MEARS is asked on a regular basis to provide “letters of authenticity” on game used items submitted to our office. Early on we were pioneers in changing the way these items were referred to. We could not authenticate, or make the item real. We could offer a “letter of opinion” which stated all of the available facts and how this data compared to other known and examined examples. We then concluded whether the item compared favorably or not-so favorably.

Recently MEARS had the privilege to examine a cap worn by Yankees Captain Thurman Munson. Along with it came a real “letter of authenticity”, a true rarity in today’s collecting world.

On 10/31/06 MEARS was asked to evaluate the following:

1971 Thurman Munson New York Yankees cap. KM Pro manufactured the cap. Our database verified KM Pro was a supplier of New York Yankees caps during the 1970s. The design, construction, style of application of player’s uniform number was consistent with other game worn Yankees caps we had examined from the period.

Regarding the wear, it was deemed moderate to heavy and consistent throughout.

The provenance on this cap is what made it so special. Included with the cap was a letter on official New York Yankees stationary with original team postmarked envelope. The postmark was 3-4-72. The letter read,

“We thought you would like to have a used cap that was worn by our catcher, Thurman Munson”. Yankees Vice President of Public Relations, Robert O. Fishel, then signed the letter.

After a full review of cap and letter, MEARS easily came to the conclusion this was a game worn cap worn by Munson during the 1971 season. With this being the first Munson cap examined, MEARS was comfortable determining the size 7 was correct for Munson, and this size will now be recognized as the size of record for Munson.


Troy R. Kinunen