While somewhat unpleasant, articles such as this are actually very easy to write. All that is required is building a story or teaching point around already prepared notes and observations. Surprisingly, articles like this usually draw the most comments from readers and collectors. Some comment that they like to read these pieces since it helps to educate them on things to look for. Still others comment that maybe sharing this sort of information only makes things easier on the individual(s) who appear to be manufacturing these jerseys. Allow me to address both camps on this one.
I make a point of trying to cover jerseys like this when I can for educational purposes; both on a macro and micro level. On a macro level, I am trying to ensure that as wide of an audience as possible is aware of the item and the issues I had with it. History has shown that items such as this, that have been evaluated by MEARS, show up again only without acknowledgment of the issues or problems. On a micro level, these articles provide insight to what you as a collector could be looking for on the uniforms you are looking to purchase or may already own.
As far as the counterpoint, or providing information to enable a nefarious tailor to build a Hall of Fame flannel, please know there is always something else I have found or noted in my evaluation that is not included in print. By that I mean if I have found seven or eight things that clearly call a uniforms authenticity into question, do I really need to divulge numbers nine and ten? I think not.
As with the vast majority of items I look at, I have no idea who the submitter of this uniform was. I actually prefer not to know so that my objectivity is not an issue. As a reminder, MEARS does not work by “committee” and we may not always see things in the same light. If there are varying opinions or positions, the submitter is made aware of them. With all that being said, let’s take a look at Sandy when he appears to be not so dandy.
For the purpose of evaluation and description, this jersey is referred to as a 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers Sandy Koufax Home Jersey. After a detailed visual inspection and evaluation of this jersey using lighted magnification, a light table, UV light and references listed. I offer the following noted problematic observations:
The offered jersey is identified as a Spalding product by the manufacturers tag in the lower left front tail. The jersey also features a single size “44” flag tag and supplemental washing instruction tag. The later is sewn inside the left front tail. Both Spalding tag and “44” size flag tag have been re-sewn to this jersey as evident by open seam holes on both. Also it appears that the “Spalding” manufacturers label has been trimmed.
The jersey is tagged as size 44 as indicated by the single flag tag. This manner of size identification is common among Spalding jerseys from this period. However, the actual measured size of this jersey is that of a size 40.
This jersey is constructed with “set-in” sleeves. Other period Los Angeles Dodgers uniforms in the MEARS database that were manufactured by Spalding have Raglan sleeves. There also appears to be a difference in the manner of supplemental player identifications as well. This offered jersey features “Koufax 32” and “44 65” sewn into the lower front tail in blue threaded chain stitch as compared to these uniforms from the database:
1965: Willie Davis; Raglan Sleeves, “W.Davis 65” sewn in left front tail
1966: Sandy Koufax; Raglan Sleeves, “Koufax 66” sewn in left front tail
The clear, not simply translucent, four hole style of button with a raised lip also do not appear to be consistent with other period Spalding products, either home or road.
Use and Wear:
The jersey features extremely faded lettering and numerals (both front and back). This is not to be attributed to extended use and or wear as the backing on the all of the felt numbering and lettering is still very crisp and shows no real legitimate signs of aging, wear, or cracking. The offered jersey also features an almost uniform discoloration that can best be seen when the jersey is unbuttoned. To me, it appears this could be the result of the jersey being soaked in a dark liquid and then dried in the sun while being buttoned up and laid flat. There is some fabric bleed of the blue felt on the inside of the jersey. While the offered jersey, to the eye, outwardly shows signs of excessive use and wear, there is almost no stressing to the stitching of the garments shell, lettering, numbering or supplemental player identification as would be expected with a garment showing this much use and or wear.
Based on a my physical examination of this jersey and as a result of the above noted problematic observations, it is my opinion that this jersey does not posses the characteristics you would expect to find in a 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers Sandy Koufax Home Jersey and it is my opinion that this jersey can not be authenticated as such.
As always collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com