EIGHT QUESTIONS FOR WHICH I SEEK ANSWERS
1) With the National League passing a rule beginning in the 1979 season that required all team road jerseys (or third jerseys worn on the road) to feature NOBs, how were the 2005-06 Los Angeles Dodgers able to skirt this rule?
2) Instead of odd colored alternate uniforms, why don’t more NFL teams follow the lead of the Chargers, Bills and now, the Lions, and make Throwback uniforms the third style instead?
3) Who was the idiot at Score Board in 1989 who decided that the signed jerseys they sold needed to have pro-style taging in these retail items? Couldn’t they see (or maybe it’s “didn’t they care”) the ensuing problems these items would cause among game-used collectors? Even today, there are so-called authenticators who were active in the hobby 20 years ago and still can’t identify these!
3a) Same as above, but with the first round of NBA Commemorative Collection jerseys.
4) Why did the Montreal Expos order two sets of Wilson-made road jerseys and then decide to use Rawlings powder blues that were pretty much identical in style to the home whites?
5) What is it with the Chicago Cubs and blue alternate jerseys? They ordered blue mesh gamers from Russell for 1994 and never wore them, they hit up Russell for blue knits in 1997 and wore them only twice, and then ordered full runs of Majestic blue alternates for 2007, only to have team president John “I don’t have time to talk right now” McDonough decide at the last minute to not use them that season.
6) In the world of pro football in the 1970s, why did NFL uniforms made by Sand-Knit carry exclusive tags citing the specific team they were made for, while Sand-Knit WFL jerseys used such tags citing the league itself, and not the team?
7) Who can we trust to issue some sort of definitive reference work on pro and college game-worn football helmets? There are helmet experts out there, but the ones I am aware of only address individual questions, and haven’t provided a reference work…even regular Internet, SCD, or Beckett articles…on this branch of game-used collecting. It’s something that would be a definite blessing for gridiron game-worn collectors.
8) Why do some eBay sellers feel the need to denigrate other auction site dealers to try and gain business from buyers? I’m not talking about shady characters trying to deflect their own sins, either…I’m referring to people with excellent inventories and a strong reputation for having the real deal who have to throw language into their descriptions making it sound like they are the only bastion of legitimate items, and everything else on eBay is phony. A seller with the goods and the rep shouldn’t have to resort to this type of broad brush painting of his competitors to sell his own stuff…collectors are smarter than that.
IN YOUR FACE, PAC-10!
This coming Saturday’s USC-UCLA football game has an interesting sub-plot. UCLA is the host team this time around, and will be wearing their home powder blues. USC is supposed to wear white as the designated road team, but coach Pete Carroll has thumbed his nose at the Pac-10 and has insisted that the Trojans will also wear home jerseys (red/maroon, in this case). The only palpable penalty for Carroll’s “statement” is for USC to be penalized two timeouts in the game itself.
TEAM BUYS CAN BE IN ERROR, TOO
I’m not discussing authenticity in this segment. I’m talking about player identification of jerseys of the NNOB variety, which occasionally can be misrepresented through wishful thinking, sloppy research, or bad info from a team employee.
Case in point: an eBay lot recently featured what was advertised as a game-used Cleveland Indians BP jersey of Orel Hershiser. The jersey came from a bulk purchase made from the Tribe several years ago, and had Orel’s #55 on the back…however, it wasn’t worn by Orel. The jersey’s sizing (2XL) would be a tent on the 180-pound Hershiser’s frame. Second, and more telling, the Majestic logo on the sleeve was the one introduced in 2000. Hershiser left the Indians after 1997.
A scan of rosters from the correct time frame (2000-2002) shows than Cuban pitcher Danys Baez wore 55 in 2001-02, with his frame more in tune with the XXL sizing than Hershiser’s. Somebody won a fully legitimate Tribe BP top, but one not worn by who they thought it was.
At the recent Chicago Sun-Times show in this area, one seller carried an unusual item on his jersey rack. Kip Ingle of suburban Atlanta had several items he purchased directly from former players Dal Maxvill and Lee Thomas. Thomas was dealt with while the former Angel was the GM for the Phillies. Among Thomas’ contributions to the Ingle inventory was a home Phillies prototype of then-manager Nick Leyva, fully tagged, but with no pinstripes. It apparently was a rejected style that the Phils were offered for consideration in the 1988-89 offseason. He was asking $200 for it, with no takers, as far as I know.
Randy Gumpert, a pitcher for 5 American League teams between 1936 and 1952, died at age 90. His best remembered event for Yankees fans was yielding Mickey Mantle’s first career home run while a member of the White Sox. Three of Gumpert’s playing seasons came in Yankee pinstripes, as well.
Red Murff, the scout who discovered Nolan Ryan, died in Tyler, Texas in a nursing home. He was 87. Murff also pitched for the Milwaukee Braves in 1956-57.
Ted Rogers, the man who bought the Toronto Blue Jays and has owned them since 2000, passed away due to the effects of congestive heart failure, at age 75.
Finally, NHL star Pit Martin,a 4-time NHL All-Star and participant in 1,101 games over a 17 seasons, was killed when his snowmobile crashed through the surface of an ice-covered lake. He was 64. Martin played for the Red Wings, Bruins, Blackhawks and Canucks, and was part of the renowned MPH Line for Chicago, joining Jim Pappin and Dennis Hull in that trio. The MPH line was due to be honored later this winter before a Blackhawks game.
PLAXICO BURRESS…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, MAN?