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MEARS recently had the opportunity to authenticate a Don Drysdale game worn road jersey from his 1969 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Please read the findings from MEARS Auth, LLC’s evaluation below.
MEARS Auth, LLC’s Comments and Working Notes for:
1969 Don Drysdale Los Angeles Dodgers Road Jersey
Size: The jersey is tagged as a size 46 and this is the true size of the jersey and as compared to period on hand Rawlings products in sizes 44, 46, and 48. While not annotated as such, the torso of the jersey appears to have approximately 3” of extra length in the tail as it is actually longer than the size 48, 1968 Dodgers Road jersey (Rawlings) on hand exemplar. All of this, to include the extra length is consistent with period Rawlings and Goodman & Sons that were tagged as 46 (L) for extra length or long. As such, I would consider this to be an appropriate sized garment for Don Drysdale at this point in his career. (PLATE I)
Manufacturers Tagging: The jersey features a c1963-1971 Rawlings as well as supplemental tagging to denote player and year of issuance. Additional tagging is present for year/set as well as laundry instructions. All of this tagging is assessed as being original to the garment and is consistent with data base tagging exemplars for 1969 Los Angeles Dodgers road uniforms manufactured by Rawlings. As such I would consider this be a properly tagged jersey by year, team, and manufacturer. (PLATE II)
Construction/Style: The jersey is constructed of a lighter weight (4 1?2 oz) Pearl Grey wool flannel blend and is consistent by quality and weave as other period Rawlings products in my exemplar library. The jersey features Raglan sleeves cut to a 4” or mid-bicep cut, both of which are appropriate as confirmed by period images. Alpha-numeric font styles as well as placement and general alignment is also assessed as being appropriate and this too is confirmed by period images. Manner of applique of the lettering and numbering is with a straight, or “in-line” stitch.” This too is appropriate for the Dodgers as confirmed by period images as well. There is no name on the back of the jersey, nor should there be. The garment features a period MLB 100th Anniversary patch on the left should shoulder and this is appropriate given the tagged year of issuance. (PLATES III-V)
Use/Wear: The jersey shows signs of moderate to heavy use and wear for a pitcher. This is true of the body in general as well as the surface condition of the felt lettering and numbering. When the felt lettering is looked at on a light table (numerals and lettering), I saw signs of light thinning to the fabrics in many areas or locations. My assessment is that the lettering and numbering is original to the garment at the time of manufacturer. This assessment is also supported by the condition of the backside of the athletic felt. Since the lettering and numbering were affixed with an in-line stitch, you can see that the backing of the athletic felt displays cracking and toning associated with fabric of this period. All stitches both for the body of the garment as well as those used to affix the felt lettering and numbering remain intact and unbroken in any areas. The MLB 100th Anniversary patch is assessed as being both a period original offering as well as being original to the garment. The jersey is free of any appreciable signs of soiling or staining that are visible in natural light. Under UV lighting, light spot soiling is evident. Given condition of the jersey and player as well as position and year of issuance, use and wear could be described as optimal. The jersey does feature an autograph on the right front shoulder area. I offer no opinion on the autograph, but only note its presence at the time of my evaluation. (PLATES VI-VII)
Opinion: In my opinion this jersey possesses all the characteristics you would expect to see in a jersey supplied by Rawlings in 1969 for road use and wear by Don Drysdale. The jersey compares favorably with period images and period Rawlings fabrics. All lettering, numbering, and tagging is assessed as being original to the garment and free of any signs of contrived application or use and or wear.
The MEARS worksheet and grading criteria provides for 5 categories for which points may deducted, I found no reasons to deduct points.
As such, the final grade for this jersey bearing hologram #313943 is A10.
MEARS Auth, LLC
Enclosures: PLATES I-VII