WHAT IS IT, EXACTLY?
One item recently auctioned begs some questions, not so much of the “is it game-worn?” type as “what did the team get this for?” theme. A 1973 Red Sox road flannel of Bob Veale was recently auctioned with good and bad points. Among the good:
-Correct 1973-style McAuliffe tags
-Proper sizing (52…appropriate for the 6-6, 215 lb. ex-Pirate)
-Front and back letters and numbers consistent with early 1970’s Red Sox flannels
Unfortunately, one flaw tends to negate the plusses, that being that the Red Sox switched to knits in mid-1972, and kept them in ’73. Veale can be seen in a road pullover Bosox knit on his 1973 Topps card, which carries a late 1972 photo (the background reflects a major league stadium, not a spring training outpost.
I don’t fault the seller on this, as he doesn’t profess to be a jersey expert, and acquired a collection which he has been slowly putting up for bids. For other items, he has been quite meticulous in noting changes, restorations, and other cosmetic flaws on his items when they exist. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that there was some intended purpose for this piece. It wouldn’t be a salesman’s sample, as the Red Sox were not wearing flannels by then. Unfortunately, the exact purpose of a correctly sized, properly tagged flannel that is of the incorrect fabric is a mystery that may never be solved.
PATCH LOCATION VARIATIONS:
A thread on another site discussed the jersey Deion Sanders wore against the Bears in the 1994 NFC playoffs, unusual because the NFL 75th Anniversary patch was absent from the Neon One’s gamer (something I recall from watching the game on TV at the time. It bears mention that logo and commemorative patches can, on occasion, appear on different sleeves in the same season.
The Oakland A’s, for example, had a Liberty Bell-motif Bi-Centennial patch on their pullover knits, normally situated on the left sleeve. Check photos from cards, Getty, etc. of Vida Blue, however, and you’ll see Vida wearing the bell on the right sleeve, not the left.
Also occasionally placed on the unusual right sleeve, rather than the standard left sleeve, is the 1975-76 Massachusetts BiCentennial patch. The 1977 Topps card of hurler Tom House shows the future pitching guru in spring training (presumably ’76) with the red, round 200-year patch on the right. Even with logo patches, this may happen on rare occasions.The 1962 Cubs added the “cute” bear head to the sleeve, again the left. A few players, however, wore the Cub head on the right (see 1963 Topps card of Bob Will).
The 1997-2002 Cubs BP jerseys, which were the first for any team to exhibit the National League logo, normally placed the NL emblem on the right. A few were made…and worn…with the NL logo on the left. I even currently own a c.2000 Cubs BP of Glenallen Hill in which the patch was on the left, but was removed and added to the right.
Are there others we can document? If you know of them, and can supply a photo, send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in a future Shirt.
John Grimsley, a LB who spent 7 years with the Houston Oilers, followed by three with Miami, died from an accident while cleaning his gun earlier this week. He was 45. Grimsley earned one All-Pro selection, and was part of the AFC squad in the 1988 Pro Bowl. An old Russell powder blue Oilers gamer would be the best of what may be out there in regards to his game-worn items.
Also, the Kansas State basketball team is wearing a VS memoriam patch (black, round, white letters) in hnor of player Clent Stewart’s mother, Vanessa, who died this past Tuesday of bone cancer.
Wilson did not use ProLine tags in team-issued, game-worn 1990s NFL jerseys…a fact savvy collectors know, but which several eBay sellers either don’t know or don’t care about. Caveat Emptor…let the buyer beware.