I recently received an e-mail from a collector in the St. Louis area named Bill with some questions and comments. Bill was gracious enough to include his full name and phone number in his correspondence, which for me is a big plus. We discussed a number of topics, and well…Bill just plain likes flannels…also a big plus in my book. Bill went on to say that of all things he would most like to acquire, a St. Louis Brows jersey from the 1946-1951 period would be at the top of the list. He was curious if I would be willing to provide some information that might help him in his quest. Since we both have a “Taste for Brownies” (I like mine with peanut butter chips), I hope Bill and maybe another collector or two might find this information helpful.
The manufacturer for the Browns uniforms of this period was Rawlings. This comes as no great surprise with both the team and supplier located in St. Louis. Jerseys from this period actually seem to span three manufacturers label variations. Please know that the data I have used to establish this range for Rawlings tags includes more than the just the St. Louis Browns.
Some the shirts that are out there include:
Road Johnny Berardino Mastro’s November 1998
Road Stan Ferens Lelands May 2002
Road Ken Sears Mastro’s November 2000
Home Luke Sewell Halper Auction
Home Vern Stephens Grey Flannel June 2002
Road John Pavlick Mastro’s November 1998
Road Paul Lehner Mastro’s November 1998/Leland’s May 2002
Home Nels Potter Mastro’s May 2003
Road Fred Sanford Leland’s December 1996
Road Al Zarilla Gurensey Hunts October 2003
Road Cliff Fannin Richard Wolfer’s March 1992
Home Gerry Priddy Halper Auction
Road Ray Coleman Leland’s May 2002/Grey Flannel May 2003
Home Roy Sievers Halper Auction
These are very attractive jerseys and rather popular with style collectors. Some things to look for are signs of restoration of BROWNS and the numerals on the back. I had the front of my 1951 Browns road restored by Lon Lewis, and Lon did a terrific job which goes without saying. In looking for signs of restoration, be sure to look at the color and condition of the backing behind the lettering and numerals. I would expect to see that it has aged with respect to color and condition (cracking). Since this is a zipper style uniform, I would also expect to see an older style Talyon zipper as well. Patches are not really an issue unless you are looking at a jersey from 1951. I think I have covered all of these issues in one form of another in previous articles, so examples for comparison can be found.
Not a long article, but one I wanted to get out rather quickly. As always, enjoy what you collect and collect what you enjoy.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com