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 

To view this lot and other lots in the MEARS November auction please visit

Advanced football collectors know how tough it is to obtain authentic Pittsburgh Steelers game worn jerseys. Examples are just plain tough, and superb examples do not exist. For this lot, whether you collect NFL or Steelers jerseys, this item is simply the best of the best. 

A key cog to the IRON CURTAIN, Jack Ham is everything that epitomizes Steelers Football. According to NFL, “An All American at Penn State, he started as rookie for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ham started all 14 games as a rookie and he continued to hold a regular job until his retirement after the 1982 season. Durable, he missed only four games his first 10 seasons in the NFL. Ham, who was born December 23, 1948, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, quickly earned the reputation as a big-play defender and one of the finest outside linebackers in the game. 

He wound up his career with 25 sacks, 21 opponents’ fumbles recovered and 32 interceptions. Blessed with speed, quickness, intelligence and exceptional mobility, Ham had the uncanny ability to diagnose plays and to be in the right defensive position at all times. 

Along with defensive tackle Joe Greene and defensive end L. C. Greenwood, Ham was a key element in an exceptionally strong left side of the Pittsburgh defense during the team’s Super Bowl years. Jack played in Super Bowls IX, X and XIII but was forced to sit out Super Bowl XIV because of injuries. He also played in five AFC championship games and it was his 19-yard interception return to the Oakland 9-yard-line that setup the Steelers’ go-ahead touchdown in their first ever championship victory. 

Ham was named to the All-AFC team for the first time in 1973 and then was a universal All-Pro choice the next six seasons through the 1979 campaign. In 1975, the Football News named him the Defensive Player of the Year. He was named to eight straight Pro Bowls.” 

With a very impressive, HOF career, Steelers collectors all have a Jack Ham on their want lists. Below is the official MEARS evaluation of the shirt. 

Style: Jersey is manufactured from black Sand Knit material. Construction consists of a ribbed crew neck, full length sleeves (gold, black, white, black, gold, black, white, black, gold) sleeve striping with pad inserts, straight tail, and front panel seam that extends two inches below the neck line. 

Single tackle twill numbering is found on the shoulders, front, and back of jersey. 

A unique, Jack Ham requested customization, in the form of an insert side/shoulder panel has been sewn into the jersey. The unique trait can also be seen on a Jack Ham white road jersey. The customization is noted and remembered by Jack Ham who mentions it in the accompanying letter of authenticity. 

The style is correct for 1976-79 Steelers jerseys of the era when compared to period images. 

Manufacturers Tag 1976-79: Medalist Sand Knit was the supplier of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1976-79 era. Based on the style of the tag, courtesy of the MEARS tagging database, we date this jersey to the 1976-79 era. Additional examples of Steelers tags from this era include: 

1976-79 Mel Blount 

1976-78 Joe Greene 

Size 50: Physical examination of the jersey (customizations taken into consideration) verifies this jersey matches the tagged size 50. The size 50 is correct and it compares favorably with the 1980 Jack Ham jersey that entered the hobby and was used as a point of comparison. 

Game Wear: Jersey is absolutely pounded with game wear. It is in my opinion the heavy degree of use is consistent with a full season of game wear. 

Front Yoke: 4 team repairs on right front yoke. 

Front: 5 heavy team repairs are present, along with multiple small unrepaired holes and many areas of heavy stress to the fabric. 

Reverse: Pounded with wear, no visible repairs. 

Reverse 9: Team repair to the reverse 9. Heavy puckering and game wear to the reverse numerals. 

Left Shoulder: Heavy wear and puckering to the 9, one team repair. 

Right Shoulder: 7 team repairs to the 9 on the right shoulder. 

The finest Jack Ham jersey ever evaluated by MEARS, and certainly one of the upper echelon football jerseys evaluated by our firm with respect to heavy game wear and team repairs. 

Provenance: As if the jersey doesn’t speak volumes by itself, a letter from Jack Ham accompanies this lot. Dated May 30th, 2013, the Letter of Authenticity Reads, 

“This Black Pittsburgh Steelers jersey was worn by me in a NFL game. Jersey has numerous repairs and work was done by the team during the season. This jersey is all original as worn by me. Thanks You, Signed, Jack Ham.” 

Final Grade: After review of the 5 categories used for evaluation, MEARS found no reason for any point deductions. The jersey was awarded the MEARS A10 Grade. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS