distaste for items added or subtracted that differ from the originals, the winged sock patch on the left sleeve was a nice touch.

AUCTION ACTION

MLB Auctions at mlb.com will have a small number of jerseys ending today, including recent gamers of the Rangers, Mets and Braves

NHL.com has auctions of first period AHL All-Star Game jerseys (Canada vs. Planet USA) and the NHL All-Star Game (East vs. West) up for auction with a February 12th closing, beginning at 8PM CST. All of the above are catalogued in the MeiGray database, and the funds from the NHL gamers will go to Hockey Fights Cancer.

Meanwhile, Octagon Sports, relatively new to the field of big-ticket sports items, has been selected to auction and sell the remaining items in the collection of the late heavyweight boxer, Gene Tunney. Details will follow.

DID YOU KNOW...

That the 1969 Cleveland Indians were the first team to wear the MLB 100th Anniversary patch, doing so on their spring training vest flannels?

EBAY ODDITIES

One off the wall listing and one poorly duplicated BP jersey top the head-scratchers on the Bay this week.

One seller advertised, at least in his headline description, a "game used Aramis Ramirez" Pirates BP jersey. The full-length description didn't add anything to the "game-used" claim, but the jersey was a clunker...a Pirates post-1999 BP with retail tagging, and, worst of all, a WHITE number and NOB (the team uses yellow for these elements). Even more odd...someone actually bid on this failing grade creation.

Then, in a "now I've seen everything" headline listing, a Baltimore-area seller, perhaps trying to get new viewers for his auction, or maybe just one of millions that were swept away in Inauguration Day mania, advertised a Javier Lopez bat, unused, of the OBAMA Braves! To me, the insertion of the president's name was gratuitous, at best, and downright ridiculous, at worst. After all, how many people who collect Barack Obama memorabilia would want to bid on a bat that was likely never within several miles or more of Obama himself, much less swung, used or owned by him? The Obama mention didn't seem to help the seller to any notable degree, as the bat ended at the $19.99 minimum, even with the dubious link to the 44th president.

OBITUARY

Ralph Kaplowitz, a guard in the early days of the NBA, passed away from kidney failure at age 89. Kaplowitz spent two seasons (1946-47 and 1947-48) in the NBA, with stops in New York and Philadelphia.

CONGRATULATIONS TO PAT SUMMITT AND HER 1000TH COACHING VICTORY
Jan 28, 2009
Category: Archived News
Does the story match the event...
Jan 26, 2009
Category: Archived News
Don't let the by line fool you...This is another great effort by sports artist Bill Purdom.
Jan 26, 2009
Category: Archived News
True Classics Never Go Out Of Style...
Jan 19, 2009
Category: Archived News
FIVE (ACTUALLY 7) RETROS I LIKE

While I will save the comments, pro and con, for next time, I will take this opportunity to list my 1 through 5 (in no particular order) Turn Back The Clock MLB uniform designs. Two of the entries will be pairings from the same event...that's where the 7 comes from. Here goes...

1964 Cardinals/Browns 1944 OTG flannels: The 20th Anniversary of the only city World Series the Gateway City ever saw, or will see, found the gathering of 1944 Cardinals and Browns clad in flannels styled after their uniforms of the day. Rawlings made both teams' unies, and detailed tagging on a par with the originals, coupled with spot-on attention to detail in the respective designs, make these among my all-time retro favorites.

1990 White Sox 1917 home design: These turned out nicely for a game that wasn't even on the original schedule. The White Sox needed to host the Brewers to make up a rained out spring contest, and, with the All-Star Game across town in Wrigley Field, the Sox decided to add the make-up game the day after, and had other 1917 promotions (such as lineups and batters being announced by megaphone) besides the Pale Hose threads. Rawlings made these, and the often-used habit of ordering two sets...one for the game, one for the players to keep...was started here. The full uniforms in the immediately following years were garnering over $1,000 each in auctions, although I've not seen any transact lately to determine how much (if any) prices have dropped.

1991 Phillies 1961 home design: Rawlings got around in those days, as this uniform was also their work. The jerseys were exact replicas of the '61 club's garb, and was well-received to the point that, when Russell took over in 1992, the Phillies made this design their regular home attire, a move still intact in 2009. Also, for trivia's sake, both of these designs (Phils and White Sox) employed the wider red Rawlings manufacturer's label that became the standard for Rawlings in their 1992-94 MLB knits (Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates).

1997 White Sox and Cubs c.1910 designs: The oldies but goodies in this game (white for the Sox, dark blue for the Cubs) were part of the first ever interleague regular season game between the two clubs, as opposed to the exhibitions held on and off over the previous decades. Wilson made them both, detailed tagging was a part of the mix, and the game itself (at New Comiskey Park) was won by the Cubs...what more could I ask for?

1999 Brewers 1969 Seattle Pilots home: Anything worn by the one-year expansion Pilots (who changed cities and team ID during spring training of 1970) is game-used hobby magic, and, with the quality and accurate design (the opposite of the inaccurate travesties the White Sox wore in the same game), the regular season home design of the Brewers' forerunners was a winner. One food stand at Miller Park identified with Gorman Thomas even has a specially made Pilots TBTC shirt of Stormin' Gorman hanging on the back wall.

NBA JERSEY NOTES

The New Orleans Hornets again broke out Hardwood Classics uniforms, replicating the old ABA New Orleans Bucs on January 28th.

NHL JERSEY RETIREMENTS AND AUCTIONS

Two of these are due this week. Today, Sunday, the Edmonton Oilers will retire the #9 worn by Glenn Anderson. Number nine will also be retired on Tuesday, at Madison Square Garden, as the New York Rangers recognize Adam Graves.

Also, with cooperation from MeiGray, the second period sweaters of the players involved in the NHL All-Star Game nine days ago are available for bidding on both nhl.com and nhlpa.com . Proceeds will go to the league's pet charity, Hockey Fights Cancer. Bidding is active now, and will run until 8PM CST on February 12.

DID YOU KNOW?...

That the Chicago Cubs, in 1979, used the first logo or patch on an MLB uniform that carried a registered trademark symbol with a team logo? In this case, it was the large, round CUBS crest on the jersey front, a practice still in use 30 years later.

NEW 2009 MLB UNIFORM STYLES

Both the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates will introduce new field attire this coming season. The Rangers will sport 4 styles, the traditional home and road, a blue alternate to be worn both at home and on the road, and a red alternate for selected home games. The fronts on all will be TEXAS, with uniform and piping colors, depending on the style, including white, red, blue and grey.

The Pirates have dropped red as a secondary uniform color, meaning the red alternates so popular during their brief usage are now history. The new alternate jersey will be the already used black hue the Bucs first introduced in 1997, although design elements on the current black garb will be different. The team will have only one vest shirt, the Sunday home pinstriped design, with the standard home whites and road grays shedding the vest look and returning to the use of sleeves.

PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT IN 2 WEEKS...HALLELUJAH!!
Jan 18, 2009
Category: Archived News
The fact of the matter is...there are variations...PERIOD!
Jan 18, 2009
Category: Archived News
TURN BACK THE CLOCK

Since 1990, an increasing number of teams have, each year, worn uniform designs of earlier years as a game promotion, resulting for a collecting bonus for those of us who collect game-used items. Some of the Turn Back the Clock unies have been gems, while others have been duds. To begin discussion, I will share my list of the five worst TBTC unies (from my viewpoint) and encourage readers to send me their own version of Mr. Blackwell's Worst Dressed List at sox83cubs84@hotmail.com. My selections are based on one of three criteria: lack of accuracy in reproducing the original design, redundancy of use, and lack of connection between the retro apparel and the current team wearing them. Without further ado (from oldest to most recent)...

1) 1995 Cleveland Indians red: The red color didn't turn me off to these...I liked the circa 1975 originals Wilson made for the Tribe. What did turn me off is the lack of NOBs on the retro attire that the originals carried.

2) 1999 Chicago White Sox road: A 1969 recreation was in order at County Stadium that year as the Chisox dressed as their 1969 forerunners, while the host Brewers took on the look of the 1969 Seattle Pilots, they who would become the Brewers the following year. The Pilots duds were fine, the White Sox duds were...well, duds. The Rawlings-made unies were without the NOB the originals had, plus the reverse side numbers were the opposite of the blue with white trim numerals the old Wilson gamers employed.

3) Detroit Tigers/Stars Negro League, various years: Most Negro League TBTC uniforms are appealing, and the pinstriped gamers the Tigers used were great the first time around. Now, having been used 7 or 8 times since over the intervening years. they've become interminably boring. The Tigers need to find a different style, pronto.

4) 2008 Tampa Rays/Jacksonville Red Caps: With all the minor league teams and styles from Tampa and St. Petersburg that the Rays had to choose from, why did the Rays decide to wear the threads of a city a couple hundred miles northeast of them? The uniforms themselves don't look bad, but what does Jacksonville have in common with Tampa/St. Pete, other than being in the same state?

5) 2008 Chicago Cubs home: Cubs TBTCs are rare and far between...1948 roads in 1992, 1910-era roads in 1998, and now this. Again, my gripe is not with the jerseys...they look fine. Whomever made the uniforms, however, must be colorblind...the caps are navy blue, not the royal blue the Cubbies have worn for longer than they have gone without a World Series appearance.

Readers, let me know your Turn Back the Clock turnoffs and turnons, as my next column will detail my five favorites and why.

ODD MAJESTIC TAG

I recently acquired a player-worn Rockies BP jersey of pitcher Scott Elarton. The jersey shows decent wear, is properly sized (54...measures out to a 52), and gives all indications of being a team piece. Two oddities exist, however, one addressed in a previous Shirt column, one not.

A few months back, two Rockies BPs of the post-1999 variety, a Larry Walker and a Derrick Gibson, were noted for lacking the post-1999 MLB logo on the back of the neck. Also odd (making me curious about the similar items on those two jerseys) is the code on the interior wash tag. It isn't the pro issued 0006, nor is it the post-1996 retail 6000. Instead, it is a very unique C593. Admittedly, I have no clue as to what this code is interpreted as...any reader who does know can either e-mail me or post it on the MEARS bulletin board...more background on this would be nice to have.

RUINED JERSEY

One poor guy recently had up for auction on eBay a very poorly doctored 1989 Detroit Tigers home jersey. The seller did not quote an ID other than the extant NOB (HERNANDEZ) and made mention of what he felt (correctly) were changes on the back. The apparent status of the item was a legitimate 1989 Tigers jersey by Wilson that carried an inventory tag of "21", and, based on a rather uneducated forger who owned the jersey before this guy did, was played with in an attempt to pass it off as a Guillermo Hernandez gamer.

Almost anyone who collects Tigers jerseys knows that the inventory numbers, introduced in the late 1970s, are not identical to the uniform numbers of the players. Add to it a smaller NOB font, a totally erroneous numeric font, and you have what was once a nice Detroit home gamer turned into something bizarre, and left with a seller who was unaware of the inherent problems.

BACK TO OLD SCHOOL

One change of note in NCAA basketball attire...the Fighting Illini have gone back to NNOB jerseys for 2008-09. Coach Bruce Weber told a local radio show that it got to the point where he felt last year that some of the players weren't respecting the name on the front of the jersey, so he's guiding that focus to its proper place by taking the names off the uniform backs.

OBITUARIES

Bill Werber, the oldest living MLB player, died this past Thursday at age 100. He played alongside both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an 11-year career that found him wearing the flannels of the Yankees, Red Sox, Reds, and Giants. Part of the Reds World Series teams of 1939-1940, Werber was elected to the Reds Hall of Fame in 1961. In addition, Billy Werber was one of the players who provided commentary for the HBO produced “When it Was a Game” series.

Dante Lavelli, a receiver nicknamed "Glue Fingers" for his sure-handedness in catching a pass, died at age 85 of congestive heart failure. The Hall of Famer, enshrined in 1975, played for the Browns beginning in their AAFC days in 1946, and stayed with Cleveland for their move into the NFL, wearing the brown and orange through 1956.

Finally , Shane Dronett, a 10-year NFL veteran, died at age 38, the victim of a possible suicide. He began in the NFL in 1992 with Denver, and spent 4 years there, with a move to Atlanta following, where he played from 1996-2001.

GOTTA LOVE THE UNDERDOG...GO, ARIZONA!!
Jan 17, 2009
Category: Archived News
What can we see in looking at these rare documents...
Jan 10, 2009
Category: Archived News
ALWAYS ASK FOR IDENTIFICATION...

...Or you could face the ordeal that Kalen Plew endured.

Kalen is a 14-year-old kid from Gurnee, Illinois, who, with his father and another person, attended the Winter Classic game at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day.

With the Detroit victory nearing a close, Kalen left the group's upper deck seats to venture down to the Red Wings' exit, to slap fives with some Wings players. He got more than he bargained for...in a good way. Detroit player Henrik Zetterberg, rather than high-fiving Kalen, gave him the stick he used in the game.

Kalen then left the park and waited for the rest of his party. This time, Kalen again got more than he bargained for, but in a decidedly bad way. A man in a Winter Classic jacket confronted Kalen, and claimed he was a security officer. He told Kalen that he could not carry the stick without adult supervision, and, with Kalen's father, Marc, yet to emerge from the stadium, confiscated the stick. By the time Marc emerged, Kalen was in tears, his prized souvenir gone.

The story does have a happy ending, though that took a week or so to be realized. The fake security guard, an eBay seller, went back into Wrigley Field to use the restroom. A fan in the men's room asked him about the stick, and, after being told he was going to put the stick up on eBay, offered the fake cop $100. Sold, American.

The buyer, a North Carolina dentist named Robert Pappert, bought the stick for his wife, a huge Zetterberg fan. They were planning to make a display for it in their home, when news reports of the strongarm theft reached him. Both he and the Mrs. decided that returning the stick to it's rightful owner was the route to go. The stick was received by the Plews, and, to their credit, the Red Wings, informed of the fake cop and his fake story, were prepared to send Kalen another player stick as a replacement.

Sad to say, this isn't the first time someone has taken advantage of a youth at Wrigley Field to get a game-used item...just the first time it happened at an NHL game at Wrigley Field.

Over the years, numerous times kids in the bleachers who caught a visiting team home run ball have been reduced to sobs and even fleeing the park when some bleacher drunk would snatch the ball out of their hands in order to "throw it back"...the most obnoxious fan policy in baseball today.

Then, more recently (since the bleachers have gotten too expensive for most kids), an active Ballhawk, who does not practice this currently, would, last decade, position himself by the Cubs bullpen if a visiting player's circuit clout was thrown back in left field. The ball, when this happens, is retrieved by a member of the Cubs bullpen or a security guard, and one of the players gives the rejected home run to a kid seated in the box seats.

Once this took place, this still-active Wrigley shagger would race down congratulate the kid, and ask to see the ball. When the kid handed it to him, he would employ sleight-of-hand to hide the home run ball and hand back to the kid a meaningless BP baseball in its place. The kids weren't observant enough to spot the switcheroo, and any accompanying adults were normally too busy drinking beer and/or watching the game to notice the trickery. All of the above is sad commentary, but it's true. Readers, keep your eyes on your kids when you attend a sporting event together to make sure that they, too, aren't relieved of their fairly obtained baseballs, bats, sticks, or whatever by despicable and deceptive adults who would take advantage of them.

AUCTION ACTION

January 22, starting at 8PM CST, is closing time for the auction of Winter Classic game-worn sweaters of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings. All jerseys are registered in the MeiGray database. Ending times are staggered a few minutes apart for each jersey, with the Wings wearables going first, and the Indian Head gamers starting to go off the boards at 8:50 PM CST.

Also, small groups of game-worn MLB jerseys from Texas, Detroit and Atlanta will be ending shortly on MLB.com. The Rangers gamers close on January 18th; the Tigers goodies end the day after, and the Braves baubles close the day after that.

Also of note: the auction site has a number of Buy It Now game-used 2006 World Baseball Classic jerseys starting at only $125 each.

MISCELLANEOUS JERSEY NOTES

The blue TBTC jerseys that the Cleveland Cavaliers introduced on January 7 were worn again in their next game on the 9th.

Also, for their final 2008 home game (December 20), the Dallas Cowboys, clad in their good-luck white unies, wore a Farewell to Texas Stadium patch. I'm not sure if any of the same jersey were used, sans patch, in their season-ending game in Philadelphia on December 28th, as they wore white in Philadelphia, also.

Finally, trolling the Internet for images produced something I had not seen before. A 1980 Topps card of backup Braves catcher Joe Nolan showed Joe in a batting pose in spring training wearing the red Wilson BP shirts that the Braves broke out that year. Unlike the norm, however, these spring BPs were without a NOB, although the picture showed that room for a NOB was provided. Did the Braves add the NOBs once the season started? It would be likely, but still nice to actually confirm.

OBITUARIES

Frank Williams, a pitcher for San Francisco, Cincinnati and Detroit from 1984-89, died at age 50 on January 9. Living on the streets and occasionally holding court for fans at an area card shop, Williams had a heart attack and was in a coma for two weeks before he passed away.

Also, longtime MLB coach and manager Preston Gomez died from complications related to an auto accident late last year. He was 85. Gomez was the first manager in San Diego Padres history, and also skippered the Astros and Cubs.

COMMIT TO THE INDIAN...GO, BLACKHAWKS!!
Jan 10, 2009
Category: Archived News
Audit Shows Mears Bid on MEARS Items....
Dec 28, 2008
Category: Archived News
Last year, a team of three Uof W students finished the compilation of game worn items sold at just about every major auction house between 1985 -2007. They entered the data as to date sold, the auction house, page number, style (road or home), manufacture and size. This was then printed into books that allow items to be searched by team and or player. Of course, many of the items appear for sale more than once and there is no way to tell if each and every piece was 100% real but it did allow, at a glance, for one to look for patterns of makers and size. This list would constitute the majority of game worn items to enter the hobby via a public venue. Undoubtedly, there are items in private collections and obtained through private sale that are not included in this list but this is the most extensive list of available jerseys ever assembled and it took the team almost two years to enter all the data as retrieved from the hundreds of catalogs that include some of the still existing houses to some of the long gone businesses as well. By searching this book, we can go directly to the catalog source to see pictures and descriptions of each item sold. Following is the list of Brooklyn Dodgers jerseys that have entered the hobby in this manner beginning with the oldest example.

1913 Enos Kirkpatrick Road with Pants

1925 Wilbert Robinson Road with Pants

1926 Burleigh Grimes Home with Pants

1932 Frank Howard Home (not listed on 32 Roster)

1936 Walter Millies Home with Pants

1936 Walter Millies Road

1938

1938 Babe Ruth Home with Pants

1938 Babe Ruth Road with Pants

1939

1939 Hugh Casey Road

1939 Tony Lazzeri Home

1939 Babe Ruth Road with Pants (patch had to be added in 1939 as Ruth quit Brooklyn at end of 1938 season so uniform is probably a 1938 with patch change)

1939 Fred Sington Home

1939 Fred Sington Road

1940

1940 Chuck Dressen Road

1940 John Hanson Road

1940’s BoBo Newsom Road

1940 Pee Wee Reese Home

1940’s Clyde Sukeforth Home

1940 Dixie Walker Home

1941

1941 Dolph Camilli Home

1941 Hugh Casey Road

1941 Corriden Home (John?)

1941 Paul Waner Road

1942

1942 J Peterman Home

1942 Pee Wee Reese Road

1943

1943 Chuck Dressen Road

1943 Leo Durocher Road with Pants

1944

1944 Augie Galan Road Satin with Pants

1944 Tom Sunkel Road

1945

1945 Gil Hodges Home

1945 Clyde King Road

1946

1946 Hugh Casey Road

1946 Carl Furillo Home

1946 Augie Galan with Pants (style not listed)

1946 Joe Medwick Home

1946 Stan Rojek Home

1946 Eddie Stanky Road

1947

1947 Hank Behrman Road with Pants

1947 Clyde King Home

1947 Pete Reiser Home

1947 Jackie Robinson Home

1948

1948 Roy Campanella Home with Pants

1948 Don Lund Home

1948 Don Padgett Home with Pants

1948 Joe Pignatano Home

1948 George Shuba Home with Pants

1948 Clyde Sukeforth Road

1948 Arky Vaughan Home

1949

1949 Billy Cox Home with Pants

1949 Carl Erskine Home

1949 Joe Hatten Home with Pants

1949 Gil Hodges Home

1949 Gil Hodges Road

1949 Pee Wee Reese Home

1949 Jackie Robinson Road

1950

1950’s Cal Abrams Road

1950 Roy Campanella Home

1950 Gene Hermanski Home

1950’s Johnny Padres Sample

1950 Pee Wee Reese Home

1950 Jackie Robinson Home

1951

1951 Ralph Branca Home

1951 Rocky Bridges Home

1951 Roy Campanella Road

1951 Pee Wee Reese Home with Pants

1951 Preacher Roe Home

1951 Preacher Roe Road

1951 Jim Romano Home

1951 Jim Romano Training

1951 Jim Russell Home

1951 Johnny Schmitz Road

1951 Duke Snider Home

1951 Duke Snider Road

1951 Don Thompson Home

1952

1952 Home #31 (no such number worn/listed in Baseball Almanac for regular season of 1952)

1952 Cal Abrams Home

1952 Joe Black Road

1952 Roger Craig Road

1952 Chuck Dressen Home

1952 Chuck Dressen Road

1952 Gil Hodges Home with Pants

1952 Mort Miller Home with Pants

1952 Bobby Morgan Home

1952 Erv Palica Home

1952 Clarence Podbelian Road

1952 Pee Wee Reese Road

1952 Pee Wee Reese Home

1952 Jackie Robinson Home

1952 Jim Romano Road

1952 Johnny Rutherford Home

1952 George Shuba Home

1952 Dick Tweed Home

1953

1953 Spud Davis Road

1953 Billy Loes Road

1953 Johnny Padres Home

1953 Jackie Robinson Road

1953 Dick Tweed Home with Pants

1953 Ben Wade Home with Pants

1954

1954 Don Bessent Home

1954 Roy Campanella Home

1954 Gil Hodges Home

1954 Clem Labine Road with Pants

1954 Bob Milliken Home

1954 Pee Wee Reese Road

1954 Ed Roebuck Road

1954 Don Thompson Home

1954 Don Zimmer Road

1955

1955 Don Bessent Home

1955 Roger Craig Home with Pants

1955 Roger Craig Road with Pants

1955 Sandy Koufax Home

1955 Ed Roebuck Home

1955 Tim Thompson Road

1956

1956 Walt Alston Home

1956 Walt Alston Road with Pants

1956 Bob Aspromonte Home

1956 Gino Cimoli Road

1956 Roger Craig Home

1956 Bob Darnell Home

1956 Don Drysdale Home

1956 Carl Erskine Home

1956 Carl Furillo Road

1956 Randy Jackson Home

1956 Sandy Koufax Home

1956 Dale Mitchell Home

1956 Gorge Shuba Home

1956 Don Zimmer Home

1957

1957 Walt Alston (no style listed)

1957 Don Bessent Road

1957 Roy Campanella Home

1957 Gil Hodges Home

1957 Sandy Koufax Road

1957 Danny McDevitt Home

1957 Don Newcombe Home

1957 Pee Wee Reese Road

1957 John Roseborro Home

Notes on above list.

1. Alterations and originality of above are not confirmed

2. Pants without jerseys were not listed

3. Jackets were not listed

4. When pants are noted , it is not noted whether the pants were same player or year 5. Does not include private sales of which several other shirts are known such as the Leo Durocher Satin, etc. This includes most, but not all, of the major and minor auction catalogs from 1985-2007. We encourage others that may have a listed jersey not found on this list to write us with player, year, make and size and it will be added to this list. We would also encourage collectors that have shirts in their collection not on this list to also write us. We will continue to add to this list to get the most complete list ever compiled of Brooklyn Dodgers jerseys in the hobby.

6. Listed Manufacturers include Spalding, Rawlings, Wilson, MacGregor and MacGregor-Goldsmith.

7. Where one year and style are listed, there could have been two different examples of the same year and style (another set) . Since we would not know if the offered shirt was another set or a repeat sale/offering, we only listed the single year. The above list is solely intended to give you an idea as to what players and years were offered for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Number of Hall of Fame Examples (along with would/could be)

Babe Ruth 3

Wilber Robertson 1

Burliegh Grimes 1

Tony Lazzeri 1

Chuck Dressen 4

Pee Wee Reese 9

Paul Waner 1

Leo Durocher 1 (plus one private satin)

Joe Medwick 1

Jackie Robinson 5

Roy Campanella 5

Arky Vaughan 1

Duke Snider 2

Sandy Koufax 3

Walt Alston 3

Don Drysdale 1

Gil Hodges 6

Minimal total of all Brooklyn Dodgers jerseys offered for sale; 136

The above list is for Brooklyn Jerseys only, not Los Angeles (1958-present)

Until next time, David Bushing

Dec 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
The Milwaukee Sentinel headline, “Set up those Yankees—We did it Again”, reflected perfectly the attitude of the multitude…
Dec 20, 2008
Category: Archived News
WINTER CLASSIC WEARABLES AVAILABLE

Hockey fans, your ship has arrived! Game-worn sweaters from the Winter Classic are up for bids on www.nhl.com . The jerseys auctioned on the league website are the ones worn during the second period of the game (different sets were worn each period, as well as for pre-game practices, according to Barry Meisel of MeiGray Co.) NHL.com has both Detroit and Chicago gamers available with bids closing on January 22nd. The Red Wings sweaters will begin closing at (PM EST and have staggered closing times after that. Chicago jerseys will also have staggered closing times, beginning at 9:50 PM EST.

If you prefer fixed price sales, the Red Wings will be selling the 1st Period sweaters (this set was turned over to each team) through their team store at Joe Louis Arena. A link exists to connect to sale information on www.redwings.com . No word on the Blackhawks set from this point of the game, although I suspect they will make it out this year...the only question is will it be at the summertime Blackhawks Fan Convention or at the Hawkquarters team store on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chi-Town.

The third period jerseys were given to the players. All game and practice/pre-game jerseys have been certified in the MeiGray database.

CAVS ADD FIFTH 2008-09 STYLE

Already having sported four different uniform styles this season (home white, road red, alternate blue, and early 1970s yellow Hardwood Classic), the Cavs, this past Wednesday, added a blue version of the retro unies to the mix. MEARS has secured images of this new style for the organizational database.

WHO'S MARTINEZ?

A collector who knows my affinity for the Cubs had a question about an eBay jersey being sold. He wondered who #80 (Martinez) was in the early 2000s. The rosters he viewed made no mention of him.

The answer can be found in the considerable influence of Sammy Sosa during the Don Baylor and, especially, the Dusty Baker years with the Cubs. During Sosa's time under those two field managers, he pretty much said and did what he wanted without challenge from his bosses, inside or outside the dugout. One of the things he wanted was to take care of one of his "peeps", one Julian Martinez. Having met while both were in AA ball, Martinez became a right-hand man to the egotistical Sosa, and, at Sosa's urging, was given a spot, including a uniform, for his time as a member of the team's on-field personnel. Martinez did perform a small number of actual on-field duties, such as hitting fungoes and the like, but his purpose there basically amounted to another special perk to keep Sam-Me happy.

2009 MLB PATCHES

So far, two items to report here:

1) A Final Season Metrodome patch for the Minnesota Twins. The oft-maligned indoor venue will be replaced by a new ballpark in 2010.

2) A 40th Anniversary patch for the Kansas City Royals, who played their first game back in 1969.

OBITUARIES

Carl Pohlad, wealthy Minnesota resident businessman who owned the Minnesota Twins since buying them from Cal Griffith, died on January 5 at age 93. Pohlad's ownership tenure included two World Championships (1987 and 1991).

"Prince" Joe Henry, a crowd-pleasing former Negro Leaguer of the 1950s, died this past Friday at age 78.

Also leaving us on Friday was MLB ex-pitcher Dave Roberts. Roberts played for 8 teams in 13 Big League seasons, highlights of which were a place on the 1979 World Champion Pirates, and a finish in the top 3 in ERA in the National League in 1971 while with the Padres. He passed away from lung cancer caused by early-life exposure to asbestos at age 64.

Finally, Olympian Roy Saari, a swimmer for the USA who nabbed a gold and a silver medal for America in the 1964 Tokyo Games, died at age 63 of unannounced causes.

TIM TEBOW...GREAT QB; GREAT PERSON. CONGRATULATIONS, TIM
Dec 20, 2008
Category: Archived News
The National Archives Is A Great Place To Look...
Dec 20, 2008
Category: Archived News
DOBBINS' RULES OF RESTORATION

The late Dick Dobbins of Alamo, California was one of the classiest, most knowledgeable and integrity-filled people to ever grace any segment of the sports collecting hobby. Dobbins actively bought, sold, and collected jerseys for decades, even penning a book on Pacific Coast League history during his too-brief life.

Dobbins was of the opinion shared by some (though not all) collectors and dealers that jersey restoration was acceptable, if it followed certain criteria. Lon Lewis, a Bay Area hobby great in his own right, was the fellow who helped Dobbins with his restorations, the vast majority of which were phenomenal.

The criteria Dobbins used to differentiate a legitimate restoration from illegitimate doctoring are fourfold, and constitute what I like to call "Dobbins' Rules of Restoration", which will be detailed now:

1) All restorations of numbers and lettering should be as close to the original appearance as possible.

Translated, size of NOB and numbers should be matched. The tall, thin NOB font of a Cincinnati Reds flannel should not be restored with a smaller sized font, a la the Cardinals or the Orioles road greys of the late flannel era. If the original NOB is straight, arched, or vertically arched, the restoration should be the same. A felt Dodgers number should be restored with similar felt, not tackle twill. The solid navy cotton twill NOB of a White Sox pre-1969 flannel should not be replaced with a two-toned NOB.

2) The restorations should be true to the original identity of the jersey.

The stripped-down 1972 Cubs road knit of #28 does NOT become a #26 when restored. Your Giants flannel of Don McMahon stays as a Don McMahon when restored...it does not magically transform into a Willie Mays or a Juan Marichal. Commons don't transform into stars after the restoration process is complete.

3) The asking price of a restored jersey should reflect the status of the jersey as being restored.

The percentage of all-original value a restored jerseys carries can be viewed differently from person to person, but there's no question the value is less for a restored piece, even a perfectly restored one, than there is for an all original exemplar.

4) The presence of a restoration should be made known to a prospective buyer before a sale is consummated.

ANY variance from the original, restored or not, should be posted in a price list, eBay or auction listing when offered. Any restoration falls into this category, as well as missing patches, missing or replaced buttons, snaps or zippers, and missing NOBs. Failure to do so is legitimate grounds for a buyer to seek a refund, if the flaw affects the deal negatively in their eyes.

Restored jerseys aren't for everybody, but they do provide an enhanced display appearance for collectors who accept them in their collections when performed in a quality manner. And, if you want that quality manner, just listen to Dick Dobbins via the printed word.

THE RETIRING TYPE

Three players with uniform retirement ceremonies in December of note:

The number 30 was retired by the Portland Trailblazers for two different players at two consecutive home games. First off was longtime Blazers star Terry Porter who was honored on December 16. Two evenings later, Bobby Gross, a member of Portland's only NBA championship team who also wore #30 was similarly honored.

. More recently, on December 28, the Washington Capitals celebrated the Caps career of Mike Gartner by retiring his #11 sweater. He was the fourth Caps player honored in this manner.

LAS VEGAS BETS ON POLITICS

The ongoing saga of the arrest and possible impeachment of Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Illinois), accused of trying to sell the vacated Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama, has inspired a spoof by one minor league hockey team. The Las Vegas Wranglers will wear, and then auction, jerseys with prison uniform striping on Blago Prison Uniform Night, January 30. In addition to the jailbird black-and-white pinstripes, the jerseys will be numbered with the words (i)ILL GOV (/i) above the player uniform number.

ANOTHER BOGUS ROSE

EBay recently saw it's second bad Pete Rose Reds knit in the same month, a marginally better fake than the home jersey previously mentioned in this space, but still pretty obvious. This time, whomever put the forgery together (not necessarily the seller) had the correct manufacturer (1986 Rawlings road), but an obviously tampered with tag that indicated a size 40...something never seen on any true Rose gamer. An attempt by Pete Rose specialist Chuck Lumb to inform the seller of the flaws this jersey had did not get a reply.

HOBBY BAT MYTH

I haven't heard anyone suggest this for a while, but this hobby myth from many moons ago shows just what can happen when card collectors with vivid imaginations can spread rumors of when they step out of their comfort zone and start offering commentary on game-used items.

The myth was first published, and refuted, in Beckett Baseball Card Monthly circa 1990. In the wake of the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken card with the obscene notation on the knob, some unnamed collector or dealer of cards began claiming that another Fleer card, the 1987 issue of Andres Galarraga, also carried a lewd notation on the knob. Beckett refuted the rumor, but never did offer an opinion of just what the writing on the bat knob was.

If you have even moderate knowledge of game-used bats, you should be able to figure it out in short order. The Big Cat is swinging a Cooper bat in the photo, and the writing that sent some card enthusiasts into imagination overdrive was nothing more than the length and weight measurements that Cooper stamped on the knobs of players' bats. Try again, card collectors!

OBITUARIES

Sammy Baugh, a member of the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class based on his legendary career with the Washington Redskins, died December 17 of multiple causes at age 94.

Liver failure claimed the life of former MLB pitcher Dock Ellis on December 19 at age 63. He was a less than sterling example for kids during his career, having his best seasons with Pittsburgh and the 1976 Yankees. The 12-year vet, who threw a no-hitter while, according to him, high on LSD, found redemption after his career ended, becoming a strong opponent of drugs and willing to speak to all sorts of groups about avoiding the problems he experienced.

December 21 was the date of death for Negro Leaguer Carlos Manuel Santiago. The cause was cardiac failure. Santiago, 82 at the time of his death, played for the 1945-46 New York Cubans, and was in camp in 1951 with the Cleveland Indians when the draft came calling, and he shipped out to Korea with the U.S. Army.

Finally, NFL defensive lineman Coy Bacon passed away December 22 due to undisclosed causes. Best remembered as a fierce pass rusher with the Rams, Bacon also starred for the Chargers, Bengals and Redskins. His only NFL touchdown came on an 80-yard interception return in 1973 while a member of the Chargers.

SAMURAI MIKE IS IN CHARGE...THE 49ERS WILL BE ROUGH IN 2009!
Dec 17, 2008
Category: Archived News
Some Little Known Information About What Ty Started...
Dec 13, 2008
Category: Archived News
Some thoughts on this Pete Rose R195 and related topics to think about...
Dec 9, 2008
Category: Archived News
Research. You only get out, what you put in…
Dec 7, 2008
Category: Archived News
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Dec 7, 2008
Category: Archived News
A True Microcosm Of American Culture and History...
Dec 7, 2008
Category: Archived News
GRABBING PHOTO IMAGES BECOMES NICE RESEARCH JOURNEY

As a MEARS researcher, I grab photo images from various sources, and add them to the database almost every day. One thing I'll do on occasion is grab a notable sports name...Hall of Famer, popular player, team fan icon...and just grab whatever's on Getty than has a verifiable date...no easy task with older Getty entries. If a date given seems odd or generic, then I don't use it unless something in the photo can verify it's origins, at least pertinent to the year...a uniform style, a background item, a sleeve patch, or something similar.

That's what happened before my recent battle with the flu when I decided to drum up playing career photos of the late Dodgers Hall of Famer, Don Drysdale. I found a number of photos of the game, all of which showed something I never noticed before...Drysdale was wearing a thick, black memoriam armband on his left sleeve.

I began doing further research, and tried to conjure up photos taken of Dodgers during the 1968 regular season. Corbis offered almost the same as Getty did...lots on the Drysdale scoreless innings record (which the photo from Getty depicted).

Next I went to eBay and tried to find an image of a Dodgers jersey (particularly a home, which was what Big D wore in that game), and results were, at best, inconclusive. The 1969 Topps cards would be the most likely to carry 1968 regular season photos. Unfortunately, as a card collector for years in the past, I also remember that the '69 Topps set was notorious for Big Head, No Hat cards, as Kit Kiefer once called them...close ups of players sans caps. The set also had a lot of older photos of traded players with cap logos airbrushed out and jersey fronts conveniently obscured by arms and a glove of a pitcher doing the stretch, or views that had a player's swing conveniently obscure the front team ID. There was even at least one photo in the set that was taken way back in 1962! That was a Tommie Aaron card with the same pose as the younger Aaron's card carried in the 1963 set. In short, while nothing in the set showed the armband, there was no sound certainty that the photos were from 1968. Photos of longtime Dodgers like Jim Brewer, Jim Lefebvre and Don Sutton could easily have been pre-1968, given the set's tendencies.

Next stop to view photos was my Street & Smith's 1969 Yearbook. Space constraints in my apartment don't allow me to keep much hard copy material around, but the S&Ss go everywhere I go. I use them for spring training rosters, coaching assignments, and the occasional photo reference. They're no longer in collectible sale condition, but they're more than adequate for what I need them for.

I paged through my yearbook, and found two pictures of Tom Haller, a catcher who joined the Dodgers for the 1968 season. Two home uniform pictures, both of which had to be from 1968, neither with an armband. Later on in the yearbook, though, was an even more important photo...a shot of Drysdale on the mound at home with the scoreboard in the shot. The score at the time was 5-0 in favor of L.A. in the top of the 8th, and the caption described the photo as one from Drysdale's 6th consecutive shutout...the game before he broke the record. No band was present. This game was played on June 4th of '68. The record-breaking game...where Big D and the other Dodgers wore the black band...took place on June 8th. So now, the questions are: 1) Who was being eulogized with the black band, and (b) how long did the Dodgers wear it that year?

The first question was eventually solved, as whomever had died would have had to do so between those two Big D starts, I did a lot of checking up on Dodger players, front office types, Hall of Famers, etc., and found nothing that fit. So the time came to start looking outside the box, and consider non-baseball personalities as the possibility.

No local politicians ( the first thought I had ) were deceased in that time, but expanding the base to the national scope of the political agenda, I recalled the 1968 assassination of Democratic Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy. His candidacy was a popular one with a lot of Democrats eager to keep the Oval Office in the blue and extend the run that his brother began and Lyndon B. Johnson assumed upon JFK's assassination. Kennedy was shot and killed while on the campaign trail at a hotel in the Dodgers' home city of Los Angeles. I looked up a little more, and found the time/date of the crime...shortly after midnight, June 5th, 1968.

Bingo

The second question will require more research, that being the duration of time the Dodgers wore the RFK memoriam band. The Dodgers were in the middle of a 10-game homestand when the RFK shooting occurred. It may have been removed after the last game of that homestand against the Mets, or it could have run further...any information MEARS Online readers have to share would be appreciated and welcomed. The journey has so far been a fun one.

OBITUARIES

Pete Case, a guard who played for the NFL Eagles and Giants from 1962-70, died after a long illness. He was 67.

Nick Willhite, a pitcher in the show for 5 seasons (1963-67) died in Utah on the 14th. He, too, was 67. Willhite's time in the Bigs was primarily with the Dodgers, and also included brief stints with the Senators, Angels and Mets.

Finally, Dave Smith, long-time Astros closer and a Cub reliever in his career twilight, died of a heart attack in San Diego this past Wednesday. He was 53. Smith pitched for the 'Stros from 1980-90, and then spent his last two MLB seasons as a Cub. I recall him as a great person and autograph signer, and he closed pretty well, too, in his prime.

CELTICS TO WIN 70? WE'LL SEE
Dec 7, 2008
Category: Archived News
WIN WITH THE WINTER CLASSIC

In-person and television viewers of the January 1st NHL Winter Classic between the Blackhawks and Red Wings at Wrigley Field will be eligible to be part of a contest co-sponsored by the NHL and their contracted uniform supplier, Reebok.

The contest is called "Find the Lost Logo", and will requires fans to identify the one player on the ice (could be a Chicago or a Detroit skater) whose game sweater is missing the Reebok logo on the back of the neck. Fans attending the game will be given binoculars to assist them in participation. The complete promotional rules and terms can be found on both www.nhl.com and www.reebokhockey.com .

PAYTON AS #17 FOR THE BEARS

Yes, it did happen, but, no, it wasn't Walter.

As I write these words, I am watching the end of regulation time in the Thursday night Bears-Saints game. The NFL Network, who broadcast the game, showed a film clip of Saints head coach Sean Payton in uniform number 17 for the Bears, in Sweetness' final year in the NFL. Hall of Famer Payton wasn't playing at the time coach Payton was wearing Bears navy and orange, however...Sean was the quarterback during the 3-game run of NFL contests involving replacement players during the mid-season strike. So, if you see a Wilson Bears jersey with a NOB of PAYTON and a "17" on the front, back and sleeves, it's not a fake constructed by an idiot...it's just not the Payton most collectors would want in their collections.

NEW RED SOX DESIGNS

The Boston ballclub has added one new style and updated a couple more to their 2009 uniform arsenal.

The existing red alternate jersey will now be a home-only alternate jersey, with a dark blue road alternate being added to the team supply. The blue will have the fancy BOSTON front in red trimmed in white.

Meanwhile, the standard road grays will be scaled back in color, with a new BOSTON front using the 1990s/2000s ornate BOSTON road front, but with a 1979-89 single toned dark blue lettering. Also on the agenda is the return of the Hanging Sox logo, without the circular border, to be added as a left sleeve logo patch on at least 3 of the 4 styles (not sure about the home whites on this. The Hanging Sox logo will also adorn the front of a new alternate cap the team is adding to the longtime B front lid. The Red Sox team website has photos of the new road grey and blue alternate road jerseys.

NBA HARDWOOD CLASSICS

Some retro NBA styles have shown up again in 2008-09 Hardwood Classics uniforms made by Adidas for NBA game use.

On December 5th, the Washington Wizards broke out a home white design patterned after the unies of the Wizards' long-ago predecessor, the Chicago Zephyrs of 1962-63. The design was part of the team's 45th Anniversary celebration during the current season. Also, on December 10th, while the Cavs again wore their bright yellow early 70's throwbacks, the New Orleans Hornets turned to the old ABA for inspiration with a retro New Orleans Bucs style. Kudos to all three for adding something new for game-used hoops collectors.

CHARLIE DIDN'T HUSTLE IN THIS ONE

Another eBay lot has come and gone which was so far off the beaten path in terms of authenticity, but still drew some bidders.

The item was purported to be a 1980s Reds home knit of Pete Rose. As is often the case when items like this one are highlighted, problems were multiple in nature. The NOB and numeric fonts bore serifs, something the Reds gamers of the era (home and road) did not. Also, the jersey was made by Wilson...fine for 1972-84 road knits, but not for home pullovers, which were the work of Rawlings from 1972-84, and by Goodman for the '85-'86 time frame.

Of course, while assuredly not game-used, jerseys like this have a purpose for some hobbyists. If you want to get a jersey of decent quality autographed for display, don't care about whether the item is a gamer or a game-issued piece, and keep the spending down, then you have a hobbyist-correct purpose for an item of value...just not a game-used one.

CHICAGO BASEBALL CONVENTIONS

For game-used equipment collectors and autograph seekers; the two Chicago baseball team off-season fan conventions will be two weeks apart. The Cubs event, at the Chicago Hilton & Towers, will be January 16-18. Two weekends later (January 30-February 1), the White Sox will have their turn. The Sox have tickets available as of this writing; the Cubs event, however, will require eBay bidding, a ticket broker, or trolling exhibitors for a pass, as the public sale of ducats sold out in 24 minutes. Closer to the time, I'll cover what to expect at each event in the way of game-used items and autograph availability.

For someone willing to travel and not be intimidated by possible lousy winter weather, one could plan a long 4-day weekend by hitting the Cubs show on Friday and Saturday, and then heading down to St. Louis for the Cardinals fanfest, which runs from the 17th through the 19th, finishing up on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a Monday.

TWO VOPATS, ONE NOB

An eBay listing showed two NHL Kings sweaters of Jan and Roman Vopat, dated to 1996-97 or 1997-98, when both were part of the Kings roster. The Kings equipment guy apparently decided that no first initial identifiers were needed, as both Jan (33) and Roman (12) went with just VOPAT as their NOBs.

OBITUARIES

Chris "Flash" Richardson, a UNLV hoopster who went on to play with the Harlem Globetrotters, died in his sleep of what was believed to be natural causes. Richardson, 28, was on a tour of Japan with the legendary basketball entertainer team.

OBAMA: I DIDN'T VOTE FOR HIM, BUT I LIKE HIS THOUGHTS ON NCAA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS!
Dec 7, 2008
Category: Archived News
A Willie Mays 1951 Rookie Jersey for $500?...Sey Hey, It May Have Happened...
Dec 3, 2008
Category: Archived News
EIGHT QUESTIONS FOR WHICH I SEEK ANSWERS

1) With the National League passing a rule beginning in the 1979 season that required all team road jerseys (or third jerseys worn on the road) to feature NOBs, how were the 2005-06 Los Angeles Dodgers able to skirt this rule?

2) Instead of odd colored alternate uniforms, why don't more NFL teams follow the lead of the Chargers, Bills and now, the Lions, and make Throwback uniforms the third style instead?

3) Who was the idiot at Score Board in 1989 who decided that the signed jerseys they sold needed to have pro-style taging in these retail items? Couldn't they see (or maybe it's "didn't they care") the ensuing problems these items would cause among game-used collectors? Even today, there are so-called authenticators who were active in the hobby 20 years ago and still can't identify these!

3a) Same as above, but with the first round of NBA Commemorative Collection jerseys.

4) Why did the Montreal Expos order two sets of Wilson-made road jerseys and then decide to use Rawlings powder blues that were pretty much identical in style to the home whites?

5) What is it with the Chicago Cubs and blue alternate jerseys? They ordered blue mesh gamers from Russell for 1994 and never wore them, they hit up Russell for blue knits in 1997 and wore them only twice, and then ordered full runs of Majestic blue alternates for 2007, only to have team president John "I don't have time to talk right now" McDonough decide at the last minute to not use them that season.

6) In the world of pro football in the 1970s, why did NFL uniforms made by Sand-Knit carry exclusive tags citing the specific team they were made for, while Sand-Knit WFL jerseys used such tags citing the league itself, and not the team?

7) Who can we trust to issue some sort of definitive reference work on pro and college game-worn football helmets? There are helmet experts out there, but the ones I am aware of only address individual questions, and haven't provided a reference work...even regular Internet, SCD, or Beckett articles...on this branch of game-used collecting. It's something that would be a definite blessing for gridiron game-worn collectors.

8) Why do some eBay sellers feel the need to denigrate other auction site dealers to try and gain business from buyers? I'm not talking about shady characters trying to deflect their own sins, either...I'm referring to people with excellent inventories and a strong reputation for having the real deal who have to throw language into their descriptions making it sound like they are the only bastion of legitimate items, and everything else on eBay is phony. A seller with the goods and the rep shouldn't have to resort to this type of broad brush painting of his competitors to sell his own stuff...collectors are smarter than that.

IN YOUR FACE, PAC-10!

This coming Saturday's USC-UCLA football game has an interesting sub-plot. UCLA is the host team this time around, and will be wearing their home powder blues. USC is supposed to wear white as the designated road team, but coach Pete Carroll has thumbed his nose at the Pac-10 and has insisted that the Trojans will also wear home jerseys (red/maroon, in this case). The only palpable penalty for Carroll's "statement" is for USC to be penalized two timeouts in the game itself.

TEAM BUYS CAN BE IN ERROR, TOO

I'm not discussing authenticity in this segment. I'm talking about player identification of jerseys of the NNOB variety, which occasionally can be misrepresented through wishful thinking, sloppy research, or bad info from a team employee.

Case in point: an eBay lot recently featured what was advertised as a game-used Cleveland Indians BP jersey of Orel Hershiser. The jersey came from a bulk purchase made from the Tribe several years ago, and had Orel's #55 on the back...however, it wasn't worn by Orel. The jersey's sizing (2XL) would be a tent on the 180-pound Hershiser's frame. Second, and more telling, the Majestic logo on the sleeve was the one introduced in 2000. Hershiser left the Indians after 1997.

A scan of rosters from the correct time frame (2000-2002) shows than Cuban pitcher Danys Baez wore 55 in 2001-02, with his frame more in tune with the XXL sizing than Hershiser's. Somebody won a fully legitimate Tribe BP top, but one not worn by who they thought it was.

INTERESTING PROTOTYPE

At the recent Chicago Sun-Times show in this area, one seller carried an unusual item on his jersey rack. Kip Ingle of suburban Atlanta had several items he purchased directly from former players Dal Maxvill and Lee Thomas. Thomas was dealt with while the former Angel was the GM for the Phillies. Among Thomas' contributions to the Ingle inventory was a home Phillies prototype of then-manager Nick Leyva, fully tagged, but with no pinstripes. It apparently was a rejected style that the Phils were offered for consideration in the 1988-89 offseason. He was asking $200 for it, with no takers, as far as I know.

b> OBITUARIES

Randy Gumpert, a pitcher for 5 American League teams between 1936 and 1952, died at age 90. His best remembered event for Yankees fans was yielding Mickey Mantle's first career home run while a member of the White Sox. Three of Gumpert's playing seasons came in Yankee pinstripes, as well.

Red Murff, the scout who discovered Nolan Ryan, died in Tyler, Texas in a nursing home. He was 87. Murff also pitched for the Milwaukee Braves in 1956-57.

Ted Rogers, the man who bought the Toronto Blue Jays and has owned them since 2000, passed away due to the effects of congestive heart failure, at age 75.

Finally, NHL star Pit Martin,a 4-time NHL All-Star and participant in 1,101 games over a 17 seasons, was killed when his snowmobile crashed through the surface of an ice-covered lake. He was 64. Martin played for the Red Wings, Bruins, Blackhawks and Canucks, and was part of the renowned MPH Line for Chicago, joining Jim Pappin and Dennis Hull in that trio. The MPH line was due to be honored later this winter before a Blackhawks game.

PLAXICO BURRESS...WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, MAN?
Dec 3, 2008
Category: Archived News
Great Publication For Any Collector
Nov 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Continued debate requires continued response
Nov 22, 2008
Category: Archived News
Certainly a week of interesting topics...
Nov 20, 2008
Category: Archived News
Who Signed It & What Does It Really Mean...
Nov 20, 2008
Category: Archived News
Churchill and Law? The Reasons Are Clear To Me....
Nov 19, 2008
Category: Archived News
Coming Full Circle & We Could Not Be More Excited...
Nov 19, 2008
Category: Archived News
RESEARCHING REQUESTS TO AUGMENT MY OWN

I've got a couple of things I'm checking out at the moment that possibly Shirt readers can supply input on:

First, I noticed a new (old) Rawlings logo on the left sleeve of some 2007-08 Buffalo Bisons Triple-A jerseys. It's a combination of the full name Rawlings script (introduced in 1987) and the oval with the upper case script R inside (first seen on minor league gamers in 1998), with the script on top and the oval centered underneath. Has anyone else seen this type of Rawlings logo on other minor league baseball jerseys? Contributions are appreciated.

Second, I received in a trade for a group of caps an oddity. It's a New Era Cubs road lid with MLB tagging inside the cap, and looks normal except for one thing: the New Era logo is added on the left side of the crown. I've seen that on minor league caps, but, except for photo shoots, not on an MLB hat. Two other aspects muddle things up further: the cap shows some game wear, and the number under the brim (29) and the size (7 1/2) would match up to pinch-hitter extraordinaire Lenny Harris, who spent roughly half of 2003 as a Cub. Harris wore 29 as a Cub, and the size is identical to a Marlins cap Harris gave me a couple of years later. Can anyone account for other MLB caps, spring training or regular season, that carried the New Era logo on them? I'd love to hear about it either way. Thanks.

PADRES PATCH

The 2009 Padres home, road, and alternate blue jerseys will feature a team 40th Anniversary patch. The logo, viewable on both the MLB and Padres websites, will incorporate several elements, most notably the team's current home uniform script and the traditional Swinging Friar logo.

MORE CAVS RETRO

Earlier this week, the Cleveland Cavaliers whipped out a new set of Hardwood Classics uniforms in a game against the Knicks. The new retro unies were patterned after an early 1970s Cavs design...bright yellow jerseys and trunk with red print thereon, and the team nickname bearing an underscore that almost looks like an oddly-plumed feather. These should be fun for hoops collectors when they hit the market.

CRUDDY CLEMENS

That's not a commentary on the pitcher himself, but the status of an alleged 1987 Red Sox jersey of the Rocket recently up on eBay and offered as game-used. Sad to say, at least three notable problems stick out like a sore thumb:

Initially, 1987 was the year the Red Sox wore Fenway Park 75th Anniversary patches on the left sleeve. The offered jersey has none, and no mention of an imprint from removal is mentioned in the description.

Next, while the jersey bore a legitimate (albeit improperly evident) Rawlings flag tag, the red Rawlings label wasn't the style used in 1987, but the wider version not seen in MLB gamers until the White Sox TBTC gamers worn in July, 1990.

Finally, the jersey is a Rawlings and is a home white...Rawlings only made the road greys from 1987-91, while Wilson made all home unies in that time span. It may well be poor research instead of willful deception, but it definitely is one to avoid.

MEET ME AT THE (WORLD'S) FAIR

Two occasions have come about in MLB history that found one or more teams paying homage to a locally held World's Fair with a sleeve patch. It can be seen on many 1965-66 Topps cards of Mets where the red and blue New York World's Fair patch was the left sleeve adornment of Mets home shirts in 1964-65 as well as a Pacific card from around 1988 of Yogi Berra showing the same patch on the right sleeve of Yogi Berra's gamer.

Then, of course, there's the 1939 New York World's Fair patch, worn by the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants in 1938, as '39 was when both leagues wore the Baseball Centennial patch. The recently auctioned 1938 Brooklyn coach's jersey of Babe Ruth shows a good look at the logo (left sleeve for all three teams).

Not to forget, while the team never wore a patch reflecting it, the 1969 expansion Montreal Expos team was named after the Worlds Fair-like Expo '67 exhibition in Montreal.

b> MORE BAT PROBLEMS

A thread on Game Used Forum had collector's recently offering their thoughts on collecting bats that had blank knobs, number changed knobs, or blackened knobs, and the concerns about seller chicanery being possible regarding these. There is another "doctoring" technique that, while I've not seen it recently, was common with one forger/seller quite a while ago.

This crook's trademark was, after buying store model Louisville Slugger bats, sanding the knobs flat to remove any trace of the knob engravings that would peg it as a retail bat. Several were dealt by him at early 1980's Chicago club (CSCA) mini-shows. Of course, the rub was that LS bats have a slight rounding to the knobs, with his doctoring making them completely flat...OK for Adirondacks of the era, but not Louisvilles.

The jerk, who also forged autographs on gum cards, had a habit of giving refunds on items he was detected on, but would then turn around and resell it to the next unsuspecting buyer (the same goes for his phony signed cards). The promoter of these shows, respected Chicago promoter icon Bruce Paynter, dismissed early complaints by both me and other collectors, deciding that he couldn't enact punishment on items he wasn't an expert on.

Things went on unabated, until sometime afterwards, when the crook made the mistake of dealing Paynter a number of his forged autographed baseball cards. At that point, Paynter did take action, and the shady seller was barred from his shows. I like Bruce Paynter, but who knows how many other buyers got stung by this guy due to his early inaction on the matter?

MAKE IT UP AS YOU GO ALONG

One pet peeve I have is hobbyists who seem unable to spell or pronounce basic terms involved with the hobby. One example: football jersey sellers who decide they are offering "dureen", instead of durene jerseys. Annoying, but understandable to a degree, as the fabric is not used on contemporary mainstream NFL jerseys, and would only be a familiar term to vintage football game-used enthusiasts. Admittedly, I even screwed up that one a couple of decades ago.

The one that really galls me these days is "authentification", and it's sister non-word, "authentify". This isn't merely an educated, but erroneous guess at a word's spelling...it isn't a legitimate word at all! You can have a certification or an authentication, but not an "authentification". You can certify or authenticate, but you can't "authentify". The eBay sellers and hobby shop dealers should learn the lingo, as they don't look or sound terribly intelligent using a non-existent word in their ads and with their customers.

JUICE...YOU BROUGHT IT ON YOURSELF!
Nov 19, 2008
Category: Archived News
Vasst You Ever In Zinzinnati? Well he was starting in 1953, not 1955...
Nov 15, 2008
Category: Archived News
A MEARS Exclusive In More Ways Than One...
Nov 12, 2008
Category: Archived News
Sad to say, but this comes as no surprise...
Nov 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Too much to do and too little time...
Nov 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
ONE JERSEY, TWO VERSIONS, TWO SEASONS

Having seen one being offered on eBay, a few words on the history of the retro 1964 White Sox Turn Back The Clock home jerseys is in order. The jersey up on eBay is fine, but the history is a bit more convoluted on this style than your average TBTC unie.

The jerseys were ordered, in part, in 1994, and new players for 1995 on the Sox were manufactured that year. The style, a re-do of the 1964 home pinstriped design, was originally intended to be used in a September 1994 contest against the Yankees. The game, unfortunately, was lost due to the labor dispute that also wiped out the 1994 World Series.

While Wilson made both the first and second wave of these gamers, the 1994 and 1995 creations were distinguishable from each other due to variant numeric fonts and NOB fonts. The 1994 versions had strip tagging in the tail that was removed on virtually every one. The one being offered on eBay, a 1995-made John Kruk, had less detailed tagging. The jerseys were eventually worn in 1995 in a Sox-Orioles game at New Comiskey Park.

An added feature not present on the 1964 originals...a winged sock logo patch...was added to the mid-1990s version. Another unique aspect, at least in comparison to the first Pale Hose TBTC venture, was the jerseys only having one set produced, as the 1990 TBTCs had two sets made...presumably one for the team and one for the player to keep, if desired.

Finally, availability is minimal and prices are high, due in some degree to the subsequent team auction of these. One area store owner, a team sponsor at the time, won roughly 10 of them in the auction, paying four figures for each of the ten, and, due to the single set made, assuming (in error, of course) that he was going to clean up on selling them to rank and file hobbyists. It's a must for White Sox style collectors, albeit not a readily available nor an inexpensive one.

OBITUARIES

Bep Guidolin, the youngest player ever to appear in an NHL game, passed away from a stroke at age 82. Guidolin was 16 years and 11 months of age when he skated for the Boston Bruins on November 12, 1942. His nine-year NHL career also found him in the employ of Detroit and Chicago.

Floyd Weaver, a MLB pitcher sporadically from 1962-71, died, according to the Baseball Almanac website. Weaver was an Indians moundsman in 1962 and 1965, his most active year in the Bigs. He also appeared with the 1970 White Sox and the 1971 Brewers. He was 67 on his date of death (November 17).

Tom Burgess, a longtime baseball lifer with a brief MLB playing career and a slightly longer coaching career in The Show, died at age 81. Burgess played briefly for the 1954 Cardinals and the 1962 Angels, and spent decades managing and coaching in the pros, with MLB stops with the Mets (1977) and Braves (1978).

SO LONG KERRY WOOD...YOU WILL BE MISSED BY CUBS FANS.
Nov 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Sometimes what you don't see at auction is an important as those things you do...
Nov 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
The ever growing problem of "Google-Thentication"...
Nov 9, 2008
Category: Archived News
OBSERVATIONS OF ITEMS ON EBAY

Three things of note viewed in the last week regarding the last 25 years:

Another one of the year tagged 1983 Wilson salesman's samples has been put up for bid, again misadvertised (likely through lack of knowledge) as game-used. The item was one of the maroon BP jerseys the Phillies ordered from Wilson that year, and reflecting Pete Rose's identity. Of course, the two consistent telltale signs of a 1983 Wilson tagged sample are present: the presence of a box tag with an embroidered "83" inside, placed on the tail. I can never recall seeing a team-issued Wilson Phillies BP top (1979-86) that carried any tagging other than the collar-located manufacturer label (correct me if I am in error, Howard). Second, all Phils BPs from this time frame had NOBs, whereas this one didn't...normal for this unusual tagged genre when the real, team issued designs carry a NOB. These samples can throw novice sellers and/or collectors, most of whom are satisfied seeing tags, and not schooled enough to know what else is out of place.

On a 2000 front, while spring training of that year was the debut of the MLB logo on the back of a jersey neck, it looks as if a scant few 2000 spring-worn items may be bereft of this new addition. Recently offered were two Colorado Rockies BP tops that had the 2000-present Majestic sleeve logo. While one was a star, the other was a lesser-known player (OF Derrick Gibson) who was cut before the Rox headed northeast to Denver. Neither carried the MLB logo, even though the sleeve logos on both were the style first introduced in 2000. This anomaly likely is limited in examples to be found, but it apparently does exist, albeit in very limited fashion.

Finally, an email pal from Game Used Forum was curious about a 1994 Frank Thomas White Sox game-used batting helmet that bore the image of a flag on the back. The flag wasn't of the USA, nor Canada, nor any of the Central or South American nations sending players to the Majors. Ditto for the Caribbean islands...not from there, either.

The flag was white, with a blue horizontal stripe running across both the top and bottom, with four red stars between them. After viewing it, I knew what I was seeing immediately. The flag was the city flag for Chicago. I don't remember all the details of the 2 stripes/4 stars design, but do recall that the four red stars represented major moments in Chicago history, two of which were the Chicago fire (the real one, not the MLS or WFL teams) and the Columbian Exposition of 1892. Still, it was the first time I had seen a city flag on a Major League wearable...can anyone share other examples?

OVER-RESTORED FLANNELS

One major auction, recently completed, had two perfectly legitimate flannels, one with advertised restoration, and both actually were not offered the way they originally were due to to too much being on the jersey

First off, there was a 1969 Athletics home flannel of Bert Campaneris with acknowledged restorations of the front logo and the MLB100 patch. Problem is, the 1969 jerseys had just the large A on the front, while the 1970 styles added the " 's " to the big A. This 1969 jersey was restored with a 1970 front logo. This means one of two things: either the jersey is an improperly restored 1969 vest, or it's a vest recycled for 1970 (which Oakland sometimes did) that had the NOB removed and not restored. I cannot say for sure either way, as I'm going on photos, not a hands-on inspection...wonder which of the two it was?

Second, a 1969 Wilson Seattle Pilots road flannel of an unknown player was offered. The front, back and tag were all as they were back in 1969...but a MLB100 patch (100th Anniversary of Major League Baseball) was added to the left sleeve...something none of the four expansion teams of that year (also including the Expos, Padres and Royals) wore on their spring flannels. A bonus in a way, bu still not part of the original package that was incorrectly added.

OBITUARIES

John Karras, University of Illinois rushing star who played one season with the NFL Chicago Cardinals, died of liver failure. He was 80.

Bob Jeter, an 11-year veteran in the NFL who started in both Super Bowls 1 and 2 for the Packers, fell victim at age 71 to cardiac arrest. Jeter was also on the 1965 pre-Super Bowl NFL Championship squad, putting in 8 seasons (1963-70) with the Pack, followed by three years (1971-73) with some mediocre Bears teams.

Pete Newell, the renowned coach of the big men in basketball, died at age 93. In addition to his tutoring of Shaquille O'Neal and others, he coached the NCAA California hoops team to the 1959 National Title, followed by a gold medal winner with the US Olympic team in 1960.

Last, but not least, the former president of the Carolina League, Jim Mills, passed away November 14 after suffering a stroke roughly two months earlier. His tenure (1977-83) saw the advanced Class A league gain a large upward spike in attendance, as well as returning Carolina League baseball to Durham, North Carolina (think of the movie Bull Durham).

DOES ANYONE REALLY WANT THE NFC NORTH TITLE...ANYONE?
Nov 9, 2008
Category: Archived News
MIEDEMA'S MAILBOX

Q: When did Sand-Knit go from being Medalist Sand-Knit to MacGregor Sand-Knit?

A: The changeover was first seen on 1985 MLB jerseys and pants, as that season, these items have been seen with two Medalist tags, two MacGregor tags, or one of each. The last stand of MacGregor Sand-Knit tags (and Sand-Knit itself) was seen on a handful of 1990 NFL jerseys (such as Green Bay).

Q: When did the NFL first use the neck shield on their jerseys?

A: The original design...the league shield by itself, first was used in 1991. A recent eBay item showed a Raiders Marcus Allen jersey made by Wilson from 1991 offered (likely by lack of research) as a 1984-85 gamer...years when there was not only no neck shield, but when Sand-Knit supplied the silver-and-black. The second version, with the shield inside an NFL Equipment mini-patch, was first used in 2002, with many recycled 2001 Reebok gamers also showing the newer insignia. The neck adornment was updated again in 2008, with the shield itself altered to show only 8 stars (one for each NFL division) in the blue field on top.

Q: Your reports in the past on Michael Jordan's White Sox uniform in the 1994 April exhibition at Wrigley Field mention MJ's Wilson-made, patchless shirt. What did the rest of the Sox players wear that day?

A: Naturally, MJ's fellow Chisox wore the same black jerseys that His Airness did. However, the other players wore Russell jerseys with the 125th Anniversary patch present on the right sleeve. Given that other minor leaguers were brought in for the game by both teams, it makes sense that some 1994 Russell alternate jerseys figured to be only game-issued were worn in that Cubs-Sox friendly, as well.

Q: Did Russell produce any other professional gamers besides 1992-93 MLB jerseys with the intera tag?

A: The intera label also appears in a small number of NFL jerseys (Rams, Eagles, and a couple of others) from the same time frame.

In addition, contrary to my initial report that the Intera tag was not used in retail jerseys, Rudy at Game Used Forum made mention of the special fabric tag being in a retail jersey he owns, meaning, of course, there's likely more out there.

Q: It was well publicized in 1998 as to the return of Mark McGwire's 62nd home run by a Cardinals groundskeeper who caught it. What went on with Sammy Sosa's 62nd that year?

A: Sosa hit both home runs 61 and 62 in the same game. And, unlike McGwire's 62nd, this one was significantly messier. The ball was originally retrieved in an alley that runs between and parallel to Sheffield and Kenmore Avenues by longtime Ballhawk Moe Mullins. He was immediately buried in a fan pile-on to the extent that he was unable to breathe. Letting the ball loose, it was scooped up by a previously uninvolved fan, Brandon Cunningham. Cunningham, with the assistance of CPD officers not aware that he wasn't the rightful owner of the prized baseball, helped him make a retreat. The ensuing debacle involved an injunction by Mullins to prevent Cunningham from selling the ball, an approach from Judge Judy's TV show to mediate the case in her TV court (Cunningham agreed, but Mullins declined) and two major memorabilia dealers in Chicago refusing to either buy or auction the ball based upon Cunningham's taking advantage of a helpless Mullins. Eventually, Cunningham gave the ball back to Sosa, and, disgustingly, was pictured with Sosa in a 1999 Hall of Fame display honoring people who didn't decide to cash in on McGwire or Sosa homers over #61. Mullins, sadly, gained no mention in the Cooperstown exhibit.

OF CANUCKS AND CHARLOTTE

The Vancouver Canucks unveiled a third jersey this past week to be worn 15 times this season, beginning with last night's game. The sweater will use the original blue, green and white color scheme and will incorporate all three Canucks logos (the stick and rink, the V and Johnny Canuck).

As far as Charlotte goes, the city's current NBA squad (the Bobcats) are wearing a team 5th Anniversary patch this season.

RING THEFT

Report from the Canadian Press: The residence of one of the Bronfman brothers (not said at this time whether it was Peter or Edward) was victimized by a $1 million dollar burglary. Among the items taken were two Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup rings, received by the brothers, who were co-owners of the Habs at the time the rings were earned. Stolen were rings from the 1973-74 and 1975-76 championship seasons.

OBITUARIES

Preacher Roe, pitcher for the Cardinals, Pirates and Dodgers, died of colon cancer at age 92. Roe was best remembered for his years in Brooklyn (1948-54), which included multiple World Series starts, and a Cliff Lee-like 22-3 won-lost record, netting him the Sporting News Pitcher of the Year award, as there was no Cy Young Award issued until 1956.

Herb Score, former Indians and White Sox pitcher and longtime Tribe broadcaster, succumbed to multiple health problems at age 75. His career began in 1955, when he won the American League Rookie of the Year Award. The darkest day of his career, though came in 1957. In a May 7 game against the Yankees, Score was smashed in the face by a line drive off the back of New York's Gil McDougald. Score returned to pitching, but was never the same again, as a new delivery style employed to avoid another line drive beaning caused arm injuries that ended his career after the 1962 season.

Finally, Frank Williams, older brother of Hall of Famer Billy Williams, died as the result of a March stroke. He was 72. Williams played in the minors for 4 years, and, although he never made it to the Majors, was an accomplished player for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues. He played in the last Negro League East-West All-Star Game, held at Comiskey Park.

JOEY WHO?? CONGRATULATIONS GEOVANNY SOTO, 2008 NL ROY!
Nov 9, 2008
Category: Archived News
A must have for your library...
Nov 9, 2008
Category: Archived News
MIEDEMA'S MAILBOX

Q: I have an Oakland A's BP jersey, size large #3. It's from either 1998 or 1999. Can you ID the player? I'm hoping it's Eric Chavez.

A: Chavez was a member of the A's in both 1998 and 1999. However, his size (6-0, 204) and his having worn #30 in 1998 likely takes him out of the picture. In '98. diminutive infielder Bip Roberts (5-8, 165) wore #3, making it to likely be his.

Q: On the 1992 White Sox jerseys that featured the memoriam diamond on the sleeve, what color is the logo on the black alternate jerseys?

A: While the logo, a memoriam for Jerry Reinsdorf's personal assistant, Sheri Berto, and longtime team front office employees Don Unferth and Millie Johnson, was black on the home whites and road greys, th black alternates used a silver logo. All three logos were actually part of the sleeve fabric, not sewn-on patches.

Q: Could you tell me a little about Brooks Robinson Sporting Goods?

A: The Hall of Famers' sporting goods company was a minor player in the uniform supplier market in the 1970s. For baseball, they manufactured an orange alternate knit jersey in 1971 for the Orioles, which, as of a few years ago, saw only two common player specimens, both of the NOBR variety, in the organized hobby. They also made Old-Timers Game jerseys for some Baltimore-based events, such as a 10-year reunion of the 1966 World Champs, in flannel, no less. They also were the supplier of a team which never got of the ground, the ABA Baltimore Claws, of which at least one prototype saw auction bidding in the past year.

AUCTION ACTION

The second round of NHL auctions bidding (www.nhl.com) for preseason Europe exhibitions will be active until the evening of November 13. It will involve the white Ottawa Senators sweaters worn in Stockholm and the blue Rangers gamers from the Prague games.

Also ending on November 13 will be NBA Rookie Photo Shoot event-worn jerseys of Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley and Robin Lopez. Check these out at www.nba.com .

WILL HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF?

With Barack Obama's recent election, this means that the last two Democratic First Ladies will be Chicago natives and baseball fans. It makes me wonder: will Michelle Obama be tapped to throw out the first pitch at the White Sox 2009 home opener? And, if so, will it be more or less controversial than the 1993 ceremony at Wrigley Field involving Hillary Clinton?

In April of 1993, Clinton, born in the Chicago suburbs and raised as a Cub fan, did the honors during which a) Harry Caray gave her a kiss in the broadcast booth, b)her introduction brought on a crowd reaction that was pretty much evenly split between cheers and boos, and c) several Cubs players (including Mark Grace and Randy Myers) making a political statement by refusing to autograph a team-signed jersey the Cubs were planning to gift her with. Stay tuned for further developments.

DC DOINGS

You can check the team's website (www.nationals.com) for more information, but, to summarize, the Nationals will have different uniforms for 2009. The team will wear 4 different styles, with the white home, grey road and red alternate jerseys gaining new sleeve patches and front logos. The red jersey (now with the cap's curly W) will become a home alternate jersey, with a blue shirt showing an diagonally interlocking DC emblem with a red, white and blue color scheme becoming the new road alternate jersey, in the manner of what Atlanta did for the 2008 season.

OBITUARIES

Two athletes left our earthly realm this past week-plus, both at age 61. The first was former Houston Astros 1B-PH Rafael Batista. Batista played for the Astros in 1973 and 1975, and, according to the Baseball Almanac website, died November 1.

Also deceased at age 61 was G. Larry James, who succumbed to cancer. James was a US Olympian who won track-related medals, gold and silver, in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

SORRY, COLLECTORS...2009 CUBS CONVENTION SOLD OUT IN 24 MINUTES
Nov 5, 2008
Category: Archived News
Charlie Grimm is legend in the Midwest, the much loved manager split a lot of his time between his two favorite cities, Chicago and Milwaukee. 1951 was The American Association's Jubilee year and it became a very special year for "Jolly Cholly" and Milwaukee...
Nov 4, 2008
Category: Archived News
Another use of H&B factory records: determining the source of a nickname...by Troy R. Kinunen
Oct 31, 2008
Category: Archived News
MLB MANUFACTURER PRIMER

Following is a primer on who had MLB uniform contracts from 1987 (the first year of the first official uniform contract) through 2008.

1987-91: Official=Rawlings

Unofficial: Wilson (all Braves and Yankees, Tigers and Red Sox home); Goodman (some Astros, Nolan Ryan Rangers, 1990-91 Padres home).

1992-99: Official=Russell

Unofficial: Wilson (1992-99 Braves home, 1992 road, some 1992 White Sox road and 1993-99 all styles, a few Blue Jays, 1996 Angels); Rawlings (many 1992-99 Pirates, 1992-94 Dodgers, 1992-99 Cardinals, some 1997-99 Mets, 1997-99 Angels, Barry Bonds and a few other Giants, 1992-99); Goodman (1992-93 Nolan Ryan); Victory (1995-99 Astro home and road Bagwell and Biggio. select others in 1995); AIS (some 1997-99 Mets); Majestic (1998 Mariners alternates).

2000-02: Official=Russell, Rawlings, Majestic

2003-04: Official=Russell, Majestic

2005-08 (and likely 2009) Official=Majestic

Also: MLB and Negro League Turn Back The Clock: Rawlings (1990 White Sox, 1991 Giants, Phillies and Reds);1992-2008 Russell, Mitchell and Ness, Ebbets Field Flannels, AIS, Majestic.

BP jerseys (first contract 1990): Official: Majestic

Also official: Rawlings (1990-91), Russell (1992-99),

Unofficial: AIS (some 1990s Mets).

WINTER CLASSIC SWEATERS UNVEILED

Both the Blackhawks and Red Wings are going retro for the January 1st outdoor game at Wrigley Field. Both teams will wear a Winter Classic patch and have their garb produced by Reebok. The Blackhawks will reach back to a 1935-36 design: black with red and white body stripes, and a smaller Indian Head logo inside a circle, with the team name around the upper (Chicago) and lower (Blackhawks) borders of the circle. Detroit will don 1926-27 style attire: white with a solid red body stripe, a white Olde English D in the stripe, and smaller secondary shoulder logos of the current wheel-and-wing insignia. Both will use tie-front necks on their wearables. NHL.com is already selling the replica versions on their website.

NEW STYLES

The Boston Celtics broke out a special jersey for their home opener. The special jersey was similar to the normal home top, but had gold trim on all letters and numbers, and a special championship patch.

The Pacific Coast League Colorado Sky Sox have new uniform styles for 2009. The home version will be white, the roads will be grey, and a P/Sunday alternate top will be navy blue. The new Sky Sox logo, a range of mountains with the team name at the bottom and a menacing pair of cartoon-style eyes above the team name, will appear on both the homes and roads, with an interlocking CS on the third jerseys.

The New York Islanders are going to wear an alternate jersey 15 times this season, a dark blue, orange and white design patterned after their 1970s/80s sweaters. One difference: the hockey stick in the logo will have four lines on the stick portion, in recognition of the Islanders' four Stanley Cup winners.

HANGING CHAD

The good news for Chad Johnson of he Bengals is that his new legal name, Ocho Cinco, will be allowed on his uniforms by the NFL. The bad news, however, is that it won't be permitted until 2009, to allow Reebok and the NFL to sell as many Johnson NOB jerseys as possible.

NEW MUSEUM ADDITIONS

Sports Collectors Daily reported the donation a Green Bay area man made to the Packers Hall of Fame. The donation included a pair of Johnny "Blood" McNally's shoulder pads from the 1930s, as well as a '30s Packers sideline coat.

Also, it has been made public that Joe Blanton of the Phillies, who hit a game 4 home run in the Phils' rout of the Rays, will have that specific bat donated to Cooperstown.

OLD IS NEW

Bill Haelig emailed in to tell me of a November 12th event hosted by the Baltimore Orioles that will include an announcement that the 2009 Orioles road jerseys will be restyled to change the front script from Orioles to Baltimore.

The last time Orioles road jerseys carried the city name on the front were in 1972, with their Spalding-made road unies. The team went to the Orioles front on all their styles in an effort to regionalize their team's fan base by courting Washington DC fans, who had lost their expansion Senators after the 1971 season. Now that Washington has a team again, the O's are concentrating on their Baltimore area supporters again.

OBITUARY

Karl Kassulke, a safety for the Vikings from 1963-72, died from a heart attack. He was 67. Kassulke's career, which included a Super Bowl start and a Pro Bowl appearance, was cut short by a motorcycle crash that left him paralyzed.

CONGRATULATIONS, PHILLIES>>>BUT I WISH IT WOULDA BEEN THE CUBS INSTEAD.
Oct 31, 2008
Category: Archived News
A Rare Find and Insights Into Days Long Gone...
Oct 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
HOME RUN BALL REALITY

The world of game used home run baseballs found a no-sale and a no-auction event in the past week-plus.

First off, Jose Molina's September 21st home run against Baltimore (the last home run in Yankee Stadium history), not only did not meet the $400,000 pre-auction estimate, it was pulled after failing to draw even the $100,000 reserve.

Second, the Manny Aybar home run that helped Tampa Bay to it's first A.L. pennant in it's Game 7 defeat of Boston won't be seeing the auction block, at all. The ball, which also set an ALCS record by being the playoff series' 26th homer, was sought by Aybar, who offered a jersey and bat in trade.

The man who caught it, Cortney Taylor, turned down Aybar's trade offer, but NOT to strike it rich with an auction house. He agreed to donate it to the Baseball Hall of Fame, which was all too happy to receive it, as their holdings of Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays memorabilia is mostly artifacts pertaining to Wade Boggs' 3000th hit.

A related postscript, the news website that posted the story got an irate post from a woman identified only as "Amy", who is chagrined because her brother, Rich, caught the first-ever Rays ALCS home run (hit by Evan Longoria) and has gotten no offers nor recognition for his catch.

For the record, both the first-ever Devil Rays home run and D-Rays yielded home run (both spring training)sit in Chicago area collections. The first one hit by Tampa Bay's Bubba Trammell is owned by a retired Waveland Avenue Ballhawk who tried, without success, to sell it for $1,000 three years ago. The first one ever given up by the D-Rays, hit by college second baseman Brooks Badeaux (later drafted by Tampa Bay) sits in the Oak Park-based collection of a Rays collector, who acquired it from yours truly, who retrieved it when it was hit back in the first-ever Rays spring game in 1998.

BAMBINO & BASKETBALL

Hunt's Auctions will have it's second annual Louisville Slugger auction on November 15th. The prime piece of the auction: a 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers road flannel shirt and pants worn by Babe Ruth during his one-year stint as first base coach with Dem Bums. The uniform is made by Spalding, with Ruth's name stitched in both pieces, and the 1939 World's Fair patch (worn in '38 by the Yanks, Dodgers and Giants, as 1939 was the sport-wide donning of the Baseball Centennial patch) is present on the left sleeve.

On a more recent, and less expensive front, www.nba.com has a link to their shopping section involving a couple dozen NBA Hardwood Classics jerseys (the NBA equivalent of Turn Back the Clock and Throwback uniforms of the MLB and NFL). The available unies are all registered in the MeiGray database.

INTERA

What, exactly, IS Intera? It was supposed to be a revolutionary new fabric blend that Russell Athletic was going to use when they took over the MLB uniform contract in 1992. The extinct newsletter Diamond Duds carried a reference to it as "a doubleknit that breathes", supposedly less stifling to wear than traditional polyester knit jerseys that were used for the previous 20-plus seasons. In essence, it was the same approach Majestic sought with the introduction in 2006 of their Cool Base game uniforms, and before that, in 2003 with similarly constructed BP jerseys.

As it happens, Majestic succeeded, and Russell did not. Intera jerseys in MLB appeared sporadically in 1992-93, and pretty much disappeared after that.

The Intera-made gamers had their own fabric content flag tag, larger and more text filled than the traditional 100% Polyester (and Nylon) nub-sized flag tags. Their presence was in gamers only, and were, depending on team, either flagged underneath the Russell manufacturer tag in the tail, or flagged in the collar of the jersey. In a matter of a couple of seasons, Intera was out!

OBITUARIES

Harry Mangurian Jr., the owner of the Boston Celtics from 1979-83, died after a battle with leukemia. He was 82. Mangurian was the owner of the 1981 NBA Champion Celtics team.

Former NBA star Nick Weatherspoon died on October 18th at age 58. He played in the Association from 1973-80, splitting his career between the Bullets (3+ season), the Supersonics (less than a full season), the Bulls (1 year) and the Clippers (2 years)

Football HoFer Gene Hickerson, considered by legendary RB and former teammate Jim Brown to be the greatest downfield blocker ever, succumbed to a long illness on October 20th. Age 73 at the time of his passing, the career Cleveland Brown played from 1958-73, and ended his career playing in 165 consecutive games.

Finally, Lou Stringer, an infielder in the 1940s who primarily played second base, died October 19th at age 91. Stringer was a regular with the Cubs in 1941-42, and played part of the 1943 season with the Wrigleys before going off to war. He returned in 1946, and was a back-up for the '46 Cubs as well as the Red Sox from 1948-50.

KYLE ORTON, YOUR TABLE IS READY!
Oct 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
ABC...? Ammunition, Badminton, and Camping or Actually Benificial Catalogs...You Decide.
Oct 18, 2008
Category: Archived News
MIEDEMA'S MAILBOX

Q: I had a Charles Barkley Suns home jersey, by Champion with tags, fail an authentication (not by MEARS) due to improper logo placement. Can you elucidate?

A: In the 1991-1992 NBA season, a number of retail jerseys with tags, but with minor differences from actual team-issued jerseys, were made available to the general public. In the case of Barkley's retail jersey, the NBA logo is on the left chest...normal for most NBA teams, but not the Suns, who place it on the right chest for gamers of that style. The jerseys, sold as the NBA Commemorative Collection, are the hoops equivalent of the Score Board MLB jerseys mentioned in this column before...tagged jerseys that never saw a locker room or a player's' back, but come down to minor differences (amount of extra length, tag information, lack of patch or band, etc.)

Q: You've mentioned the White Sox being the initiator of MLB Turn Back the Clock jerseys in 1990. Who was the first TBTC wearing team in the NFL?

A: Everyone in the league wore some sort of Throwback (NFL-speak for Turn Back the Clock) uniform during the NFL's 75th Anniversary season in 1994. The year before, however, found the New York Jets trotting out 1969-style unies as part of the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Jets' Super Bowl 3 champions.

ORANGE YA GLAD THE BEARS ARE PLAYING?

For today's Bears-Vikings clash at Soldier Field, the Bears will be wearing their orange jerseys...the third year of their alternate style.

OOPS

One eBay offering showed the possibility of honest error in the realm of game-used baseball collecting. A seller had a game foul ball he caught at a Pirates-Phillies game at the Vet in Philly. His description indicated it was hit by Roberto Clemente. Bad memory, seller friend...the ball is a Rawlings gamer, and Clemente died several years before Rawlings began supplying MLB with baseballs. The National League baseballs of Clemente's era were all produced by Spalding. Still a decent item...just not one that Clemente hit foul.

THERE'S MORE THAN 10

After mentioning a set 10 Alfonso Soriano Cubs home jersey on an Internet auction last time out, it looks as if Soriano had even more sets in '07. An eBay auction offers a genuine Sori 2007 Cubs home gamer tagged set 12. Still not Vernon Wells' set 20, but getting there.

OBITUARIES

In the NFL, Chris Mims was found dead of undetermined causes at age 38. Mims played eight seasons in the NFL, seven of which were with the Chargers, plus one with Washington.

Baseball lost several former players. Sid Hudson, who pitched from 1940-54 for the Red So and Senators (with 1943-45 off for military service) died on the 10th at age 93.

Also leaving us at age 93 was Les McCrabb, who passed away on the 8th. McCrabb was a pitcher for the Philadelphia A's from 1939-42, and then reappearing briefly with the A's again in 1950.

Kevin Foster, a pitcher whose best years were with the 2994-97 Cubs, and later a truck driver, died from a form of renal cancer at age 39. He came to the Majors in 1993 with the Phillies, and attempted a comeback in 2001 with Texas. This one hits me extra...the second strong acquaintance of mine to die way too young this year (Geremi Gonzalez was the first).

Most recently, Tom Tresh suffered a fatal heart attack, passing at age 71. He was the 1962 AL ROY, and played with the Yanks from 1962 into the midst of 1969, finishing off the '69 schedule with Detroit. His father was Mike Tresh, a 12-year MLB catcher predominantly with the White Sox.

WHO WAS THE IDIOT WHO DECIDED TO CAN DENIS SAVARD?
Oct 17, 2008
Category: Archived News
Even with the use of a database, the anwers are not always clear cut...by Troy R. Kinunen
Oct 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Q&A and Auctions
Oct 9, 2008
Category: Archived News
It's all about opportunities...
Oct 8, 2008
Category: Archived News
Recyling Is Not A New Fad...
Sep 25, 2008
Category: Archived News
Old School Is a Common Thread
Sep 25, 2008
Category: Archived News
He could speak several languages, but couldn't hit in any of them...
Sep 24, 2008
Category: Archived News
In the spring of 1922, a young catcher named Glenn Myatt reported to the Milwaukee Brewers. Part of the deal that sent hometown favorite Joe Hauser to the Philadelphia Athletics, the question was, would anybody notice him? Oh yeah, Milwaukee and the American Association noticed.
Sep 17, 2008
Category: Archived News
MLB JERSEYS, MILB LOCALES

These days, minor league teams issue their own ballclub's jerseys to rehabbing major leaguers, often getting decent dollars for them upon their sale. There were some times in the not too distant past, however, when such was not the case.

In the early 1990s, my first trip to see the Modesto A's play (during a visit with the in-laws) found the A's hosting the San Jose Giants in California League ball. Because of the close geographies, San Francisco starter Luis Aquino took the mound for a rehab start for S Jose. The A-ball Giants, however, did not provide him with San Jose road grey shirt...he brought his major league Giants gamer with him.

Also, while I was not actually at this game, photographic evidence exists of Cubs hurler Rick Sutcliffe, circa 1990, in the bullpen of the Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League (A-ball again) with his Cubs road grey jersey on.

I'm certain more examples exist...anyone who has such a story can e-mail me at sox83cubs84@hotmail.com to share it.

ONE AND DONE

As it turns out, the Gene Upshaw GU 63 memoriam patch worn in week 1 by all 32 NFL teams is ONLY being worn in week 1...this past Sunday's games found the patch no longer on the jerseys.

SO THEN, WHAT, PRAY TELL, IS THIS?

An auction closed a couple of days ago on eBay that, while a team-issued jersey, became a thicket of questions otherwise. A seller had a 2008 Colts road jersey of Koyle Whiteside. Since Whiteside's last year playing for the Colts was in 2004, I can only assume he attempted a comeback in camp...one that failed, as he is not on the regular season roster. This preseason jersey had the Upshaw patch on it...problematic for at least two reasons. First, the Upshaw patch was only worn for Week 1 of the regular season...not preseason, and not Week 2. On top of that, in Week 1, the Colts were home hosting the Bears, meaning that the patch appeared on their home blue shirts...not their road whites. Sadly, someone not privy to this information paid $154.50 for this totally convoluted piece.

IF NOT THEN, WHEN?

While the White Sox players and coaches did wear the green-themed home unies last Friday as part of their Halfway to St. Patrick's Day, the unies would qualify, at most, as "bench worn". The team did dress up for a game, but never got the contest started, as a torrential rain that started before the schedule 7:11 PM first pitch cancelled the game. Whether or not these will get worn in one of the Pale Hose's three remaining home games (four if the cancelled game not played on Sunday with Detroit has playoff implications for the White Sox), only time will tell.

ONE TEAM STILL WEARING PATCH

As it turns out, Gene Upshaw's former team, the Oakland Raiders, are still wearing the memoriam patch for the late Hall of Famer.

AND, SPEAKING OF THE RAIDERS...

While the football world is abuzz with the news that Chad Ocho Cinco (nee Johnson) is getting a $4 million dollar bill from the No Fun League on behalf of Reebok for merchandise rendered useless by his name change, it almost happened before, albeit at a less costly rate.

After the 2006 season, Raiders WR Jerry Porter wanted to change his number from 84 to 81...until the NFL told him, in writing that he would be billed $210,000 for unsold #84 Porter jerseys and the like made by Reebok.

Apparently, this is NFL/Reebok policy, as explained by league spokesman Greg Aiello: "The more popular the player, the more expensive the switch". (Originally reported by AP).

NFL UNIFORM CHANGES

The Lions and Steelers have something in common for their 2008 uniform choices. Both will be using Throwback unie as their alternate styles. The Steelers will wear the retro design they used in 2007 as a third jersey, to be worn twice during 2008. The Lions are also going to wear their 1950s-style throwbacks as a third style, also to be worn twice, one occasion being Thanksgiving Day. To accommodate the new alternate threads, the Lions will retire their black alternate uniforms.

A REMINDER...

While the Baseball Almanac website is as good as it gets for baseball history and information, those who use the site to get past years' uniform numbers need to remember two things: first, coaches are NOT listed; second: managers have their own specific link. If your jersey's year/number/team combo doesn't show up on the regular roster page, it could be due to one of these two factors.

WILL BIG Z TOSS ANOTHER NO-NO IN THE WORLD SERIES...?

Sep 4, 2008
Category: Archived News
Bats, Trophies, and a Little College Football
Sep 3, 2008
Category: Archived News
Not all of this is just what I think...a healthy debate is just that...healthy...Thank You Mr. Levy.
Sep 1, 2008
Category: Archived News
History, Hoops, Hockey, and a Happy Birthday
Sep 1, 2008
Category: Archived News
What does this mean? Depends on who you ask...
Aug 30, 2008
Category: Archived News
Looks can be deceiving at times, especially if you don’t take the time to look at period images…
Aug 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Big and Small Names on Big and Small Screens...
Aug 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
A bit from all the four major sports....
Aug 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
Here Are My Top Ten Reasons...What Are Yours?
Aug 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
Fielding Some Questions This Week..
Aug 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
When Sandy Is Not So Dandy...
Aug 13, 2008
Category: Archived News
Patches O-Plenty...
Aug 3, 2008
Category: Archived News
Some of what we will and won't be doing...
Aug 3, 2008
Category: Archived News
Sox, Scoreboard, and Sheffield
Aug 3, 2008
Category: Archived News
Take in all the information and form your own opinion...that's what I did.
Jul 27, 2008
Category: Archived News
There is no "book value" for what I got on Saturday...
Jul 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Cubs, Bears, Cowboys, and Historic Homeruns...
Jul 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Stadiums, Score Boards, & Spring Training...
Jul 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Keeping up with the Jones'? Try keeping up with the Williams'...
Jul 25, 2008
Category: Archived News
What do I have here? Ask Bushing, he might know...
Jul 25, 2008
Category: Archived News
Understanding and Addressing Essential Elements of Informtion
Jul 24, 2008
Category: Archived News
Color and Cataloges are Things to Consider...
Jul 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
History in my hands and one fortunate collector...
Jul 17, 2008
Category: Archived News
Remembering Collector / Author Bob Koehler
Jul 16, 2008
Category: Archived News
Answering questions is a big part of what I do on a daily basis.
Jul 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
See where this phrase has led me over the years...
Jul 6, 2008
Category: Archived News
19063 & 3167783 are going to be bad news for some collectors and maybe good news for others...
Jun 30, 2008
Category: Archived News
Know The Score Before You Buy....
Jun 29, 2008
Category: Archived News
Grand Exalted Ruler of What?
Jun 25, 2008
Category: Archived News
Tiger Tales Are The Topic
Jun 25, 2008
Category: Archived News
Elephants, Peanuts, and it's not the circus...
Jun 25, 2008
Category: Archived News
Nothing short of a Gold Medal Collection Here...
Jun 25, 2008
Category: Archived News
PROFESSIONAL LOOKING< BUT NOT GAME ISSUED

This space has covered the 1989-90 Score Board MLB jerseys as 1991-92 NBA Commemorative Collection jerseys. Of course, other nice-looking items have also been made with no use or contact with the player they are identified with. Three examples are to follow:

Anaconda-Kaye Bats: Before taking their current identity as Anaconda Sports, A-K, about 20 years ago, issued game quality, pro-marked bats of numerous superstars in conjunction with Louisville Slugger. The A-K versions were, of course, not used, and also carried a horizontal underline beneath the 125 designation in the centerbrand. Unfortunately, that didn't stop some unsavory types from creating their own "game wear" and finding a container of wood filler to obscure that troublesome underline.

Eric Kramer Bears jerseys: Many of the unused, pro-cut NFL jerseys of the last 10 to 12 years could have originated in the way that a number of unused Bears road Eric Kramer shirts from the team's Nike years did. Several were out for sale at a Bears Convention in the late 1990's, and still individually bagged from the supplier. A worker explained that the group of Kramer threads (over a half-dozen) were made for charity auctions and for Kramer to give out to friends and other folks who asked him for a jersey.

Frank Thomas 1994: Although Thomas did sometimes wear Wilson jerseys with the White Sox, and could have conceivably worn a handful of these, the Sox mass-produced Thomas' 1994 road shirts for auctions, with a number of them sneaking out the back door. These versions are identifiable by the small Wilson tag in lieu of the larger Prestige Teams tag, and a stitched "94" box tag. as opposed tho the normal NIT/year/set strip tag.

Also ordered in numbers for the same reasons: Thomas first baseman's mitts, apparently with a smaller embroidered name than the actual game-issued counterparts. Several of these invaded the market as "game-used", although the "use" came from people convicted in the 1990s Operation Foul Ball scam playing catch with each other in the park.

I have one other, somewhat older example to share as soon as I get a chance to research the details.

SCRAP IRON REMEMBERED

I was asked by a collector off-site about a 1974 Braves gamer that bore a black armband on the left sleeve. He couldn't recall anyone from Atlanta passing away at that point, so he tossed the ball to me. Thankfully, I was able to shoot a 3-pointer with it.

The Richmond Braves, the longtime Class AAA farm club of Atlanta, wore various older Braves MLB gamers sent to them for recycling in 1975. That's where the band was added...Richmond manager Clint Courtney, the feisty, bespectacled 1950's catcher, died of a heart attack on a mid-season road trip to Rochester, with the addition of the black armband resulting.

BASEBALL FIRST

While World Series special issue game baseballs were made as far back at 1978, and All-Star game balls followed several years later, special issue game baseballs for regular season events didn't appear until 1991. To coincide with the opening of the new Comiskey Park (now known as U.S. Cellular Field), a White Sox front office staffer and a local Sox Fan businessman suggested a commemorative baseball celebrating the new stadium's opening. The team adopted the idea, and the ball was used in all 81 home games, and also mixed into the batting practice stash, as well. Others have followed, but this was the first.

OBITUARIES

Skip Caray, longtime announcer for the Atlanta Braves, died last Sunday at age 68. Caray's health had been fading for several months, and he was limited to broadcasting only home games for the time he worked in 2008. He also broadcasted basketball in the past, calling Hawks games in both St. Louis and Atlanta.

Also, Karl Kuehl died Wednesday at age 70 of pulmonary fibrosis. he managed the Montreal Expos for most of the 1976 season, and subsequently served on the Minnesota Twins coaching staff for 6 years.

CUBS CONTINUE TO DOMINATE...PLAN TO WATCH A LOT OF CUBS GAMES IN OCTOBER!

Jun 25, 2008
Category: Archived News
Just part of the clues used to help me find a "Hometown National Treasure."
Jun 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
The desire to move to Milwaukee gets stronger with every FEDEX package I get...
Jun 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
Thoughts on the Flag and Happy Independence Day.
Jun 22, 2008
Category: Archived News
Believe it or not, Vintage Milwaukee Brewers do show up from time to time on baseball cards.
Jun 18, 2008
Category: Archived News
A Week for All Stars...Past and Present
Jun 18, 2008
Category: Archived News
Uncovering some mysteries…or in this case, at least a quilt…
Jun 18, 2008
Category: Archived News
$517 after just 80 At Bats? BRUCE ALMIGHTY...
Jun 8, 2008
Category: Archived News
Chicago is the topic...
Jun 5, 2008
Category: Archived News
The MEARS Bushing and Kinunen For Sale Site made someone a lot more money, and no it was not just me...
Jun 4, 2008
Category: Archived News
Why did I pay $2000 more for a jersey than I sold it for, especially when it's something I no longer collect?
Jun 2, 2008
Category: Archived News
A Little Bit of Everything This Week...
Jun 2, 2008
Category: Archived News
You might say I've found over 280 reasons to collect these...
Jun 1, 2008
Category: Archived News
Just a quick look at a neat image...
May 24, 2008
Category: Archived News
Battle Dress, Ball Hawks, and Bling...
May 24, 2008
Category: Archived News
A Milwoston Braves Jersey? You Tell Me What You Think It Is...
May 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
OK, putting jerseys in the fridge...Did I really need to do this?
May 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
Professional Model Bats Used by Professional Players
May 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
The 1970s as a topic of discussion.
May 22, 2008
Category: Archived News
The Best $250.00 I Ever Spent...
May 22, 2008
Category: Archived News
Power Numbers, Pink, Puma, and Passings
May 22, 2008
Category: Archived News
The Answer Is Yes....
May 20, 2008
Category: Archived News
Black light, magnified light, and trend analysis applied to this evaluation...by Troy R. Kinunen
May 19, 2008
Category: Archived News
SUBJECT: Imagery analysis of an early 20th century New Giants Home Jersey being attributed to Christy Mathewson.

As part of the review of this early 20th century New York Giants home jersey, I was provided full color plates of the same and was asked to offer an opinion that could be given and substantiated through imagery analysis or other means(having not been afforded the opportunity to see this jersey in person). In addition, although not tied directly to imagery analysis, I also evaluated the provenance and attribution to Christy Mathewson. It must be stated and understood that the color plates I used and evaluated were full color 1:1 scale. There were three specific aspects of this jersey I looked to consider and evaluate; construction, style, and color.

CONSTRUCTION:

There are certain aspects of this jersey as function of construction that lend themselves to imagery analysis. They are the large, western style collar, the style of the button placket, and the detachable sleeves. The collar is a style found across the major leagues during this period and was not a subject of issue, debate or contention. While the initial opinion was that the jersey was from 1905 based on a pointed button line placket, this is not one that I am in agreement with. Enclosed you will find a picture of Christy Mathewson from 1904 (PLATE 1). The image can be found on page 16 of Baseball’s Golden Age: The Photographs of Charles M. Conlon. The photo is from 1904 as it is identified as the first professional photograph that Conlon took and was used to illustrate a book printed in 1905 called “How to Pitch” by John B. Foster. This same book features a picture of Jack Dunn (page 48) (PLATE 2). Both of these jerseys feature a pointed placket. In addition the jersey that Dunn is wearing is the style with detachable sleeves. Dunn’s last year with the NY Giants and as a player for any major league team was 1904, so the Dunn photo can not from later than that.

The issue of trying to date jersey simply by this one aspect alone is problematic for a couple of reasons. First is the availability and quality of suitable period images. To properly ascertain the placket style (flat vs. pointed), you need an image that is both clear enough and complete enough to show the area below the vertical stitching of the lowest button. The other thing that make this difficult to deal with the number uniforms likely issued to a player and the distinct possibility that jerseys were worn over the course of two seasons. Consider this contemporary report:

Answer to requests by the Base Ball Players Fraternity from Baseball Magazine, March 1914. The players were successful in having most of their requests granted. This meant more for the Commission than giving away in principle, for it means that much money will have to be spent to live tip to their part of the agreement. It may be seen how much it will cost the magnates when it is remembered that in such a small matter as that of uniforms the magnates agreed to furnish two uniforms a season to the ball players free of charge. As there are 20 to 25 players on a team, one can figure what it will cost them at $15 a suit. Forty suits is about the smallest number that any club can squeeze along with, which means $600. Every club has for its players a home suit and a road uniform. It was brought out that only the National League had failed to buy the uniforms for the players. This will mean a saving of at least $30 for each player in the National League a season.

This seems to strongly suggest that players got one road and one home uniform each season at this point in time. As such, it would not be unthinkable to see teams carry over jerseys. We know the Yankees did this much later in the 1920-30’s, a time when teams may have in fact been purchasing more than one uniform. From the March 15th 1930 Saturday Evening Edition of the Syracuse Herald states that “It cost the Detroit baseball club more than $6000 to uniform the Tigers for this seasons play” and that “the Tigers sartorial purchase included 120 complete uniforms and 35 coats. Each player will have two home and two road uniforms and their will be sufficient replacements in the stock room to care for any emergences that may arise.” The article goes on to say that “Players used to get by on two uniforms but the modern fan demands neatness of appearance as well as performance and untidy players quickly are called by umpires who always have the welfare of the laundry business at heart.

We also know that the NY Giants wore jerseys with a flat button placket after 1905 based on the image provided of a 1906 NY Giants home jersey that is part of the collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. What the image of this 1906 jersey supports is that Spalding is a likely supplier of NY Giants uniforms from the period as well. (PLATE 11) Pre-1904 images, in which the placket style can be ascertained, do tend to at least confirm that flat plackets can be found on some uniforms. (PLATE 5)

This jersey offered for evaluation features detachable sleeves. Images provided support this can be found in NY Giants jerseys from this period, but it is not a factor that makes the one offered for evaluation a Christy Mathewson jersey since he can found both with and without this style. This same thing can be found with team mates as well with respect to period images and other uniform examples that have entered the hobby. (PLATES 1,2,5,8,10)

A final aspect of construction is worth noting at this point. This jersey is without any sort of manufactured player identification. Since it pre-dates the use of numerals on jerseys by a couple of decades, this would have then been accomplished by stitching the players name into the uniform a matter of construction. Other means, somewhat related to manufacturing would have been to write the players name on a laundry tag/strip in the collar of the uniform. This jersey lacks one, but remnant stitching below the Spalding manufacturer’s label indicates a possible one time presence. There is a hand written annotation to the left of the Spalding label of “(3)”.

COLOR:

Mathewson came to the Giants in 1900. It may assumed that this jersey predates 1905 based on style and the color of the lettering that was once on the jersey was not red or brown (color transfer remaining on the jersey) as indicated by Okkonen’s Guide for years 1902-1905. Determining color differences between brown and black/navy blue is very difficult. I contacted Mr. Okkonen to find if he had contemporary accounts supporting this color change and he did.

The New York Evening Telegram of Apr 18, 1902:

“Everybody pretty well liked the New Yorks yesterday afternoon. They looked nice and clean in their new white knickerbockers and shirtwaists. The uniform is by far the prettiest that any New York club has worn. Brown sets off the flannel to perfection. It isn't so somber as black and it isn't gaudy enough to give any one heart failure who looks at it.”

Mr. Okkonen also went on the offer that “verifying uniform colors in this era is never very precise and even this kind of "proof" is often shaky. But this is what I based my artwork on. And even though my drawings for pre-1902 suggest a Navy blue lettering it was very possibly black, as hinted at in the above article. In fact I am not even certain that the "brown" didn't revert to black again in 1903, contrary to my illustrations.”

What this tells me is that color should not be seen as definitive limiting or exacting measure of year dating, especially given the fact that jersey may well have been worn in more than one year. The only color period images we have are those contemporary artist’s renderings that appear on baseball cards. These seem to show a combination of black/navy blue and brown for this style of NEW YORK lettering.

STYLE:

For the purposes of this evaluation, style refers to the manner of style or lettering used to depict the team’s name or location. In this case we have two styles; one featuring the city name NEW YORK and the other a style with the large letters N and Y. Mr. Okkonen’s book shows that they NY style began in 1904 and was replaced the NEW YORK style by 1905. A photograph from Baseball by Ken Burns depicting the 1905 NY Giants as showing the presence of both styles. The style of caps in this picture also show one with stripes extending around the circumference. This is consistent with his renderings from the 1904-1905 seasons. (PLATE 7)

PROVENANCE & ATTRIBUTION:

Although the provenance seems compelling, every effort should be made to address its possible attribution to Christy Mathewson. Other period Giants uniforms in the hobby suggests that player names might be found in jerseys:

1903 Jack Dunn: Hunts Feb 2000, Lot # 889. This uniform also has a pointed button line placket, has a “(3)” hand written in the collar and the lettering is blue, not brown or redish brown. “Dunn” is sewn in red on white felt. Interesting enough, according the Hunt’s Auction description, “ This uniform was obtained from a Factoryville, PA family who were related by marriage to Christy Mathewson. Mathewson would bring various uniforms and equipment to children during the off season including the offered uniform …the same situation as the provenance that came with this jersey.

1905 John McGraw: Halper lot # 363 “McGraw” stitched in back left tail.

The supporting letter of provenance for this offered jersey comes from a woman related by marriage to Christy Mathewson and that Mathewson “used to return to Factoryville in the off season and bring to the children his old uniforms and equipment. Christy gave to my husband this New York Giants uniform on one of his first return trips. My husband kept this uniform as well as other equipment in our attic, where it has been for the past 90 years.”

I find that the possibility as to how this person may have been in a position to obtain this offered jersey as stated is both reasonable and verifiable. However, the open question for me remains what makes this jersey one worn by Christy Mathewson? Since it appears that Mathewson may have also brought home uniforms of other players (Jack Dunn), then that shirt has to be considered. The Dunn jersey features both a name sewn in the tail and the same style “(3)” hand written in the collar. The 1905 McGraw jersey also features a name identification sewn into the garment. In contacting the current owner of the Dunn jersey, it was determined that it originated from the same source as this one. What this indicates is that Mathewson brought home jerseys that may or may not have always been his own.

The size of the jersey, which appears to be in 46-48 range does not exclude it from being a jersey worn by Christy Mathewson. The question then becomes could a jersey of this size have been worn other NY Giants players from the period of 1903-1905. Since I do not have period yearbooks from this time, I have relied on Baseball Reference.com as my sourcing since this provides both rosters and player sizes. What I looked for were those players listed by height (within two inches) and weight (within ten pounds) of those dimensions offered for Christy Mathewson. All players larger than Mathewson by weight are also listed . In some cases, players surveyed lacked complete data, as some only listed a height or weight. None of those players are listed below:

Christy Mathewson: 6’ 2”, 195 lbs.

Dan McGann: 6’, 190 lbs.

Sam Mertes: 6’, 225 lbs

Frank Bowerman: 6’ 2”, 190lbs

Jack Cronin: 6’, 200 lbs

Roscoe Miller: 6’, 2”, 190 lbs

Doc Marshall: 6’, 185 lbs

Dan Brothers: 6’ 2”, 207 lbs

Hook Wiltse: 6’, 185 lbs

Claude Elliot: 6’, 190 lbs

Offa Neal: 6’, 185 lbs

This gives us a possible sample of ten (10) other players. If we change the screening metric to within one (1) inch and five (pounds) and players weighing more than Mathewson (shirt size is determined by the chest measurement and not length), then we are still left with four (4) other players.

OPINION: Based on review of period images and the listed exchange with noted author and baseball historian Mark Okkonen, I would date this uniform as one being most likely from the years 1903-1905. I do not believe it to be from 1900-1901 since it lacks both a neck closure, has difference in font style and placement, and does not feature a flat placket. (PLATES 3-4) 1902 is also not seen as a likely year based on the placket style and the fact that we have contemporary accounts confirming the use of the color brown. 1903 becomes the earliest based on lettering style and the fact that color remains an open issue at this point. The other thing to consider is the significance of the “(3)” written in both this offered jersey and the Jack Dunn shirt. I do not feel this relates to a “set 3” based on what I have previously discussed. I do not believe this marking to be the letter “M”. (PLATE 12) We know this does not relate to a player uniform number. It could refer to the year of issue as in 1903.

The presence of a pointed placket in 1904 images, also leaves open the possibility that those jerseys could be a 1903 carry over for the same reasons. We do know that this style of jersey, color issue aside can be found in both 1904-and 1905. We also have images of Mathewson purported to be from 1906 (PLATE 8) in this style of jersey, but without detachable sleeves and a flat placket. The presence or lack of detachable sleeves is clearly team and period appropriate, but has no real bearing on being able to include or exclude any years in this time frame. I have found no reason to question the source of this item and the claim that it was gifted from Christy Mathewson, along possibly with other uniforms.

As such, provenance aside, the only real differences between the Dunn and the offered jersey appears to be the presence of the name DUNN sewn to the front tail. The fact that this offered jersey lacks a manufactured player identification or name written in a laundry tag (although very likely once present) does not support or facilitate a definitive attribution in my opinion.

The survey of period teammates by size indicates that while this shirt appears to be appropriate for Christy Mathewson, it can not however, be seen as an attribute that would have been unique to him.

As such it is my opinion that this offered jersey appears to be most likely one obtained by and worn by the National League New Giants between 1903 and 1905, and that while the attribution to Christy Mathewson is very real possibility, I am not been able to substantiate or refute any definitive claim as such at this time.

Dave Grob

MEARS

Enclosures: PLATES 1-12

May 14, 2008
Category: Archived News
A possible template for everyone...
May 14, 2008
Category: Archived News
MEARS MEMBERS ONLY:The largest single grouping of Adirondack bats, players, and models from the 1950s & 1960s ever presented together at one time.
May 13, 2008
Category: Archived News
MEARS Examines a 1915 circa Buck Weaver H&B Louisville Slugger a Chicago White Sox game used bat (side writing & return label) Direct from the Louisville Slugger Archives (1:1)...by Troy R. Kinunen
May 12, 2008
Category: Archived News
Logos, Lombardi and Losses this week...
May 12, 2008
Category: Archived News
Scratching The Itch of the Niche Collector
May 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
While renovating the new MEARS Corporate Research & Conference Center, I found some interesting info about the neighborhood...
May 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
An Open Letter to Mr. Lou Lampson
May 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Understanding the Value of Provenance
May 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Sometimes the good dealers are one's who won't sell something....
May 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Technicolor Gingerbread and Scrambled Eggs...
May 1, 2008
Category: Archived News
The "Twenty Firsts" article will be run as a special midweek extra in June. Meantime, plenty of stuff going on at the moment gives me a chance to report the more timely news here.

NBA JERSEYS AUCTIONED

The NBA is using its website (www.nba.com) to auction a number of special occasion jerseys from this past season.

Hardwood Classics gamers worn by the Lakers, Warriors and Rockets, including a #24 Kobe Bryant, are up for bids, as are a number of Knicks St. Patrick's Day gamers. Bids are being accepted online until the evening of June 5th. All included items are registered with MeiGray, and bear their tagging.

MINOR LEAGUE PATCH

The Midwest League Kane County Cougars are sporting a uniform tribute patch in memory of the Northern Illinois University shooting tragedy several months ago. The team's home (Geneva, Illinois) is not too far from the university's location in nearby DeKalb.

CUBS TO HOST FIRST EVER TBTC GAME

The Chicago Cubs' history in Turn Back the Clock participation has been minimal. Two games on the road (at Philadelphia in 1992 and at Comiskey Park in 1997) have been it. Heck, they've refused to take part in just as many (1991 at San Francisco and 2004 at San Diego). Finally, though, the Cubs will actually host a retro uniform event.

Mark your calendars for June 12, when the Cubs host the Atlanta Braves. Both teams will wear 1948-style uniforms for the event.

A MIX OF TAGS

A couple of recent eBay offerings may have been confusing to buyers, due to a mix of legitimate tagging and forged tagging. Both from the same seller, one was a 1972 Tigers knit allegedly worn by Al Kaline, with a fully proper tail strip tag. Unfortunately, the wrongly-located Wilson tag bore a size 40 notation, a size I have never seen associated with a Kaline gamer, as well as a wrong size font on the NOB.

That same improperly appearing NOB also was on a 1986 Phillies home Mike Schmidt, as well as a NIC tag whose embroidery font didn't match the legitimate "86 2" strip tag in the tail, right below the legitimate Wilson Prestige Teams label. Someone (maybe not the seller) apparently upgraded the identities on these two items to milk big bucks out of them illegitimately.

DID THE RIGHT THING

Ball Park Heroes in Bedford, Indiana, is considered a top dealer of game-used jerseys in the hobby. Here's an example why:

BPH recently received a powder blue NNOB Cubs road pinstripe knit of a #44. It would have been easy enough to accept it at face value and plead ignorance if a buyer had a problem with it down the road.

Fortunately, that's not the way the Stigall brothers do things. Kim sent out a few emails, including one to yours truly, to spot flaws he felt the jersey might have, as the piece troubled him upon receipt. The jersey, as it happened, had a blank collar strip tag, a 1979-86 Wilson tag, and a "77 1" strip tag in the tail...this on a style that only has a chain-stitched year in a tail box tag. Further, the style described above was only used for one year...1978. In '79, NOBs were added, and, in '77, the pinstripes had not yet been added.

RAYS UNI ODDITY

While playing the Cardinals in St. Louis two Sundays ago, the Rays wore their BP jerseys for game action.

CAN'T GET MORE EVEN THAN THIS

After this past week's sweep of the Dodgers at Wrigley Field, the Cubs and Dodgers have played 2,020 games against each other. The teams' all-time record in this competition? Both are 1,010-1,010...that in a pairing of over 110 years duration!

OBITUARIES

Geremi Gonzalez, whose interrupted MLB career began in 1997 with the Cubs, died at age 33 when he was struck by lightning while on the beach in his native Venezuela.

Luc Bourdon, a defenseman for the Vancouver Canucks who just completed his rookie NHL season, was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was 21.

Thomas McHale, a lineman who played for Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Miami in the NFL from 1987-95, died a week ago at age 45. Tests revealed a mix of anti-depressants and cocaine in his system as the cause.

Finally, Jack Mildren, the first Sooners QB to run their vaunted Wishbone offense, died May 21. He switched to safety in the NFL and played for the Colts (1972-73) and the Patriots (1974).

CUBS 10, ROCKIES 9!! THIS IS THE YEAR!!

May 1, 2008
Category: Archived News
A bit of science and a lot of fun...
Apr 28, 2008
Category: Archived News
The 1958 season started off with a bang…on October 26, 1957!
Apr 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Once again, Dave goes to 'bat' to answer your questions.
Apr 24, 2008
Category: Archived News
FINAL BID AT $60,000.00...Someone must have liked the answers to these questions.
Apr 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
Jerseys That Are, But Never Were...
Apr 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
Attractive and affordable are just some of the things that come to mind...
Apr 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
As a follow up to the story about the Christy Mathewson Jersey that had originally sold in a REA auction in 2000. Our client had read about the jersey and its history and contacted me to help him acquire the jersey from the current owner. This done, I did more research and discovered more information that was not included in the original REA auction write up as follows or that was incorrect;

DATING; REA listed the jersey as a circa 1900-01. When studying the style of this particular jersey, all photo research showed that this shirt, with the New York spelled out on front and a front placket that came to a point, I determined, based on photographs that it was from 1905 but it turned out that the photograph I was using was attributed to 1905 is listed as the first Conlon photo of Matty taken in 1904. I had a Horner team photo taken at the beginning of the 1904 season that showed the squared off front placket but given proper attribution to the Conlon photo as having been taken in 1904 and published before the start of the 1905 season, the shirt can be accurately dated as a 1904-05 style.

History. The shirt was obtained from an original family member who owned the shirt since it was brought home by Matty and remained in a family trunk along with numerous other personal items of his some of which were also listed in the REA catalog which included matching pants, sleeve extensions and some sundry items. It was purchased by Marshall Fogel in 1993 and sold to a private California collector until sold by REA in 2000 to the current owner. (Subsequently sold) Not mentioned in the original REA write up was that there was another circa 1904 Giants home jersey of Jack Dunn. This shirt remained untouched as to the original “New York” on front while the Matty shirt had the “New York” removed. The Dunn shirt also had the pointed placket and his last season with the Giants was 1904 which added further credence to the Matty jersey dating to either 1904 or 1905.

It was stated in the letter that Matty brought home shirts after the season and gave them out in Factoryville, PA. The fact that the Dunn shirt was still in his trunk and had not been given away or stripped verifies this fact. In addition, the Dunn shirt is to small to have ever been intended to have been worn by Matty and the stripped down jersey was the correct size for Matty (6-1 and 195 lbs.) In addition , the collar has a laundry mark that resembles a small “m” that has a line above and below, much like the line under a “9” or a “6’ to determine top and bottom. This is also feasible since most shirts from that era do not have the names factory applied but are marked in laundry marker or pen for identification.

Three other examples exist of shirts brought home by a player and then stripped of their original insignia so as to be worn by said player in local home town games and exhibitions. There was an Eddie Cicotte that was obtained in California that had the “O” and the “X” removed leaving only the “S”. There is a 1908 Boston Red Sox shirt of Cy Young with the sock removed that came directly from his family and obtained in his home town as well. Then there is a Matty road jersey that did not source from the same family member as the 1904-05 and it had the “N.Y” removed with “Mathewson” written in the laundry tag. (exact history of the acquisition of this shirt not in our possession) Therefore, it is both feasible and reasonable to conclude that players brought home jerseys to wear locally and that the practice of saving a shirt that fit them and then stripping off the original insignia is documented.

Then there is the notarized family LOO that states that this 1904-05 shirt was worn and kept by Matty and/or the family. This is both feasible and reasonable for the following reasons;

1. The family had two shirts, a Jack Dunn that remained original, not stripped, and a shirt with a mark that appears to be an “m”, is the correct size, is stripped per other player examples, and it matches the 1904 Conlon photograph is it pertains to style and all letter placement with no detectable difference in the ghost image of the missing “New York” on the sample jersey and the dated photograph.

2. This was the only shirt saved by Matty and the family that matched his size requirement.

3. That the notarized family history and their relationship to Matty are both documented, feasible, and the story pertaining to this jersey would have been known by family members as recounted.

Conclusion; I can find no reason to differ from the original opinion put forth by REA in their 2000 auction catalog but can only add information as to the correct dating, the inclusion of other items obtained from the same source but not listed in the REA catalog and to wit, that the family history, size, and circumstances that surround this jersey are both feasible and reasonable and the there are no facts to the contrary that would bring doubt to the original family letter and their documents as put forth by REA in their original listing. Therefore, while our opinion does differ from the original REA opinion as to the dating of said jersey, my conclusion based on all of the supplied facts are one and the same, that this is a game worn Christy Mathewson 1904-05 Home Jersey with direct family history that can be supported through original dated photographs as to style and size.

David Bushing

Apr 22, 2008
Category: Archived News
Images from the Inaugural PCCE Event
Apr 21, 2008
Category: Archived News
Evil Plot or World Domination?
Apr 18, 2008
Category: Archived News
An obscure and mismatched battle worn Brewer uniform opens another window into Milwaukee's baseball past. Welcome to "Leapin Lena's & Lefty's" Legacy
Apr 13, 2008
Category: Archived News
OK, I stole the title from Hillary Clinton but I think it applies to the point of the article. I have been reading a lot lately about authenticating game used bats and game worn jerseys via pictures on the internet. On some forums, several bloggers think this type of authenticating is all that is needed to determine the validity of a piece. But this is not authenticating because without having the piece in front of you, it is merely comparing the photograph of a piece to pictures on Getty or Corbis to determine whether the style, font, size or manufacture is correct for the listed piece. If not, then it is debunking the claim, not authenticating. This is not to say that bloggers who see a piece offered for sale and then check Getty or Corbis or SI along with checking the tagging, etc and then determine that the piece does not match up does not save potential buyers from making a big mistake thus saving someone thousands of dollars. But it is not authenticating. In addition, most of this internet photo only comparisons deals with modern day players of which hundreds of photographs are readily available on line.

But what about a 1927 Washington Senators hat for instance. Who was the maker and how many photographs exist on the internet to determine if they even wore this style. What about a 1932 Minneapolis Millers hat? How about years where teams wore two completely different styles and manufacturers such as the 1954 Brooklyn Dodgers?

There are bloggers out there who feel MEARS would not qualify as dog catchers let along authenticators even though we have almost a million dollars worth of retail jerseys on our current unable to authenticate site. Could you or would you determine the validity of a Lou Gehrig or Ted Williams jersey simply by an internet photograph? We have been involved in the authenticating of just about every six figure piece that has been sold in the last four years and a buyer who is paying upwards of half a million dollars for a piece simply will not relie on the evaluation of such an item as it appears in a photograph.

For instance, I once looked at a early 1960’s supposed Sandy Koufax Dodgers jersey. The font was perfectly photo matched as was the maker and size so for all intent and purposes, if you were going solely by a photograph, it appears to be the real deal. But once in hand, there were some real issues. First, the numbers on the early LA Dodgers jersey had a glue applied to them that after forty years turns brown and cracks. The glue on this shirt was white and pliable, much like a semi hardened Elmers. In addition, all the felt letters were sharp as a tack with no wear of any kind. Without actually seeing the jersey, it would have been impossible to determine that this shirt was actually made from an extra vintage shell and the lettering was cut from a pattern of an original and then applied.

And then there is the size. Just because a shirt is tagged, let’s say 46, which might be the correct size for that player, how do you know that the size tag was not taken from a common shirt and replaced the incorrect size tag. Without measuring the shirt itself, you will not be able to tell simple based on a picture. If everybody knows that a player wore a certain size, then the crooks may know that as well and can easily take a proper tag and switch it. Do you think the photographs can pick up on an extra set of wholes are that the size tag does not match the actual shirt?

Recently, we saw a 1980’s Eddie Murray jersey that you could tell, once examined, that the manufacture tag had been taken from another shirt as there was an extra set of holes where it was now sewn in. We rejected the shirt only to have the same shirt end up at our offices a few months later with the tag newly trimmed of the extra holes and resewn. We measured the size of the tag and found it was an eight inch smaller all the way around thus eliminating the tell tale second set of holes. Again, if looking at a picture, it might look good compared to internet photographs yet how can you tell what size the tag actually is without not only measuring but knowing and having a data base of actual size tags.

That brings me to stitching. How many photographs of offered shirts show the inside of the shirt to determine stitching style? We recently received a New York Yankees pinstripe that looked good from the outside yet when we pulled the full size color plate copies of the inside stitching on a common sample from our MEARS file, the stitching was entirely wrong for a Yankees home jersey of this era. We make such copies on every shirt that has come into our office and file them by team and year. That way, we can determine whether the real deal should have straight stitch, zig zag, pull thru, double stitching, etc.

When dealing with pre 1980 jerseys and especially pre war jerseys, you need to have common examples of how the names were applied, the type of chain stitch, where the placement should be, etc. It would be next to impossible to determine by photographs that a strip tag from a pair of game worn pants had been applied to a jersey or if the chain stitching that might appear a faded red in a photograph was actually new pink thread and by pulling out just a sample from the edge, you would see that it was never red to begin with. And speaking of thread, without running under a black light, how can you possibly determine if the thread is vintage all cotton or if there is poly in its construction? And then, does the person determining the authenticity of lets say, a 1930’s Cardinals jersey, have enough examples of commons to determine what was standard for that era.

MEARS has a searchable data base that allows us to search by team or player, every piece of game used equipment that has ever sold at any auction since 1985. Now some of these entries will have been offered more than once and some were definitely fake but by accessing this data base, we can find patterns of all sorts of data such as shoe size, hat size, shirt size, maker, etc and then, because each entry has the catalog name and date, we can go to the actual listing a examine the photographs and description as well.

But clothing is not the only venue fraught with peril. I was once offered a 36” U1 Roberto Clemente bat with an apparent handle crack that had some tape covering it. When I grabbed the bat to examine, it seemed as if the handle was turning. I removed the tape repair to find the handle of what was probably a common player U1 gamer that had been drilled and tapped into the barrel of an apparent Clemente store model bat. Once the tape was removed, you could plainly see that the grain of the handle did not match the barrel end of the bat. About ten years ago, there was a dealer that was taking pencil rubbings of the ends of store model bats such as a Mel Ott 40MO and was having a tool and die maker do new stamps. He then took vintage blank barrel bats and by placing in a drill press, he would heat and burn in the new logo. He would then try and age this fresh stamping and fill in with wheel grease and dirt. The result was a bat that in a picture would look fine and the style and length were proper but the edges of the newly burned in name were sharp and since the rubbing was made from the outside dimensions of the die, the newly stamped name was thicker. In addition, Louisville Slugger brands a bat on a specially made holder that rolls with the bat so that the stamp is as deep on the top and button as in the center. On bats branded that did not role with the die, the centers were extremely deep and to get the top and bottom to take on a rounded surface, they had to press the die in extra deep which left a flat spot on the area of the name that was deep in the center and shallow on the outer edges. Then, if you were to take a sample of the residue in the original center brand along with a sample of the newly applied residue on the barrel stamp and place under a micro scope, you would find that the newly applied residue did not match in any way and that it was much softer than the hardened residue found in the center. Other fakery includes grinding off the model 40 in center and branding 125, grounding or changing the knob from inch marks to blank or even stamped with fake model or vault marks. And if this wasn’t enough, just because a seller lists a bat at say 36”-36Oz, there is no real way to tell if even this is correct unless you have bat in hand.

And if authenticating a game used item by one of us so called authenticators was a complete and utter waste of a persons time and money and was something that was as simple as looking at a 1908 Cy Young jersey and comparing to the numerous on line photographs and thus delivering the jersey to a client who paid upwards of half a million dollars while giving him/her a lifetime money back guarantee on a piece in which MEARS received only the letter fee , then, based solely on such an examination, there wouldn’t be almost 8000 authenticated items in the MEARS data base, the guy who paid 1.4 million dollars for the Babe Ruth Home Run bat and the countless other six figure pieces that have sold with our letters would be more than comfortable paying these prices based solely on such an examination yet the clients that own such an item have yet to adopt such a policy. And if they did, the million dollars worth of unable to authenticate jerseys would probably be in someone’s collection right now including the Michael Jordon shooting shirt that was examined and listed in our unable to authenticate section weeks before it ever hit a catalog. I know there were several people that took credit for saving potential buyers from this piece but had they gone to our site, they would have seen it listed with the problems long before anyone had ever seen it public ally.

In conclusion, yes, you can look at a photograph of a piece and if wrong, it can be debunked based on numerous on line photographs but this is NOT authenticating and anyone who thinks it is will sooner or later get burned, maybe not on a more modern piece but on more vintage items that appear to look correct in a photograph and bought based on a photograph only, will get what they pay for, at least in the way of authenticity. There will always be bloggers who will claim that their mother who thinks Babe Ruth is a candy bar can do a better job than MEARS and in their straw polls, if we are even listed , we rate below Bozo the Clown and Smokey the Bear but whether these pundits who think that nothing MEARS does is of any merit and will use their public forum to ceaselessly try and undermine our efforts to keep bad product from the public at large and that our 99.999999 success rate is merely a fluke as they wait like spiders at each public offering to try and find a mistake, regardless of what importance, to say “ Ah Hah” , they screwed up, let’s get a rope and hang them? Well, they are entitled under the constitution to their opinion and we would never get any business or credit from those whose purpose is not to inform the hobby of the positive gains but rather, use their freedom to either ignore or impugn our organization and as such, are propelling a personal agenda rather than an objective view and its value to the hobby at large. Fortunately, the majority of buyers who purchase valuable game used items and do not consider themselves qualified enough to make an informed decision before spending tens of thousands of dollars on bogus merchandise do trust us and it is our duty to them, not the self proclaimed guardians of the hobby who seem more intent on throwing the baby out with the bathwater that we continue to make significant strives at perfection and a never ending search for more research material. Yes, we might never make the top ten blogger list of informative web sites or the best qualified at what we do but we do make that list with the people who count, those that put their trust in what we have achieved and continue to achieve. And for any sight that claims to exist to inform the collecting public and then completely disregard MEARS and our contributions and success rate in the name of education is both fraudulent and a disservice to the very public that they claim to serve.

David Bushing

Apr 10, 2008
Category: Archived News
After 4 years of developement, MEARS debuts it patent pending revolutionary pinback button holders.
Apr 9, 2008
Category: Archived News
Someone attempted to bid on their own item in the REA Auction today. How do I know? Rob Lifson told me...
Apr 8, 2008
Category: Archived News
Big changes down in Kentucky in 1915...but what were they?
Apr 8, 2008
Category: Archived News
Where Does All That Inventory Come From?
Apr 6, 2008
Category: Archived News
Who knew the key to success was being an E-Bay Pre-Certified Authenticator... I didn't.
Mar 30, 2008
Category: Archived News
Patches and Cap Follow-up
Mar 30, 2008
Category: Archived News
Metal Face Masks in 1900? Sure Surprised Me...
Mar 30, 2008
Category: Archived News
Know What You're Buying and Where You Can Buy
Mar 30, 2008
Category: Archived News
I couldn't play baseball outside everyday...so what was left...Toys and my Top 10
Mar 30, 2008
Category: Archived News
Some History...Some Mystery...
Mar 30, 2008
Category: Archived News
Plastic Drink Ware Might Be Just What You're Looking For...
Mar 29, 2008
Category: Archived News
Here it is in writing and more writing and disclosure in the months to come...
Mar 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Sometimes waiting is a good thing...sometimes it's not.
Mar 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Was it worn by "Mr. October" in the Fall Classic? I opened the FEDEX box and I was 13 years old all over again...
Mar 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Leatherheads...Not just a George Clooney Movie
Mar 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Logos, Lumber, and the Last Time for #4...
Mar 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Logo Lore and More
Mar 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
ABOUT THE NL CENTENNIAL PATCH

The round patch worn by 11 of the 12 NL teams in 1976 (Montreal abstained and chose to wear an Olympic patch as the 1976 Summers Games host) has been discussed in various places with all sorts of replicas being sold. To assist collectors, the most obvious signs to look for on a real patch are as follows:

a) Raised red rim on the round patch. No raised red rim, no good.

b) Copyright date of 1975 in the body of the patch, preceded by the copyright logo ("C" inside circle). A 1976 copyright date is a major problem.

c) The Copyright date should be embroidered in white on the white background, making it visible only upon close range viewing. If the notation is blue or red, then the patch is as good as dead.

For MEARS Members, this patch and any number of others can be viewed and compared to the replica versions in Dave Grob’s article on Replica Patches found in the News Archive Section.

WHITE SOX GARAGE SALE

The White Sox are holding their garage sale of game-used equipment on Saturday, May 17 from 9AM-2PM at U.S. Cellular Field. As always, plenty of jerseys, bats, caps, and other game-used goodies will be available.

MAXIMUM CARRYOVER?

I recently saw a unique 2001 Florida Marlins home jersey. The player was OF Eric Owens. As is the norm for the time no year tags were present; however, the 9-11 flag was intact on the back of the neck.

What made this jersey so noticeable was the Russell manufacturer tag. A 1992 tag (slash on logo is straight, not slanted down) was present on a 2001 jersey! Some kind of record, perhaps? After all, Russell was in the fourth of its five MLB supplier label designs by then and this was the first. Email me or the bulletin board if you hve something verifiably authentic that can top that!

YES, THERE ARE FAKE COMMONS

Fake common jerseys in ML equipment collecting are few and far between, but they do pop up, especially with older knits, when many styles and/or teams available in quantity now were considered scarce or rare 20-25 years ago.

The most recent example I saw was a 1983 Orioles orange alternate of Floyd Rayford. The '83 orange O's tops were only worn a few times in '83, so it may have been considered scarce and desirable in the mid-1980s. This one, however, had two noted flaws: a strip tag in the tail with embroidery font not consistent with known exemplars, and a collar Wilson tag with stitch holes pointing to removal and reattachment. It's probably the only Floyd Rayford jersey I'll ever grade Unable To Authentic, but it's a reminder to keep on your toes and not assume anything just because the player is not a big star.

OBITUARIES

Ray Smith Poole, an end who played for the New York Giants from 1947-52, died of cancer last week at age 86. Poole was a two-sport star at Ole Miss, also adept at baseball. He briefly played in the Chicago Cubs system, but never made it to the Bigs. He appeared on Bowman cards in 1948 and 1951.

Roy Foster died March 21 of unreported causes. He was an OF who played 3 years with the Indians, and was traded to the Rangers before retiring. Any of his Indians jerseys would be desirable...an unaltered 1970 3-D script type, the altered 1970 jersey with solid navy lettering (used in 1971), or his rare fi9rst year knit (red letters and numbers) in 1972.

Finally, Billy Consolo, a 1950s/early 60s IF with the Red Sox and 5 other teams, passed away on March 27th. He also spent most of the 1980s as a coach under Tigers skipper Sparky Anderson. Key jerseys: 1959-60 Senators home or road.
Mar 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Sit back and enjoy an interview about...well...sitting.
Mar 24, 2008
Category: Archived News
Listed as store model bats in auction descriptions....
Mar 20, 2008
Category: Archived News
The New MEARS Corporate Reference & Conference Center
Mar 5, 2008
Category: Archived News
Bats remain the focus of many collector's questions...
Mar 5, 2008
Category: Archived News
A look at styles and tag dating used to determine authenticity...by Troy R. Kinunen
Feb 25, 2008
Category: Archived News
Meatloaf may have said it, but those stats aren't acceptable when evaluating game worn jerseys. Although the jersey had correct durene material (1) and nameplate (2), a switched tag caused major concern... by Troy R. Kinunen
Feb 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
E-Bay Find and Odds & Ends
Feb 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
Slow News Day? Write About Baseball Uniforms
Feb 19, 2008
Category: Archived News
Jack Weisenburger's career in baseball was a brief one. He never made it to the bigs, but he did play for the American Association Milwaukee Brewers from 1949-1951.
Feb 17, 2008
Category: Archived News
Not just a research reference, but reference points in my life...
Feb 17, 2008
Category: Archived News
A Little Bit Of Everything This Week...
Feb 17, 2008
Category: Archived News
A long term project that is yielding some interesting short term finds...
Feb 13, 2008
Category: Archived News
As a kid, I bought it hook, line, and sinker...but it only cost a dime.
Feb 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Focus on the Why and Not the What...
Feb 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Missing Year Tags & E-Bay Tips...
Feb 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Tributes and Treasures on E-Bay
Feb 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
The answer might not be what you were looking for, but we'll share what we saw and why...
Feb 9, 2008
Category: Archived News
Just another topic where I don't seem to agree with what we have always been told....
Feb 4, 2008
Category: Archived News
This month it's bats, balls, and books...
Feb 3, 2008
Category: Archived News
"Hammerin Hank's" Knits Highligted Here...
Feb 3, 2008
Category: Archived News
If I could own one Stan Musial jersey, I would hard pressed to find one I wanted more.
Feb 2, 2008
Category: Archived News
There will always be differences of opinions about items. At MEARS, we want you to be able see our work and evualuate it for yourself...
Jan 30, 2008
Category: Archived News
Recycling and Simular Stuff...
Jan 27, 2008
Category: Archived News
"The Moore You Know About This Uniform...The More You'll Appreciate it..."
Jan 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
The Key To Knowing What Something Is or Is Not Often Lies In Knowing Where It Came From.
Jan 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
Styles and Location Are This Weeks Topics
Jan 26, 2008
Category: Archived News
See The Things I See as A Research Intern at MEARS
Jan 23, 2008
Category: Archived News
At times in looking for one thing, you see and find others.
Jan 20, 2008
Category: Archived News
I suspect I am just like you... there are just certain things I see and just want to own...Thank you Eddie Stanky.
Jan 19, 2008
Category: Archived News
I think I know what Ruth was and was not wearing and can show why....
Jan 19, 2008
Category: Archived News
The Chairman of the Board and I Never Get Bored Finding Interesting Things ON E-Bay
Jan 16, 2008
Category: Archived News
Examination of actual specimens, factory records, and photographs allows MEARS to verify the use of 40K bats in the Major Leagues
Jan 15, 2008
Category: Archived News
Using font, tagging, and the understanding of the NBA shoulder logo to date a 1985 Olajuwon game worn jersey
Jan 13, 2008
Category: Archived News
Looking for a great story, solid reference, and new ideas on a collecting theme...then this might be for you.
Jan 13, 2008
Category: Archived News
MEARS takes a look at Clay's second professional fight poster
Jan 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
E-Bay Oddities and Some Number News & Notes
Jan 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Not what I should have been looking for, but worthwhile still the same...
Jan 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
What's In A Name...Or Better Yet, What's On a Jersey..
Jan 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Something for everyone this week; baseball, basketball, hockey, and football news and notes.
Jan 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Where Have All The 1970's New York Yankees Knit Gone...?
Jan 11, 2008
Category: Archived News
Video footage doesn't lie, see the cover up from Lambeau Field.
Jan 8, 2008
Category: Archived News
MEARS looks back at a 2006 Auction sale of a visually compelling Clay/Patterson close circuit poster
Jan 8, 2008
Category: Archived News
Searching details of images can assist in identifying onsite posters
Jan 8, 2008
Category: Archived News
Sometimes obscure and important records can be found in obvious places
Jan 5, 2008
Category: Archived News
Patches and Passings In This Weeks Edition
Jan 4, 2008
Category: Archived News
A fan’s snap shots aid MEARS evaluators in identifying Packers road jerseys, game helmets, and various equipment from the Green Bay Packers 8th World Championship
Jan 3, 2008
Category: Archived News
SEE WHAT CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE AND WHY....
Jan 3, 2008
Category: Archived News
By Troy R. Kinunen. Use of the MEARS tag database helps aid us in dating this jersey to Oscar Robertson's Final NBA season.
Jan 2, 2008
Category: Archived News
READ ALL ABOUT IT! Former World Series Hero battled mental illness, depression, and was involved in a Nationally known racial incident reminiscent of John Rocker.
Jan 2, 2008
Category: Archived News
Close examination of wire photos can reveal constructional points of game worn jerseys and equipment
Jan 2, 2008
Category: Archived News
Locker room pictures can unlock mysteries and add value to your items...
Jan 1, 2008
Category: Archived News
Identification of the knob style, length of bat, and inspection of factory records allow us to properly date and evaluate this bat.
Dec 31, 2007
Category: Archived News
More of what you want in 2008? I think so based on what you are looking at and for...
Dec 30, 2007
Category: Archived News
If 50 is the new 30...are the 1970s the new 1950s.
Dec 30, 2007
Category: Archived News
The 1913 American Association Milwaukee Brewers
Dec 27, 2007
Category: Archived News
"Unable to Authenticate"... Is this an opinion about an item or your opinion of the person doing the work?
Dec 26, 2007
Category: Archived News
Looks like 1/2 of the National League was wearing satin uniforms in 1948.
Dec 25, 2007
Category: Archived News
These relics of the 1869 Red Stockings are priceless and the story would make for a wondeful movie... MEARS SUNDAY NEWS EXTRA
Dec 20, 2007
Category: Archived News
Looking for ways to get started or improve on what you already have...consider these thoughts and sources.
Dec 20, 2007
Category: Archived News
When the jersey is advertised as all origonal, does this hold true for the patch? See for yourself...
Dec 19, 2007
Category: Archived News
A Lump of Coal or Candy Cane...I have my own thoughts...
Dec 17, 2007
Category: Archived News
MEARS evaluators uncovered some long forgotten history while researching a bat submitted for grading.
Dec 16, 2007
Category: Archived News
Many collectors have asked what did I see and what did I like about this one? See and decide for yourself.
Dec 15, 2007
Category: Archived News
I'm not sure what your source says about MEARS being bought out or members leaving, but I seem to think my source has it right.
Dec 11, 2007
Category: Archived News
MEARS illustrates how to overcome the lack of complete factory records by using imagery & trend analysis and interpretations of factory production methods and player trends while evaluating this circa 1911 Frank Baker professional model game used decal bat
Dec 9, 2007
Category: Archived News
I am currently looking to buy fight worn & training robe (s) of Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali. Free sellers guide. HIGHEST PRICES PAID
Dec 5, 2007
Category: Archived News
Another snapshot into the history of game used bats as part of the MEARS series on Hanna Bats.
Dec 4, 2007
Category: Archived News
A close look at an overlooked and undervalued segment of the sports memorabilla market.
Dec 4, 2007
Category: Archived News
MEARS SUNDAY NEWS EXTRA For the Mastro's December 2007 auction, MEARS applied our extensive evaluation techniques to a very rare football jersey.
Dec 3, 2007
Category: Archived News
Owners Barney Dreyfuss and Walter O'Malley, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, and former managers Dick Williams and Billy Southworth each were elected to the National Baseball of Fame Today.

Barney Dreyfuss owned the Pirates from 1900-1932, winning the World Series in 1909 and 1925, and was responsible for bringing future Hall of Famers Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, Rube Waddell and Jack Chesbro to Pittsburgh.

Walter O'Malley guided the Dodgers franchise to four World Series titles and oversaw the franchise's move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958. He, along with fellow Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, is perhaps most famous for his role in baseball's integration with Jackie Robinson in 1947.

Bowie Kuhn served as commissioner from 1969-1984, overseeing the introduction of free agency. During his tenure Major League Baseball attendance tripled and lucrative television contracts followed, on the heels of the introduction of night-time baseball to the World Series.

Billy Southworth managed for 13 seasons (1929, 1940-51), including seven with the Cardinals and six with the Braves, posting a .597 winning percentage, fifth-best all-time, with a record of 1,044-704. He guided his teams to four World Series appearances and two world championships, posting a winning record in 10 of his 13 seasons, including three straight seasons of 105 wins or more, from 1942 to 1944 with St Louis.

Dick Williams made a name for himself when he guided the 1967 "Impossible Dream" Boston Red Sox to the World Series. He went 1,571-1,451 in 21 seasons with six different teams, guiding the Oakland Athletics to World Series titles in 1972 and 1973 and winning the pennant with the San Diego Padres in 1984.

Seven managers and three umpires were considered by the 16-man Hall of Fame members, current and former executives and veteran media members. Ten executives and pioneers were considered on a second ballot by a 12-member panel of Hall of Famers, current and former executives and veteran media members.

Candidates who received 75 percent of the vote on either ballot earned election, with voters asked to vote for zero to four candidates on each ballot.Coming up just one vote shy on the managers ballots were Whitey Herzog and Doug Harvey. Danny Murtaugh, Hank O'Day, Davey Johnson, Billy Martin, Gene Mauch and Cy Rigler were denied as well.

Dec 3, 2007
Category: Archived News
A bit of information and some ideas on scoping your own research efforts.
Dec 2, 2007
Category: Archived News
Fabrics, Fan Reaction, and Fantastic Finds Found In This Weeks MEARS SUNDAY NEWS EXTRA...
Dec 1, 2007
Category: Archived News
A look at tagging issues and examples.
Nov 27, 2007
Category: Archived News
MEARS will illustrate the steps and process used to evaluate a unique Babe Ruth bat. By applying our copyrighted 40-step evaluation process, our examination unveiled a previously unknown combination of barrel stamping and signature, which allowed us to attribute this bat to a one-year issuance.
Nov 26, 2007
Category: Archived News
I am writing this after returning from the Chicago Sun Times show, which was held this weekend of November 16th through 18th.
Nov 26, 2007
Category: Archived News
MEARS SUNDAY NEWS EXTRA 1959 as a transition year in labeling for Adirondack???
Nov 21, 2007
Category: Archived News
SUNDAY NEWS EXTRA: Was this jersey what you thought it was for the reasons you had?
Nov 20, 2007
Category: Archived News
Examination and comparison of numerous aspects of a Larry Bird jersey allowed us to attribute this jersey to being issued to be worn by Larry Bird during the 1986-87 season. Details of this thorough examination are highlighted here…
Nov 20, 2007
Category: Archived News
If you are a collector and have never been to a live auction, you owe it to yourself to attend one, meeting with fellow collectors and sharing information and collecting stories.
Nov 19, 2007
Category: Archived News
Images, Contemporary Media Accounts,and Legal Findings Make For a Compelling Case...
Nov 17, 2007
Category: Archived News
Reuben Berman...Reuben Berman... Who?
Nov 14, 2007
Category: Archived News
For this article, MEARS examines the 250 model bat of Babe Ruth and draws some conclusions to what is known about its 125 counterpart.
Nov 14, 2007
Category: Archived News
There has been a lot of talk and theories about any number of related topics, but what do they really mean?
Nov 10, 2007
Category: Archived News
The envelope please.....
Nov 9, 2007
Category: Archived News
Holes in a manufacturers tag could mean a hole in your wallet...what to look for an why. MEARS SUNDAY NEWS EXTRA
Nov 8, 2007
Category: Archived News
JERSEY SUPPLIERS CAN'T ALWAYS SPELL
Nov 5, 2007
Category: Archived News
Starting Your Holiday Wish List...? Start Thinking About Things Folks Shopping For You Can Find & Afford.
Nov 5, 2007
Category: Archived News
Ever ask where do all these retail jerseys on the market as gamers come from? See for yourself...
Nov 5, 2007
Category: Archived News
Every wonder how much a bat will bend or flex on contact, the answer may surprise you.
Nov 4, 2007
Category: Archived News
Records were made to be broken...but what about rules, bats, and what we have always been told about early 20th Century bat manufacturers?
Oct 31, 2007
Category: Archived News
Collectors are born collectors. Generally, it’s not something acquired in later years. For the diehards, they are born with the DNA that makes the compulsion to collect. It is like eating, sometimes even more important.
Oct 26, 2007
Category: Archived News
How many bats does a player get? Some surprising answers and pictures...
Oct 24, 2007
Category: Archived News
When did Mays sign with Adirondack and why? A great story within a story...
Oct 22, 2007
Category: Archived News
It is very likely that any number of auction houses will make this decision, but give some thought to the answers why...
Oct 20, 2007
Category: Archived News
See what I learned about Zinn Beck Bats from a newspaper article written in 1973...
Oct 14, 2007
Category: Archived News
Did Killibrew hit almost 40% of his home runs with an Adirodack bat? He may have and never knew it...
Oct 14, 2007
Category: Archived News
See what the value of the arm is...it's not just for throwing touchdowns.
Oct 11, 2007
Category: Archived News
Take a look at this 1962 Willie Mays Giants home jersey against the backdrop of three of my previous articles...
Oct 11, 2007
Category: Archived News
Al Kaline and the "Adiron-not" bat...
Oct 8, 2007
Category: Archived News
Milwaukee Brewers or home of the Braves – major changes in Milwaukee’s baseball history.
Oct 3, 2007
Category: Archived News
Sometimes the most valuable images are those not taken on the field...see what I mean by looking at a few.
Oct 1, 2007
Category: Archived News
2 JERSEYS, 1 TEAM, LEGITIMATE INCONSISTENCY
Oct 1, 2007
Category: Archived News
Knowledge in the world of Collectibles is ever changing, and MEARS promises to be there as it does. Keeping up with change in the field of sports collectibles is not just an option with us, understanding and adapting to these changes through continuous education is our "POLICY" at MEARS.
Sep 30, 2007
Category: Archived News
What makes one an expert in this field? Is there a college degree that specifically deals with game used memorabilia? How about a forensic theme or even some special fabric or carbon dating concentrations? How does one answer that question?
Sep 28, 2007
Category: Archived News
The use of a data base is only a tool. Look at the issues invloved with this jersey and consider them when builing your own data base.
Sep 26, 2007
Category: Archived News
I have always seen great value in sports magazines as references, but there may be more to it than I have thought...
Sep 25, 2007
Category: Archived News
Flannels, Knits, and Durene's make up this collection of mainly HOFs. Their individual feats are known by all and their legends recited around the water cooler. But before you pull out your checkbooks and make room in your display cases, let me tell you what each of these 121 players had in common.
Sep 21, 2007
Category: Archived News
MEARS completed the update of our jersey & trade index census report, or “pop report.” This index is a compilation of all jerseys and bats evaluated by MEARS. We have also added a new feature, which includes a link to the actual Letter of Opinion.
Sep 16, 2007
Category: Archived News
Databases are great tools, but what happens when you have a gap. The easy thing to do would be making an assumption based on the trends before and after the gap...but then again, the easy thing is clearly not the best way to answer the question.
Sep 14, 2007
Category: Archived News
Game used jersey prices have been really soaring over the past few years and if you think its only baseball, you couldn’t be more wrong…..
Sep 8, 2007
Category: Archived News
Retiring from the Army has found me using the same vocabulary as the deadline for working with MEARS in 2008 approaches.
Sep 4, 2007
Category: Archived News
The following is an outline of the details for each step in the evaluation process and authentication determination of this important jersey.
Aug 29, 2007
Category: Archived News
When moving some boxes, I came across an old yellowed box that was still sealed. Not having a clue what was in it (yes, you can have so many things stacked up that something could still be sealed years after delivery), I cut it open and what I uncovered was....
Aug 27, 2007
Category: Archived News
I am a collector at heart and always have been. The things I look for and at for Yankee's Hall of Fame Flannels can be learned by looking at common ones as well.
Aug 27, 2007
Category: Archived News
With the obvious exception of Braves’ fans, the Yankees were strongly favored to win the Series…They had tons of history, experience and talent!! The Braves were Midwest and had little history (1914 and1948) in the World Series and even that was when they were still in Boston.
Aug 15, 2007
Category: Archived News
I have told you what our policy for 2008 will be...Now time to answer the many questions about why now..
Aug 13, 2007
Category: Archived News
Not interested in fine print or double talk? Neither are we. If you are an auction house and want to work with MEARS in 2008, then this is what it will take.
Aug 9, 2007
Category: Archived News
The last time I visited Cooperstown, I was an 11 year old kid with eyes as big as the moon, and a desire to see everything that was there in the first 5 minutes. This time, I was a 28 year old kid with eyes as big as the moon, and a desire to see everything that was there in the first 5 minutes.
Jul 28, 2007
Category: Archived News
Hillerich & Bradsby production informtion is a great tool, but does it tell the complete story? I tend to think of it as only a part of of a much larger and and more involved process.
Jul 27, 2007
Category: Archived News
When life gives you Lemon's or Colavito's...Buy Them.
Jul 27, 2007
Category: Archived News
Tired of collecting baseball cards? Maybe you’re just collecting the wrong ones. Consider baseball related postcards.
Jul 27, 2007
Category: Archived News
Tags have long been an essential part of the authentication process, but even legitimate tagging can throw a curve ball to hobbyists not expecting it.
Jul 24, 2007
Category: Archived News
TV logos...the advertising for sporting goods suppliers generated by those sleeve and neck insignias has been a staple for the Big Three for close to 20 years. The Shirt examines the history of these in MLB, the NFL and the NBA.
Jul 17, 2007
Category: Archived News
I just returned from a week spent in San Francisco for the mid summer classic. I was not there to take part in Fan fest, the Home Run Derby or the All Star game itself, but my role was to assist in an appraisal fair sponsored by MLB in conjunction with the live auction held on the All Star game day.
Jul 16, 2007
Category: Archived News
Dealers have long been the back bone of this hobby...spend some time going back in time and into the future with a long time dealer and collector.
Jul 10, 2007
Category: Archived News
Honest and Integrity in Sports Collecting
Jul 10, 2007
Category: Archived News
It isn't just jerseys and bats the bad guys in the hobby are trying to sneak into circulation. Here's the lowdown on something different that MEARS has come in contact with that, in both cases, are clearly not authenticated.
Jul 6, 2007
Category: Archived News
A follow up to a two-year old post on the old Network 54 Game Used Memorabilla Forum
Jul 4, 2007
Category: Archived News
When evaluating pre 1917 professional model game used bats, different criteria must be applied to the authentication process. Factory records to support bats from this pre 1917 labeling period are almost not existent.
Jul 1, 2007
Category: Archived News
The 4th of July and Baseball Have Always Held Something Special for Me and My Family
Jun 29, 2007
Category: Archived News
500 Home Runs, 3000 Hits, 300 Wins... Just How Magical Are These Numbers Today and What Do They Mean to Collectors and Investors Alike.
Jun 23, 2007
Category: Archived News
The study of centerbrands and what they show us...at times it shows us things we did not expect.
Jun 21, 2007
Category: Archived News
More things to look for….details of other warning signs on HOF flannels and knits, as well as NFL and NBA jerseys, that pop up with some degree of frequency in items MEARS has deemed U2A...Unable to Authenticate
Jun 15, 2007
Category: Archived News
Take a look at a bit of baseball history and a great collecting theme as well.
Jun 14, 2007
Category: Archived News
I spent the past weekend at the now yearly SCD Sportsfest in Chicago that was held in the newly built and ultra modernist Renaissance Hotel and convention center. It was a class show from beginning to end starting with the location…
Jun 11, 2007
Category: Archived News
Hitting the books and the Internet can always be a hoot when researching a jersey, but sometimes the enhancement of such research can come at the most unlikely time and in the most unlikely place.
Jun 8, 2007
Category: Archived News
Looking for an attractive and inexpensive way to display your gamers...maybe this idea is for you and your lumber.
Jun 5, 2007
Category: Archived News
Distinct in design and famous by name, a Black Betsy professional model bat poses some challenges with evaluation. When authenticating, MEARS must take in consideration the lack of players name on barrel while still attributing this bat to the model preferred by Shoeless Joe Jackson.
May 30, 2007
Category: Archived News
Take the time read through these to find interesting and insightful contemporary information not found in DiMaggio's Bat Records
May 25, 2007
Category: Archived News
TWO BITS ON BATS IN ONE COLUMN: As a follow-up to my earlier Shirt column on nickname/non player name bats, I present to you a half-dozen more.
May 23, 2007
Category: Archived News
It is often said that something isn’t worth the piece of paper it is printed on. This age old cliché is oft used by skeptics when referring to an LOO/LOA as it regards the opinion of authenticity and game use in the area of game used equipment.
May 15, 2007
Category: Archived News
Retiring a player’s number in the NFL is clearly one of the highest honors a team can bestow upon a cherished former player. NFL teams have retired a total of 126 jerseys.
May 9, 2007
Category: Archived News
A report of findings for the evaluation of legendary Willis Reed's 1969-70 Knicks basketball jersey.
May 7, 2007
Category: Archived News
Even my wife underdstands why I get excited about dating after all these years...
May 3, 2007
Category: Archived News
The MLB tribute this past April 15th in honor of civil rights pioneer/HOF Jackie Robinson was well-deserved, however, NOT the first time a retired uniform number suddenly became "unretired." Let The Shirt regale the tales of unretired and conditionally retired uniform numbers in recent years.
Apr 29, 2007
Category: Archived News
Just What Is a "Team Index Bat" and Why Might Mickey Mantle May Have Used Them...
Apr 29, 2007
Category: Archived News
Discover the history of Cal Ripken Jr's orders and shipments of Louisville Sluggers.
Apr 29, 2007
Category: Archived News
Take a Look At Why I Think the A.J. Reach Co. is a Likely Source of Professional Model Bats to the Major Leagues.
Apr 24, 2007
Category: Archived News
An Interesting Look at Dates, Rates, and Lesser Known Manufacturers...
Apr 23, 2007
Category: Archived News
Rob Lifson from Robert Edward Auctions (REA) Shares His Time and Opinions With The Collecting Public...
Apr 22, 2007
Category: Archived News
Are You Always Seeing All That You Should When Looking At Vintage Uniforms?
Apr 16, 2007
Category: Archived News
Unique uniform styles are not very frequent in baseball. The Shirt will jump in the Wayback Machine and look at two American League clubs that, for a short time, couldn't decide on a long-term uniform style.
Apr 12, 2007
Category: Archived News
Understanding the Authentication Process: Using factory records, first hand provenance, and evaluation of game use and player characteristics to evaluate and grade a historic Ted Williams Homerun bat.
Apr 3, 2007
Category: Archived News
Tired of Seeing Items Becoming "Gamers" After They Leave E-Bay...Well So Is MEARS.
Apr 2, 2007
Category: Archived News
In this, a sequel to the first article on colleting baseball pennants, we will deal with football pennants as a collectible, which ones to get, which ones you will never see and which ones need a bit more time until they are appreciated.
Apr 1, 2007
Category: Archived News
MEARS was recently asked to examine a 1981-84 Celtics home jersey of NBA legend Larry Bird.
Apr 1, 2007
Category: Archived News
Recently, MEARS examined a 1969-70 New York Knicks home jersey of team legend Willis Reed.
Mar 28, 2007
Category: Archived News
What's In Your Reference Library? If You Have Considered Baseball Yearbooks, But Found Them Too Expensive or Hard to Find...Then This Article is For You.
Mar 27, 2007
Category: Archived News
Looking a for summer vacation spot? Consider Cincinnati, the birthplace of the professional game.
Mar 26, 2007
Category: Archived News
MEARS was asked to examine item, hologram #305945. Our examination included a physical inspection of the jersey and trunks, comparison to known authentic examples from our database; imagery analysts, and inspection of jersey while looking for originality and/or alterations.
Mar 23, 2007
Category: Archived News
Who would bother faking a common player jersey?
Mar 16, 2007
Category: Archived News
As popular and controversial topic today as ever to be sure.
Mar 13, 2007
Category: Archived News
Evaluating a 19th century player bat with attributed provenance
Mar 11, 2007
Category: Archived News
Someone Missing at Cooperstown This Summer? I Think So and For the Life of Me, I Don't Know Why.
Mar 10, 2007
Category: Archived News
Want to Know My Thoughts on Why Early Spalding Bats May Be a Bargain?
Mar 10, 2007
Category: Archived News
My Own Version of "Myth Busters" With Respect to the "Cash Cow" that is MEARS.
Mar 4, 2007
Category: Archived News
I've always gotten a kick out of game-used bats upon which players have used nicknames, tributes, or other barrel IDs that aren't their signature nor their block letter/italicized name. This installment of The Shirt (The Bat?) will detail a number of these oddities.
Mar 4, 2007
Category: Archived News
Any professional model player’s bat, which survived from the pre 1920 era, should be considered quite rare, along with the records supporting professional issuance.
Feb 27, 2007
Category: Archived News
MORE RECYCLING IN THE BIG TIME
Feb 26, 2007
Category: Archived News
What Makes for a Good Theory? I Have My Own Thoughts on This as Well and One to Offer.
Feb 24, 2007
Category: Archived News
What should you look for if offered a Hall of Fame Player Flannel? Take a moment to see some of the same problems I am seeing as of late.