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Size: The jersey is tagged as a size 44 and this is the true measured size of the jersey. This was assessed through both physical measurement and comparison with period McAuliffe on hand products in sizes 44 and 46. A size 44 garment is also consistent with period sizing data I have assembled for Gil Hodges. Of note is the size difference between Wilson products for Hodges and the Rawlings and McAuliffe products all from 1954. This is not atypical as the same thing (smaller size tagged Wilson jersey) can be found for players like Mickey Mantle as well as Hank Aaron. As such I would offer that this is an appropriate sized jersey for Gil Hodges at this point in his career. (PLATE I)

Manufacturer/Construction: The offered jersey is identified as a McAuliffe product by the manufacturers tagging in the left front tail. Period images from 1954-1955 will confirm that the Brooklyn Dodgers home jerseys were provided by three different manufacturers. When these images are compared with jerseys that have appeared in the hobby, Wilson and Rawlings can be accounted for based on both alpha and numeric fonts. What this has always left as an unanswered question of (until now) who this “third supplier” was.

Both Spalding and McGregor could be excluded based on the numeric font styles (Spalding and MacGregor) and button style (MacGegor). I never really considered Horace Partridge nor Mitchell & Ness/Pearson as a likely candidates since their products were limited to local teams; Braves and A’s respectively. This only left McAuliffe as a likely candidate in my mind.

The evaluation of this jersey also included looking at a pair of Carl Furillo 1954 McAuliffe pants. The manner in which the swatch containing the supplemental information (waist, inseam, and year as well as the name “Furillo”) was affixed to the pants confirms this tag was added prior to the final and complete assembly of the pants. As such, I have no reason to question the authenticity of this tagging and McAuliffe as the confirmed “third supplier” of home uniforms to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954. Furillo also happens to one of the players that can be seen wearing this unique smaller numeric font in the 1955 Dodgers team photo. Alpha font style also confirms Furillo is not wearing a Wilson product. Comparison of the tagging between the Furillo pants and the Hodges jersey is also consistent by thread, applique, and design. In short, I am absolutely convinced that McAuliffe provided uniforms to the Brooklyn Dodgers and is that “third supplier” I have always known existed. (PLATES II-IX)

The offered jersey itself features Raglan sleeves cut to a “above the bicep” length of just under 3”. A sleeve of this length is also consistent with period images show for Gil Hodges during this period.

Use and Wear: I would categorize the overall use and wear on this jersey as light. The wear to the fabric of the body is uniform. The external wear to the external felt lettering and numbering is consistent with the rest of the uniform, with respect fabric pulls and anchor stitching. The garment is free of any signs of soiling and staining, even when viewed under UV lighting. There is no color transfer in the collar or underarms from an associated undergarment. All lettering and numbering is assessed as being original to the garment. This opinion was ascertained by examining the garment on both a light table and with UV lighting.

Attribution to the 1955 Season: It is possible that this jersey was retained in the inventory into 1955 based on the photos provided. That being said, the jersey does not show signs of use and wear associated with multiple season use. Film footage of the 1955 World Series will confirm the use of what appear to be these McAuliffe uniforms (Robinson, Snider, Gilliam, Furillo, Reese), Gil Hodges cannot be found wearing this style Games 3-5 which were played at Ebbets Field. For these reasons, I am only identifying it and referring to it as a 1954 Gil Hodges Brooklyn Dodgers Home jersey (accompanied by 1954 Carl Furillo pants).

Evaluation Findings: Based on my physical examination of this jersey, supporting data, images, and PLATES I-XI, it is my opinion that this jersey posses all of the characteristics you would expect to find in a 1954 Brooklyn Dodgers home jersey supplied by McAuliffe for use by Gil Hodges at Ebbets Field. For Pre-1987 jerseys, the MEARS grading metric begins at base grade of 10 with five (5) major categories for consideration when looking to codify deductions. I found these reasons for point deductions:

Category 5: -2 for light use. The deduction for light use runs from -1 to -4. No more points were deducted since it is confirmed that there were three suppliers of home jerseys, thus decreasing the possible use of anyone of them at any one time. I also did not feel that simply deducting -1 was acceptable since we are dealing with an everyday position player who appeared in a league leading 154 games in 1954.

No separate grade is assigned to the Furillo pants as they are only deemed as Authentic in accordance with the MEARS grading criteria.

Final Grade for this offered jersey bearing MEARS Cert # 313821 is A8.

Troy Kinunen