I knew this jersey was going to have issues when I saw it first posted to the article on initially consigned lots for the MEARS December auction. The jersey is missing a name on the back. This jersey was recently purchased by the consigner from SCP Auctions. The language on that web site (which was revised this year) includes this language under “Authentication”:
“The provenance and authenticity of the items offered by SCP Auctions have been researched extensively. Where appropriate, we have employed the services of the foremost independent authentication firms such as PSA or SGC for card grading and authentication services; PSA/DNA (Professional Sports Authenticator), and JSA (James Spence Authentication) for autograph authentication, and MEARS (Memorabilia Evaluation and Research Services) and PSA/DNA for game used equipment. LOA’s (Letters of Authenticity) from third party authenticators, as well as those from relevant sources, are indicated in the lot or item description at www.scpauctions.com for any auction or direct sale items”.
Just to be clear, MEARS has not evaluated items for SCP or SCP/Sotheby’s for some time and has no plans to do so in the future. SCP’s use of the word “have” is technically correct in that it refers to the past. MEARS Auctions however, is not going to offer this jersey in our December venue for reasons you will see below. My recent writings have focused on other aspects and business practices of auction houses as they relate to bidding. I recommend bidders consider doing this as well for evaluations and opinions.
There are a couple of research take-aways I hope this article provides. First is how to make use of photos that are not readily identified by a specific year dating. Secondly, when dealing with flannel jerseys of star players that may have been altered or restored, make note of the things I point out with respect to restoration and removal of lettering and numbering. For jerseys such as this that lack any sort of supplemental player identification, how can you be sure that the “restored Reggie Jackson A’s flannel” you might be bidding on even started out as a Jackson jersey to begin with?
As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions and comments on this article, please feel free to contact me at DaveGrob1@aol.com
SUBJECT: 1970 Reggie Jackson Oakland A’s Road Jersey
For the purpose of evaluation and description, this jersey is referred to as a 1970 Reggie Jackson Oakland A’s road jersey. After a detailed visual inspection and evaluation of this jersey using lighted magnification, a light table, a digital microscope, UV light and various references, I offer the following noted observations:
Size: This jersey is tagged as size 44 and this is the true measured size for this period of McAuliffe product. This jersey was compared to a 1970 Oakland A’s common road jersey (#52, player not identified) in my on-hand reference library. It was also compared to a 1965 A’s McAuliffe road jersey (size42). For vests, this measurement is taken at the top seam of the in the underarm area where the front and back sections are joined. This offered jersey measures some 20”. The other 1970 road jersey features a small customization in this area narrowing the chest slightly, and this example measured out at 19 1/2” and the size 42 from 1965 at 19”. This is obviously not a true chest measurement because of how vests are constructed. This is important to note as the construction of vest style jerseys from the 1960s does vary between manufacturers. This will be discussed in detail under Manufacturer/Construction.
This jersey by size is however considered appropriate for Jackson at this point of his career based period Street & Smith Yearbooks showing him at 6 and 195lbs. Other period flannels for Jackson in the MEARS database include:
1968, Road, McAuliffe: Size 44
1968, Yellow Alternate, McAuliffe: Size 44
1969, Home, McAuliffe: Size 44
1970, Home, McAuliffe: Size 44
1971, Yellow Alternate, McAuliffe: Size 44
Manufacturer/Construction: The offered jersey is identified as a McAuliffe product by the tag in the lower left front tail. These jerseys were actually manufactured by Stall and Dean and sold/distributed under the McAuliffe name. For additional reading, please see Tim McAuliffe by MEARS (MEARS On-Line 3/6/2009). The construction of the McAuliffe vests is noticeably different that those provided by both Rawlings and Macgregor in how they are sewn together. The Stall& Dean/McAuliffe products feature an external overlap of fabric while those of Rawlings and MacGregor have this feature on the interior. (PLATE II)
This offered jersey is tagged appropriately as seen when compared to an on-hand common A’s exemplar from the same season. (PLATE V)
Supplemental Player Identification: This jersey was offered in the July 2009 SCP Auction as lot # 546. The lot includes this language “This Oakland A’s sleeveless road flannel jersey features the teams “A’s” logo on front and the number “9” on both front and back. Original tagging includes a McAuliffe label on the tail with year tag 70 and size tag 44 below. This jersey shows nice game use and appears to have no alterations of any kind. This lot also comes with a signed 8X10 photo of Reggie in his A’s uniform. LOA from Grey Flannel.”
There is no supplemental player identification sewn into the collar or tail area of the jersey. This is to be expected. However, this jersey does lack a name on the back. Year specific images from the 1970 All Star game do show Jim Hunter in a road gray jersey with his name on the back.
An additional photo from 1970 can be found on page 180 of “This Great Game”. This book, published in 1971, shows great color images from the 1969-1970 seasons. Although this photo is undated and no 1969 100th Anniversary patch is discernable, it can still be dated to 1970. Besides Dick Green, the other Oakland player in the photo is wearing #21. This number was issued to:
Jim Gosger (Outfielder-1968)
Vida Blue (Pitcher-1969)
Jim Driscoll (Shortshop-1970)
1971: #21 Not issued
The player sliding is Ed Stroud of the Washington Senators. Stroud was with the Senators from 1968 through 1970.
The photo is not from 1968 as Gosger never played the infield.
The photo is not from 1969 as #21 is not Vida Blue.
The photo is not from 1971 as the #21 was not issued and images would have to be from 1970 in order to meet the publication time line. An additional photo on the cover of the July 11th 1970 Sporting News seems to confirm this as well.
I also consulted the 1971 A’s team yearbook and the 1971 Street & Smith Baseball yearbook for images from the 1970 season.
Based on what period images show, you would expect to find this offered jersey with either the name JACKSON on the back or at least signs that it was at least present at one time. I found neither. (PLATES III & IV)
When evaluating uniforms such as this and looking for signs of name removal, I focus on these five (5) physical manifestations that one would expect to see in some form or combination if the name had been present at one time. They include:
1. Residue of a substance used to help affix the lettering the fabric to the body.
2. Fabric bleed from the lettering to the body of the jersey.
3. An outline of the stitching used to anchor the lettering to the body.
4. Cuts or tears in the jersey body fabric caused by the removal of the lettering.
5. Trace outlines of a pattern that are times visible under UV lighting or when the fabric is placed on a light table.
In this case, I found none of these physical manifestations leading me to conclude a name was never sewn to the jersey as should be expected for a 1970 Oakland A’s road jersey issued to and worn by Reggie Jackson during that season.
Use and Wear: I would categorize the use and wear as being in the medium to heavy range based on the wear to the body fabric and stitching. The gold and green soutache braid is shows similar consistent wear with no separation from the body of the jersey. The gathering of the lettering and numerals is also medium to heavy and uniform and consistent throughout, both inside and out. The lower of the seven (7) original buttons is missing, but the anchor stitching for that button remains.
Evaluation Findings: Based on a my physical examination of this jersey, supporting data, images, and references , it is my opinion that with the exception of the absence of the name from the back of this jersey, it does posses all the characteristics you would expect to find in a McAuliffe 1970 Reggie Jackson Road Jersey. Unfortunately, this is a significant exception. Unlike the 1962 Bob Gibson road jersey (Cert # 309883) that had supplemental player identification chain stitched in the tail in an appropriate manner, the missing name of JACKSON on the back or at least signs it was ever present are fundamental to attributing it to Reggie Jackson in 1970. As such, I am unable to authenticate this jersey as a 1970 Reggie Jackson Oakland A’s road jersey. At the time of my evaluation, there was no writing on this jersey that bears the MEARS Hologram # 310251.
MEARS Auth, LLC