You might think that the uniforms I enjoy looking at the most are older flannels. The fact of the matter is that I enjoy handling the uniforms from guys I watched play in the 1970s. In my mind, that decade of baseball belongs to three men; Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, and Reggie Jackson. When I was told I was being asked to look at a 1977 Reggie Jackson jersey that was thought have been worn by him in the 1977 World Series, I was 13 years old all over again. Jackson was a player I loved and hated at the same time…Jackson was the 70s in flash, dress, appeal and could he ever bring a crowd to its feet. It was treat to re-watch the 1977 World Series on DVD as I was actually pulling for the Yankees…No Reds fan from that point in time could ever root for the Dodgers. Jackson more than earned his money and moniker “Mr. October” in the 77 series hitting a blistering .450 with 5 home runs…including three swings, for three homers, off of three different pitchers in Game 6. The thought of handling a jersey worn by him during this time was and always remain a special treat. With all that being said:
Subject: 1977 Reggie Jackson New York Yankees Road Jersey
For the purpose of evaluation and description, this jersey is referred to as a 1977 New York Yankees Reggie Jackson Road Jersey. The jersey was thought to have been worn by Jackson in the 1977 World Series. The focus of my efforts was to look for discernable and verifiable evidence of this. 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 observations:
The jersey posses all the characteristics you would except to see in road jersey issued to and worn by Reggie Jackson in 1977. The exemplar comparison was made between this jersey and a 1977 Reggie Jackson road jersey graded A10 by MEARS on 5/1/2007 and bearing the hologram number 306034.
-Wilson manufacturer with c 1974-1978 manufacturers label sewn in the lower left-front tail. Tagged as a size 44 and measures as a size 44 which is appropriate for Reggie Jackson. Tag is original to the jersey with no signs of alteration.
– White cotton blend collar and button lining that is original to the jersey with no signs that any of the seams have been opened. Gray polyester knit swatch in the collar bearing “Jackson 77 2” sewn though only the first fold of the lining.
– Lettering and number are correct by material, color and construction. Slight size variations between this jersey and MEARS #306034.
Since this jersey appears to have slightly larger letters on the front ( 3 ¼” vs 2 ¾”) and slightly smaller numbers on the back ( 6 ½” vs 7”) I looked at period images from the 1977 season to see if this could be identified and any distinction made between regular and post season uniforms. The fact that both of these jerseys are tagged as set 2 did not concern me as I know that more than 2 uniforms were issued during this time frame. (PLATES I –III).
What I noticed is that images of Jackson from mid season, specifically 15 July 1977 show a font style that appears to be of a more compact construction as seen in the letter “K” in NEW YORK. (PLATE I) This tends to support a post season claim as the lettering on this jersey is slightly larger and more elongated as seen by the depth of the trough in the letter “K”. This style of lettering can be found in post season images as well. (PLATES IV and V).
In studying footage from the 1977 World Series, a captured video image shows what appears to a smaller font size on the Jackson uniform when compared to that of third base coach Dick Howser #34. (PLATE II). However, when the numerals on both jerseys were measured, they both appeared to be roughly the same 12mm in height. The Jackson numerals appear smaller because of the illusion created by the fact that since Jackson was larger than Howser and Jackson is likely wearing a larger jersey, same sized numerals will appear smaller on the Jackson jersey because they cover a smaller percentage of the total size of the rear of the jersey.
The other thing I noticed is that there is a slight variance in the placement of the letter “Y” with respect to its alignment to the second button from the top. In any number of both still and video images, this is often difficult to discern since Jackson frequently had the top two button undone. (PLATE IV). This variance does not preclude this jersey from being a post season offering, but it is not a conclusive identify either since this same spatial alignment can be found in the regular season as well.
Evaluation Findings: Based on a my physical examination of this jersey, supporting data, images, and references , it is my opinion that this jersey does posses all the characteristics you would expect to find in a 1977 New York Yankees Reggie Jackson Road Jersey. The jersey exhibits medium to heavy wear in as seen in the fade of the lettering and numbering as well as seam and stitching wear as well as the gathering of fabric behind the same. With respect to the claim that this jersey was worn by Reggie Jackson in the 1977 World Series, I have found nothing that can either definitely prove or disprove this claim. The jersey was offered to me with out any supporting provenance attesting to this claim that would have been evaluated with respect to reasonability and verifiability.
MEARS Auth, LLC
Enclosures PLATES I-V