New styles of jerseys entering the marketplace often results in collectors drastically overpaying for these items shortly after release. It’s sort of like the 1950’s mentality of “be the first kid on your block with…”, only it’s 50 years later, and it’s more like “be the first collector in your area…”

Three examples of once-expensive items that are now much less costly will be detailed here:

Braves Tomahawk Knits:

When the style appeared in 1987, collectors were drooling over this modern version of the old Boston/Milwaukee Braves Tomahawk flannels. The first large group appeared on the market in 1988, and the $200-$250 gamers were snapped up almost immediately and inflated to as much as $400 on the secondary market. One would have thought that was it for the style’s availability.

Of course, the style, now in it’s 22nd year, is all over the place, with pieces not certified by MLB or MEARS sometimes going for under $100…no doubt a few collectors had some financial losses.

Current Chicago White Sox:

In 1991, the official introduction of this style (although preview unies were worn at the very end of 1990) was met with much fanfare. The team store that existed at the time sold gamers of the home white, road grey, and black alternate designs originally for $200 apiece. Within a few months, however, the shop, wrongly convinced that a local collector was buying jerseys and reselling them at immense markups caused the store to mark all jerseys up to $500, and, until the guy threatened legal action, saw the shop employees bad-mouthing the wrongly accused “markup maven” to anyone asking about the dramatic price increase.

Of course, the team now has two sales per year (the next of which is at the Cell on May 17th), and commons straight from the source usually are in the $100 range. Makes it kinda rough for the collector-turned-authenticator (not me) who had to have one so badly that he willingly paid the team shop’s inflated price for an alternate Lance Johnson.

First year Colorado Rockies:

The home and road 1993 Rockies gamers were bought in bulk by Ball Park Heroes, with their prices ($250-$300) increasing to $400 in the secondary market. The alternate black jerseys, reportedly worn in only 5 games before manager Don Baylor had them retired, were fetching close to $1000 initially, as the story was that only two sets of black jerseys were made, and the owner kept one full set, with the ones that entered the hobby doing so through other channels.

These days, Rockies jerseys are so readily available that many sell for $100 or less, even with team LOAs, while the 1993’s being offered periodically transact for half or less than the 1993-94 levels. Another example of impatient collectors overpaying.

With new styles in all sports appearing every year, collectors would be wise to not buy one of the first few advertised, as, in nearly all cases, the prices, given time, will come down.


This past Wednesday and Thursday found newly made history on the North Side of The City That Works, and a major first from over 100 years ago on the South Side

On the 23rd, the Cubs, by defeating the Rockies 6-5 in 10 innings, became the second MLB team (after the Giants) to win 10,000 games in their history. And, despite the many losing seasons over the last 60 years, the Cubs are the only MLB team to never have an all-time record under .500.

The Cubs, starting on April 24th and continuing til the 28th, will be flying a 10,000 wins flag from the center field scoreboard. Once it’s taken down, the 2008 Cubs team will autograph it, and the flag will be auctioned on April 30 on, with proceeds going to Cubs Care, the team charity

Meanwhile, on April 24, 1901, the White Sox, known then as the White Stockings, played and won the first ever American League game, edging Cleveland 3-2. Four games involving all eight A.L. clubs were scheduled, but the Chisox-Cleveland clash was the only one to not get rained out.


It’s unusual to see a genuine game-used item misidentified in both year and team by both the auction house and its hired authenticator (not MEARS in this instance), but it’s happened.

A mid-level auction house advertises a “2005-06 Washington Nationals” Turn Back the Clock uniform with no player ID. Sad to say, the auction house and its “expert” erred on several accounts. To wit:

The Nationals have never worn TBTC uniforms. The outfit was a 2002 Texas Rangers road TBTC, patterned after a 1962 expansion Washington Senators flannel (the Rangers were originally the 1961 expansion Senators til their move to the Metroplex for the 1972 season).

Also, the uniform is from 2002, one of the three-year span that Rawlings (the manufacturer) at the beginning of the century that they were an official MLB uniform supplier, and as such could use their sleeve logo. They did not have such status in 2005-06, so the logo would not be present were it from then

Finally, a simple check of shows that #39 in 2002 was pitcher Jay Powell…no great challenge to find this information.

This information was forwarded to the auction house a week ago, and, as of this writing, has not been corrected. Apparently, the auction house and their hired authenticator aren’t making accuracy in advertising a priority.


Darrell Garretson, 31-year NBA referee and father of current NBA ref Pat Garretson, died earlier this week at age 76 after a downturn in health following surgery and subsequent illnesses.