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MEARS recently had the opportunity to authenticate a Willie Mays game worn road uniform from his 1967 season with the San Francisco Giants. Please read the findings from MEARS Auth, LLC’s evaluation below.

MEARS Auth, LLC’s Comments and Working Notes for:
1967 Willie Mays San Francisco Giants Road Jersey 

Size: The jersey is tagged as and measures as a size 42. This was confirmed through measurement across the chest as well as comparing it with period on hand Rawlings products in sizes 40, 42, and 44. The size is also appropriate and consistent with period sizing data I have assembled for Willie Mays. The annotated sizes for the accompanying pants (32-33 waist and 25” inseam) are also the true sizes as confirmed by physical measurement. This sizing of the pants is also consistent with a previously evaluated pair of 1969 Willie Mays home pants. As such I would consider this to be an appropriate sized uniform for Mays at this point in his career. (PLATE I) 

Manufacturers Tagging: The jersey and pants features a c 1963-1971 style Rawlings manufacturers tag. All supplemental tagging for player, year, and set are consistent with data base exemplars for 1967 Giant road uniforms provided by Rawlings. All tagging in both the jersey and pants is assessed as being original to the garments. Special attention was given to the supplemental tagging for player identification in the rear of the collar (Mays chain stitched to a felt swatch). Examination of the rear of the collar area with both UV lighting and digital microscope confirms that this tagging was not added post manufacturer. As such I would consider this to be an appropriately tagged uniform by team, year, and manufacturer and that all tagging is free of any signs of contrived application. (PLATE II) 

Construction/Style: The uniform is constructed of a professional grade Pearl Gray wool flannel blend fabric. The sleeves are set-in style and cut to a length of 3 3/4”. This style and length of sleeve is period appropriate for Mays as confirmed by contemporary images. All tagging and alpha-numeric font styles and placement is consistent with contemporary images as well. Of interest and significance to note is the construction/alteration of the pants. While not obvious from the exterior, when the pants are examined from the interior, you will see that have been customized to present a more narrow and custom tighter fit. This slight detail bodes very well for the uniform: 

An on line article by Marty Appel makes note that “Baseball players have worn the form fitting uniforms since Giants teammates Tito Fuentes and Willie Mays took their pants to a San Francisco tailor in the mid ‘60s and had them recut”. 

The Sporting News; Page 22, 9 September 1967. Both Tito Fuentes and Willie Mays are listed among the top ten players wearing the tightest pants. This same article lists both Mays and Mantle as the best dressed players. (PLATES III-IV) 

Use/Wear: The jersey shows signs moderate use and wear. Moderate wear is assessed to the cotton twill lettering and numbering as well as the anchor stitching throughout the body of the garment. All buttons are assessed as being original to the jersey and all remain firmly affixed. There is no damage or fraying to the soutache that adorns the collar and sleeve ends. The pants show commensurate use and wear, with the exception of a vintage repair to the right knee. Both the jersey and the pants are autographed. I offer no opinion on either autograph, but only note their presence at the time of my evaluation. All lettering and numbering is assessed as being original to the jersey as confirmed by examination on a light table. (PLATES V-VI) 

Opinion: In my opinion this jersey possesses all the characteristics you would expect to see in a uniform manufactured in 1967 by Rawlings for road use and wear by Willie Mays. Both jersey and pants are assessed as all original and compare favorably with period images. The only exception being the customization of the pants as mentioned above. 

The MEARS worksheet and grading criteria provides for 5 categories for which points may deducted, I found no reasons to deduct any points As such, the final grade for this jersey bearing hologram #313942 is A10. No separate grade is assigned to the pants as they are only deemed as being authentic. 

Enclosures: PLATES I-VI