PROFESSIONAL LOOKING< BUT NOT GAME ISSUED
This space has covered the 1989-90 Score Board MLB jerseys as 1991-92 NBA Commemorative Collection jerseys. Of course, other nice-looking items have also been made with no use or contact with the player they are identified with. Three examples are to follow:
Anaconda-Kaye Bats: Before taking their current identity as Anaconda Sports, A-K, about 20 years ago, issued game quality, pro-marked bats of numerous superstars in conjunction with Louisville Slugger. The A-K versions were, of course, not used, and also carried a horizontal underline beneath the 125 designation in the centerbrand. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop some unsavory types from creating their own “game wear” and finding a container of wood filler to obscure that troublesome underline.
Eric Kramer Bears jerseys: Many of the unused, pro-cut NFL jerseys of the last 10 to 12 years could have originated in the way that a number of unused Bears road Eric Kramer shirts from the team’s Nike years did. Several were out for sale at a Bears Convention in the late 1990’s, and still individually bagged from the supplier. A worker explained that the group of Kramer threads (over a half-dozen) were made for charity auctions and for Kramer to give out to friends and other folks who asked him for a jersey.
Frank Thomas 1994: Although Thomas did sometimes wear Wilson jerseys with the White Sox, and could have conceivably worn a handful of these, the Sox mass-produced Thomas’ 1994 road shirts for auctions, with a number of them sneaking out the back door. These versions are identifiable by the small Wilson tag in lieu of the larger Prestige Teams tag, and a stitched “94” box tag. as opposed tho the normal NIT/year/set strip tag.
Also ordered in numbers for the same reasons: Thomas first baseman’s mitts, apparently with a smaller embroidered name than the actual game-issued counterparts. Several of these invaded the market as “game-used”, although the “use” came from people convicted in the 1990s Operation Foul Ball scam playing catch with each other in the park.
I have one other, somewhat older example to share as soon as I get a chance to research the details.
SCRAP IRON REMEMBERED
I was asked by a collector off-site about a 1974 Braves gamer that bore a black armband on the left sleeve. He couldn’t recall anyone from Atlanta passing away at that point, so he tossed the ball to me. Thankfully, I was able to shoot a 3-pointer with it.
The Richmond Braves, the longtime Class AAA farm club of Atlanta, wore various older Braves MLB gamers sent to them for recycling in 1975. That’s where the band was added…Richmond manager Clint Courtney, the feisty, bespectacled 1950’s catcher, died of a heart attack on a mid-season road trip to Rochester, with the addition of the black armband resulting.
While World Series special issue game baseballs were made as far back at 1978, and All-Star game balls followed several years later, special issue game baseballs for regular season events didn’t appear until 1991. To coincide with the opening of the new Comiskey Park (now known as U.S. Cellular Field), a White Sox front office staffer and a local Sox Fan businessman suggested a commemorative baseball celebrating the new stadium’s opening. The team adopted the idea, and the ball was used in all 81 home games, and also mixed into the batting practice stash, as well. Others have followed, but this was the first.
Skip Caray, longtime announcer for the Atlanta Braves, died last Sunday at age 68. Caray’s health had been fading for several months, and he was limited to broadcasting only home games for the time he worked in 2008. He also broadcasted basketball in the past, calling Hawks games in both St. Louis and Atlanta.
Also, Karl Kuehl died Wednesday at age 70 of pulmonary fibrosis. he managed the Montreal Expos for most of the 1976 season, and subsequently served on the Minnesota Twins coaching staff for 6 years.
CUBS CONTINUE TO DOMINATE…PLAN TO WATCH A LOT OF CUBS GAMES IN OCTOBER!