January 30th, 2008
Article by Troy R. Kinunen
Evaluation by Troy R. Kinunen with Imagery Analysis by MEARS
PREFACE by MEARS
MEARS retail submissions come in all different forms and for a variety of reasons. Some collectors know very little about what they have and are looking for rudimentary answers. Other collectors are advanced and knowledgeable in their own right and are looking for a researched and descriptive opinion that a prospective buyer would want to consider. Somewhere in between is the collector who bought something in the past, and over time, has developed concerns/questions about the item. These can range from a low dollar purchase that now appears to be something more valuable, to a high dollar item that may not be what was first thought or purchased.
For anyone reading this, the point is that we look at all items the same way with the same goal in mind, to offer a researched opinion and provide the basis for what that opinion was so that it can be evaluated by the submitter and anyone else at a later date. When we get an item in, we ask that all information pertinent to the evaluation be provided along with the item. As a matter of policy, this is listed both on the web site under Evaluation Submission and on the submission form itself. We do this as matter of policy because we want to get it right.
In cases when we receive an item authenticated by someone else or from an auction house, that previous work is always considered. There are any number of knowledgeable people in this industry and their work provides us a chance to continue to learn and possibly see a better way of doing things. However when this work comes in form of what appears to a form letter with only a scant item description, we are provided neither a basis to review that opinion or understand objectively why or how that opinion was reached. We are seeing this more and more as time goes by. A glowing and flowery opinion is of no more consequence than a negative one as they will both be considered on their own merits as it relates to item and what we saw.
MEARS Auth, LLC
The following item, MEARS #309112, could not be authenticated as a game worn jacket from the playing career of Sandy Koufax (1955-66). It was eliminated as being issued during that time frame based on the inconsistencies with known manufacturers and lack of any style match to the referenced examples of period (1949-66) Dodgers jackets examined. An extensive analysis of period and Koufax specific images is provided as an Enclosure to this letter.
It is possible that this jacket may have been worn post playing career by Sandy Koufax in spring training or as a special pitching instructor, but no photographs or supporting documentation have been made available to support that position.
Although there is no size tag, the chest measurement of 22″ is consistent with the known size 44 Koufax jersey’s that have entered the hobby:
1958 Sandy Koufax Home Rawlings Size 44, Hunt 2/02
1960 Sandy Koufax Road Spalding Size 44, Mastro 12/03
1960 Sandy Koufax Home Rawlings Size 44, RE 7/00
1962 Sandy Koufax Road Rawlings Size 44, Lelands 11/93
1965 Sandy Koufax Home McAuliffe Size 44, Grey Flannel 12/01
1966 Sandy Koufax Road Rawlings Size 44, Halper
This size (44) may have been consistent with his size during the 1970s or later. Contemporary newspaper accounts mention Sandy Koufax as being signed by the Dodgers as a spring training pitching coach in 1979 (Copy of newspaper article enclosed).
Due to the lack of manufacturer tag, we could not attribute the jacket to any specific supplier. Identification of the manufacturer is important, as certain physical construction features are consistent with individual manufacturers. These individual construction features were identified and photographically verified for the manufacturers Skinner, Wilson, and MacGregor. The examined jacket had none of the manufacture features of those three known suppliers. Skinner, Wilson, and MacGregor supplied Dodgers jackets have been verified as being used by the Dodgers during the playing career of Koufax with known authentic examples and comparisons via photographs. Documentation provided.
At the original time of sale, 12/9/05, the catalog description per AMI read: “There are no labels, leading one to deduce that the jacket was probably made by Goodman or Tiernan, suppliers who were known to custom fit players and not include labels on occasion.”
By studying both the association between the Dodgers and Goodman and understanding the physical manufacturing characteristics of known supplier of Dodgers jerseys and jackets, MEARS feels Tiernan would be eliminated as a possibility of supplier during the playing career of Sandy Koufax. No relationship between Tiernan and the Dodgers could be confirmed. An overview of Dodger jacket suppliers from the years 1955-66 are provided along with the known history of the relationship between the Dodgers and Goodman.
When conducting our research, the jacket appeared as a completed sale item on the AMI auction website. Regarding the authentication process, it read:
Although items may come with Mears paperwork, 100% Authentic still must review items. The uniform grading system can be confusing to the customers. We have not used Dave Bushing or contracted Mears for any authentication services for the past 3 years.
MEARS did not conduct any evaluation on this item at the time of the original sale. The authentication credits were listed as the 100% Authentic team. No paper work was provided to MEARS regarding the conclusions drawn by the original evaluators.
Our research did conclude the Goodman became a supplier of Dodgers jerseys and jackets starting around 1968.
Skinner Manufactured jackets (circa 1950-57)
-Pocket trim was outlined in navy
-Dodgers Script, most notably the O,R,S do not compare to the examined MEARS item (#309112) when compared to the Carl Furillo.
-Dodgers Script, most notably the D,R,S do not compare to the examined MEARS item (#309112) when compared to the MEARS George Shuba #303613.
-In the case of the 1951 Don Thompson jacket, (GF 12/6/01), the Skinner tag was attached to a gray colored interior lining. The examined example (#309112), was found with a white fleece lining. Therefore the interior lining of the examined example was not consistent with circa 1951 Skinner supplied Dodgers jackets.
Skinner Examples referenced/examined:
1950s Carl Furillo Jacket, Ref #:CFSKINNER, image attached
1950s George Shuba Jacket, MEARS #303613
1950s Jackie Robinson Jacket, GF 5/9/01
1951 Don Thompson Jacket, GF 12/6/01
1955 Billy Loes Jacket, Sotheby 12/2/04
1955 Pee Wee Reese Jacket, Sothebys 12/2/04
1950s Dick Wilson Jacket, GF 11/01
1957 Joe Pignato Jacket, Mastro 12/00
Therefore, even without the presence of the manufactures tag, this jacket does not have the physical characteristics of a circa 1950-57 Skinner manufactured jacket. The pocket trimming does not compare nor does the Dodgers Script.
Also, available photographs show the Skinner tag attached to a grey colored interior lining. In conclusion, Skinner is eliminated as a supplier of this jacket, which eliminates the possibility of Koufax wearing this jacket from 1955-57.
Wilson Manufactured jackets (circa 1950-56)
-Pocket trimming had black leather reinforcements tips on each end (MEARS database, no uniform #) or solid pocket trimming (Norm Sherry
-Dodgers script, most notably the S, does not compare to the examined MEARS item (#309112) when compared to the two examples in the MEARS database. Copies enclosed.
In the case of the 1950s Norm Sherry jacket, the Wilson tag was attached to a gray colored interior lining. The examined example (#309112), was found with a white fleece lining. Therefore the interior lining of the examined example was not consistent with 1950s Norm Sherry Wilson supplied Dodgers jacket.
Wilson Examples referenced/examined:
1950s Ranson Jackson Jacket, Sothebys 12/6/07
1955 Don Zimmer Jacket, Mastro 12/8/05
1956 Bob Aspermonte Jacket, MEARS #300997
Therefore, even without the presence of the manufactures tag, this jacket does not have the physical characteristics of a circa 1950-56 Wilson manufactured jacket. The pocket trimming, Dodgers font script, and interior lining does not compare favorably to known examples.
MacGregor Manufactured jacket (circa 1956-65)
-Pocket trimming of the MacGregor produced jacket was different in pocket trimming when compared to MEARS item (309112). MacGregor pocket trimming was blue in color with reinforcement tips on each pocket end. Examined jacket was made from grey leather with no reinforcements.
-Dodgers script, most noticeably the D,O, does not compare to the examined MEARS item (#309112).
-Corbis Image BE050497 and Getty Image 51251108, shows Sandy Koufax wearing the MacGregor supplied jacket. Note consistencies of leather pocket trimming. Copies enclosed.
MacGregor Examples examined:
1956 Walt Alston Jacket, GF 06/00
1963 Carrol Beringer Jacket, Mastro 12/07
1963 Larry Sherry Jacket, Lelands 6/04
Manufactures Characteristics and Trend Analysis: After identifying the three known suppliers (Skinner, Wilson, and MacGregor) of Dodgers jackets for the years coinciding with the playing career of Sandy Koufax, 1955-66, MEARS concludes this jacket is not consistent with the physical characteristics of these documented supplier of Dodgers jackets for the timespan.
1966 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers jacket
Examination of Getty Image #73451378 shows Koufax walking down the stadium tunnel at Candlestick Park. He is holding his #32 jacket. Comparison of examined jacket to photo shows the font of the 32 on the sleeve is different than the examined example.
For the entire playing career of Koufax, 1955-66, known examples of Dodgers jackets have been referenced in the hobby via auction house catalogs. During this span, there were no references to Goodman or Tiernan supplied jackets. With specific respects to Tiernan and the possibility of a relationship with the Dodgers, MEARS examined the following data:
For the years 1913-2007, which included 846 articles of game worn baseball equipment archived in the MEARS database, MEARS was unable to find one item supplied by the Tiernan Company to the Dodgers. They were a known supplier of Lakers basketball jerseys, but we found no carry over to the Dodgers. Therefore, we have no reason to conclude that Tiernan was a manufacturer of this Dodgers jacket.
Starting in 1968, it appears that Goodman did supply the Dodgers with equipment. Examples seen in the hobby include:
1968 Ron Faily Home Goodman Grey flannel 11/04
1970 Walt Alston Home Goodman Mastro 4/03
1970s Freddy Bordagray Home Goodman AMI 12/05
1970s Roger Craig Road Goodman Lelands 11/98
1970 Tommy Davis Home Goodman Ron Oser 4/01
1970 Willie Davis Home Goodman Ron Oser 4/01
1970s Carl Furillo Home Goodman AMI 12/05
1971 Joe Moeller Home Goodman GF 6/00
1973 Don Sutton Home Goodman Mastro 11/01
1974 Walt Alston Home Goodman Lelands 6/04
MEARS continues to show Goodman supplying the Dodgers with jerseys through the 1987 season.
1970s Steve Garvey Goodman AMI 12/05
Although untagged, if this jersey was determined to be a Goodman manufactured product, it would most likely be from 1968 to present, after the playing days of Sandy Koufax (1955-66)
Inconsistencies of Dodgers Jacket #32 (#309112) when compared with known examples from the timespan of 1955-66
-Dodgers font doesn’t match known hobby examples of examined examples of Wilson, Skinner, or MacGregor supplied jackets found during the playing career of Sandy Koufax (1955-66)
-Pocket lining doesn’t match known hobby examples of examined examples of Wilson, Skinner, or MacGregor supplied jackets found during the playing career of Sandy Koufax (1955-66)
-Imagery analysis (Getty Images & Corbis) conducted on Dodgers jackets from 1949-66 found the examined jacket (#309112) was not consistent with respects to overall construction and physical appearance.
-Interior jacket lining of (#309112) is not consistent with the grey colored interior jacket lining of the Skinner produced jackets.
Reference Color Catalog Plates include:
Grey Flannel, May 9th, 2001: (Lot #721) 1950s circa Brooklyn Dodgers Jackie Robinson jacket manufactured by Skinner. Used to identify Dodgers pocket trim and font.
Grey Flannel, December 6th, 2001: (Lot #788) 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers Don Thompson jacket manufactured by Skinner. Used to identify Dodgers pocket trim and font.
Sotheby’s, December 2nd, 2004: (Lot #17) 1955 circa Brooklyn Dodgers Pee Wee Reese jacket manufactured by Skinner. Used to identify Dodgers pocket trim and font.
(Lot #104) 1950s circa Brooklyn Dodgers Ransom Jackson jacket manufactured by Wilson. Used to identify Dodgers pocket trim and font.
(Lot #105) 1955 circa Brooklyn Dodgers Billy Loe jacket manufactured by Skinner. Used to identify Dodgers pocket trim and font.
Mastro Net, December 8th, 2005: (Lot #1531) 1955-56 Brooklyn Dodgers Don Zimmer jacket manufactured by Wilson. Used to identify Dodgers pocket trim and font.
Lelands, June 4th, 2004: (Lot #489) 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers Larry Sherry jacket manufactured by MacGregor. Used to identify Dodgers font and pocket trim.
Grey Flannel, November 11, 1999: (Lot #502) 1957 Brooklyn Dodgers Don Newcombe jacket manufactured by Butwin. This jersey is referenced, as it is the only example found in our MEARS database. MEARS item #309112 does not compare favorably to this example as the lining is dark, examined example is white fleece. Also, the font of the O,G,S does not compare favorably to the examined example.
Conclusion: Based on the examination of the above, MEARS is unable to authenticate this item, MEARS #309112, as a jacket worn by Sandy Koufax as a player during the years of 1955-66. The style of the examined jacket was not consistent with the style of any known manufacturer.
The following is the independent evaluation provided by MEARS:
Early 1960s Sandy Koufax Dugout Jacket
As part of the MEARS evaluation process for this item, I was asked to review and conduct an analysis of available images in order to ascertain if this style jacket was likely worn by Sandy Koufax. The jacket was sold in the Dec 2005 AMI auction with the following description:
Early 1960’s Sandy Koufax Game-Worn Dodgers Satin Jacket
“Sandy Koufax was one of the greatest left-handed pitchers of all time. Nuff said!! His pitching jacket is offered here in beautiful royal blue satin. It has a white fleece body lining and nylon collar sleeve lining. A leather hook fastener resides in the collar fully intact. The jacket features a full zip front and stretch ribbed white striped collar sleeve and waist cuffs. The front pockets are leather lined with purple satin interior reminiscent of the interior of Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers jackets. “Koufax’s #32” is sewn on to the left sleeve just above the cuff. The underscored Dodgers script front adorns the chest in white tackle twill. There are no labels, leading one to deduce that the jacket was probably made by Goodman or Tiernan, suppliers who were known to custom fit players and not include labels on occasion. Overall, an absolutely beautiful sideline jacket with a numeric sleeve identifier.
For the purpose of reference and comparison, the physical characteristics of this jacket that lend themselves to external observation and comparison are:
Closure Style (Buttons, Snaps, Zipper)
Sleeve Numeral (By font and placement)
Lettering (Font style and or presence of)
Color of the Lining
Pocket Construction (By style and color)
As a point of reference, the Dodgers of the late 1940s and early 1950s also wore a dugout jacket with leather gold sleeves and gold leather pocket trim. These can be found in Dodger video footage sighted in my references. The Dodgers from this period can also be found from the mid 1950s through the late 1960s with nylon windbreakers devoid of any external lettering.
Since no letter or information was provided from the 100% Authentic Team, I have listed the references I consulted so that my work can be checked and verified at a later date. I did not physically inspect this jacket. For use and reference, I have created visual plates showing this jacket and jackets for the Brooklyn/Los Angels Dodgers from general period in question. I have not shown every jacket photo I encountered, but offer these as a representative sample. These plates serve a duel purpose. They record my observations as a matter of record and offer a template for others to use later in evaluating similar items when offered.
In the course of my review of period images, I could find no photographic evidence supporting the use of this style of jacket by Sandy Koufax or any other Dodger team mate. AMI and the 100% Authentic Team formed an opinion different than mine based on something they saw that I did not see. I will gladly reconsider/reevaluate my work if an when provided with images that may have been used by the 100% Authentic team in the course of their evaluation and subsequent opinion that placed this jacket to the period of the early 1960s and attribution to Sandy Koufax. My photographic review does not permit me to attribute this jacket to use by Sandy Koufax.
Pre-Period In Question
PLATE 1: This is the 1952* Brooklyn Dodgers team photograph. While it is outside of the period and player in question, it does have value with respect to this effort. You will notice that the pockets of the jacket worn in the picture are trimmed in gray. This image is provided to show that this color can be distinguished in black and white photographs. However, the jacket in the 1952 team photo and this jacket are not the same style or offering given the differences in the font style of Dodgers.
PLATE 2: This is an image of Koufax on October 1955. Although the font style of the numeral 2 is the same, the jacket Koufax is wearing has no color-ribbed waste band and is does not feature a white lining.
PLATE 3: Image from 1956. Lining of the jacket and font style is not the same.
Period In Question Per 100% Authentic Opinion: Early 1960s
PLATE 4: 1960 and 1961. Font style is not the same.
PLATE 5: 1962. Font style is not the same.
PLATE 6: 1963. Numeric font style is not the same.
Post Period in Question
PLATE 7: 1964. Font style is not the same.
PLATE 8: 1965. Pocket style on script style DODGERS jacket not the same. Additional style of jacket that is not the same as this one.
PLATE 9: 1966. Font style is not the same.
IMAGE RREFERENCES CONSULTED
Corbis & Getty Images
Street and Smith Baseball Annuals: 1961-1967 (These would contain images from the 1960-1966 seasons).
-A Team for All Time: The Dodgers; The Team of Champions (video)
-Major League Baseball All Century Team (video)
Ken Burns Baseball (Innings 7 and 8)
Dodger and Koufax Specific References:
-Team Yearbooks for 1955-1958
-Dodger Team Photographs 1951, 52*, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 63, 65
-The Dodgers: Memories and Memorabilia from Brooklyn to LA by Chadwick & Spindel
-Dodgers: The First 100 Years by Stanley and Cohen
-New York City Baseball: The Last Golden Age 1947-1957 by Fromer
-Brooklyn’s Best: Memories for the Flatbush Faithful by Holmes
-The Dodgers by Durant
-Summer in the City: New York Baseball 1947-1957 by Ziegel
-Baseball’s Great Dynasties: The Dodgers by Bjarkman
-The Dodger’s Encyclopedia by McNiel
-Sandy Koufax by Grabowski
-Great No-Hit Games of the Major Leagues by Graham (Koufax Chapter 10)
-Great Baseball Pitchers by Brosnan (Koufax Chapter 11)
-The Sporting News Selects Baseball’s Greatest Players (Koufax Chapter 26)
-Greatest Moments in Baseball by Zoss (Koufax Perfect Game, page 62)
-100 Greatest Pitchers by Kelly (Koufax, page 51)
-Pitchers of Perfection: The Cy Young Award Winners by Marino (Koufax pages 20-25)
-Baseball Legends by Garber (Koufax pages 41-43)
-The All Century Team by MLB (Koufax pages 186-189)
-Great Moments in Baseball by Beekman House (Koufax, pages 122-123)
-Baseball Legends of All time by Publications Int LTD (Koufax pages 134-135)
-Baseball’s Hall of Fame: Cooperstown; Where the Legends Live by Cresent Books (Koufax pages 164-165)
-The Era: 1947-1957. When the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers Ruled the World by Kahn
-Brooklyn’s Dodgers: The Bums, The Borough, and the Best of Baseball by Prince
-The Encyclopedia of Baseball Managers by Aylesworth, Minks & Bowman (Dodgers managers pages 50-58)
-The Best of Baseball by Publications Int LTD (Koufax page 37)
-Players of Cooperstown: Baseball¡¦s Hall of Fame by Publications Int LTD (Koufax pages 248-249)
*NOTE: The above references were reviewed in their entirety as they contain both teammates of Koufax and contemporary images where he and his teammates may have been pictured. Specific Koufax pages listed only to highlight the focus for this work.
-100 Years of the World Series by Enders
-The World Series by Sports Illustrated
-The World Series: An Illustrated Encyclopedia by Leventhal
-The World Series: An Opinionated Chronicle 100 Years by Wallace
-The History of the World Series by Schoor
-The Midsummer Classic by Vincent, Spatz, & Smith
-The All Star Game: A pictorial History 1933 to Present by Honig
General Baseball Reference
-Star Pitchers of the Major Leagues by Libby (Don Drysdale)
-Baseball’s Greatest Pennant Races by Reidenbaugh
-The Illustrated History of Baseball by Smith
-Baseball in America by Smith
-Sporting News Chronicle of Baseball by Smith
-Baseball: 100 Years of the Modern Era 1901-2000 by the Sporting News
-The Sporting News: Baseball¡¦s 25 Greatest Teams by Reidenbaugh
-Treasury of Baseball: A Celebration of America’s Pastime by Publications Int LTD.
-Illustrated History of Baseball by Chadwick
-Baseball: The Illustrated History of America¡¦s Game by Honig
-The National League: An Illustrated History by Honig
-Baseball in the 50’s by Honig
-The Image of Their Greatness by Honig
-Baseball: An Illustrated History by Voight
-Baseball: More Than 150 Years by Publications Int LTD
-The Baseball Hall of Fane 50th Anniversary Book by Astor
-The Explosive Sixties by Mead
-The Hurlers by Kerrane
-October’s Game by Adomites
– 20th Century Baseball Chronicle by Random House
-Baseball: A Celebration by Buckley and Gigliotti
-Baseball by Burns
-The Baseball Chronicle by Publications Int LTD
-The Chronicle of Baseball by Mehno
-The History of Major League Baseball by Zoss & Bowman
-Baseball as America by National Geographic
-Hometown Heroes by Major League Baseball
-The Pictorial History of Baseball by Bowman & Zoss
-150 Years of Baseball by Publications Int LTD
-The Baseball Book by Sports Illustrated
-The Story of Baseball by Rosenburg
-The Ultimate Baseball Book by Okrent & Lewine
-The Game & The Glory by Prentice Hall Books
-The Golden Age of Baseball by Publications Int LTD
-The Golden Age of Baseball (1941-1964) by Gutman
-The National League: A History by Zoss & Bowman
– A Baseball Century: The First 100 Years of the National League by Rutledge Books
-Greats of the Game by Robinson and Jennison
– Mays, Mantle & Snider by Honig
-The Baseball Scrapbook by Bjarkman
-The Autobiography of Baseball by Wallace
-The Baseball Anthology: 125 Years by Wallace
MEARS Auth, LLC