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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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…