The big reasons I don’t write about modern jerseys includes the fact that I don’t collect them and very seldom offer opinions on them. The first reason is a matter of preference, and the second is a matter of practicality from a MEARS business perspective.
With all that being said, I would like to offer this article in response to this e-mail:
I enjoy reading your articles about the older jerseys on MEARS but this is not much help to me because I don’t collect older jerseys. Could you do an article about collecting newer jerseys because I think it would be a good idea to help newer collectors out.”
I’ll take a shot at this and the focus is on looking at a modern jersey with respect to seeing and understanding things like size, spacing and spatial alignment. These are all aspects of imagery analysis. Often collectors will comment on how something looks too big, too small or out of place without any sort of objective metrics or reference. What I am going to show you can be done if you have a computer and that computer has basic software such as Microsoft Office Picture Manager and PowerPoint.
Say I was looking to buy this Derek Jeter World Baseball Classic and wanted to analyze the back of the jersey. Things I would be looking for are the crop and general size of name plate, proportionality of the lettering and number, and the spatial alignment of all of these things as a comprehensive picture. For collectors and the MEARS staff, this is imagery analysis in support of basic and fundamental style matching.
These are the steps I would follow:
1. Obtain clear images of what I was looking to compare. In this case the on-line auction provided the shot of the back of the jersey. A complimentary image from the time frame the jersey was worn was also found on line.
2. Save these images to your computer in a compatible file such as JPEGs. Plan to save all of this in a folder by some name that makes sense to you. If you get in the habit of doing this on a regular basis, over time you will have built your own data base of images and references to shape future purchases.
3. Open up a PowerPoint presentation and create a series of blank slides you can work with.
4. Using Microsoft Office Picture Manager, isolate and crop the images so that you are looking at the same defined area and size them accordingly. Cut or copy them to PowerPoint for a side by side comparison.
5. Here is where you may have to spend some extra cash. Go out and buy a small see-through ruler that you can use against your computer screen. If this costs $1.00, I’d be very surprised. Now pick one object common to both photos and size them so they are the same. It doesn’t matter what you pick as all you are trying to do is establish a relative and comparable scale. In this case I picked the numeral “2”.
6. Using the PowerPoint function that permits you to draw lines, establish lines that enable you to check alignment and spatial relationships. You will want to do this with at least three (3) common points of reference on at least two places on the jersey.
7. Make note of and analyze the area where these reference lines intersect.
In doing this, because you have ensured that at least one object is sized the same, you have established some objective basis to evaluate the others. In this case I used the corners of the name plate, a relatively common point on both the letter “T” in Jeter and a relatively common point on the WBC logo.
Based on what I can now objectively see and assess, I would say that it appears these jerseys share an appropriately similar:
1. Cut/crop/construction of the name plate.
2. Spatial alignment on the vertical axis.
3. Spatial alignment on the horizontal axis.
4. Proportional size of all objects in the image.
Would I rush out and buy this jersey based on this information alone? No I would not because at this point I still don’t anything about the front of the jersey, the size of the jersey, or any of the aspects associated with the tagging. This is an ever growing problem with new collectors who see on thing they like and then become sold on the item.
If you have the Microsoft Office programs or similar products you like to work with, the only thing you would have had to buy was see-through ruler. If purchasing the ruler seems cost prohibitive, you may want to reconsider your idea of purchasing a Jeter jersey. The thing that all of this will cost you is your time. As I have written about on numerous occasions, a willingness to invest your own time the right way is one of the best investments you can make, no matter what you collect. Take your time, be sure, and have fun evaluating your own purchases ahead of time.
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