HANK AARON KNITS
The legendary home run slugger only wore knit jerseys for five seasons (1972-74 Braves, 1975-76 Brewers). Multiple manufacturers and styles contributed to those five years, and, yes, there are forgeries to deal with as well. Here’s a rundown as to what to look for in Hammerin’ Hank’s double-knit attire.
1972: Sand-Knit produced both styles (home and road) that year. Jerseys had collar tagging with exclusive label, manufacturer’s tag, and a felt strip tag with name, year and set chain-stitched in. Jerseys are pullovers, with two buttons close together at the collar front.
1973: Wilson made the homes, Sand-Knit did the roads, as they were soon to lose their deal with the Braves…their grade of fabric used in the Braves shirts was inferior, given to shrinkage and staining. The roads had a round collar, while the homes had a V-neck. Wilson tagged these with a chain-stitched box tag denoting the year in the tail.
1974: Wilson made all Atlanta uniforms, all V-neck, all with collar strip tagging bearing year and size, and sometimes set numbers. Aaron had at least three sets that year, as a set 3 gamer exists somewhere in the hobby that I owned over a decade ago.
1975: Wilson made the home, V-neck Brewer pullovers, and Sand-Knit, now using better quality fabric, made the road powder blues. Homes had a tail strip tag with a chain stitched jersey number and year shown. Roads had the Exclusive and Sand-Knit tags, along with a strip tag with a screened on year, name, and size in a similar blue to the jersey itself. Around 1979, the road blues did go to a white strip tag, but any jerseys of Aaron with one are questionable, at best. Beware of McAuliffe 1975 homes, as they were never worn…team name and numeric font are noticeably different than those used by Wilson.
1976: Sand-Knit is the predominant supplier of both styles, although Wilson did supply some home unies, as well, including at least one Aaron. The Wilsons have a chain-stitched box tag in the collar noting the year, while the Sand-Knits of both types were tagged like the 1975s, with a white strip tag on the homes and a powder blue tag on the roads.
DIFFERENT TYPE OF MEMORIAM, PART 1
NFL teams have been eulogizing fallen teammates and organizational employees for years, mainly through patches (front and sleeve) and helmet decals. I just saw, however, a new version of tribute…a black armband, popular in baseball, but very unusual in football.
The team was the 1971 Detroit Lions, and the player was receiver Chuck Hughes, who collapsed and died on the field during a game against the Bears. The Lions wore a thick black armband on the left sleeve, sized similarly to and covering the blue center stripe on the sleeve. The Lions, at the time, used durene Sand-Knit gamers.
DIFFERENT TYPE OF MEMORIAM, PART 2
The Chicago White Sox are following the lead of the Bulls and Blackhawks in honoring the students killed on campus at Northern Illinois recently.
The Chisox will wear Northern Illinois caps for their spring training opener on February 27th against Colorado. After the game, the players will sign their caps and turn them over to NIU, with the university auctioing them off to benefit the February 14th Student Scholarship Fund. Fiev scholarships will be given out by the fund in memory of the five victims of the shooting.
FULL-SQUAD WORKOUTS! It’s gettin better every week!