We got roughly 2 ½ feet of snow on Saturday. With college football taking a pre-bowl game hiatus, I decided to spend some time going through the World Series DVD collection I just picked up for my reference library. Fantastic source as it features film from 1943- 2008. I had been reading Lowell Reidenbaugh’s “ Baseball’s 25 Greatest Teams” and noticed he had listed the 1972-1974 Oakland A’s at #7 so I thought I’d give them a look. This article is for all you collectors who still think all the best information can be found simply by going to a web site or Getty or Corbis.
I think and hope you will find that the information and images I have provided show a much more complete picture of a colorful team during their high water mark. It also is designed to highlight the value of having a diverse reference library when it comes to identifying styles and variations. Things like this are critical to see and understand especially when dealing with teams of great prominence because there is an increased value associated with their jerseys from that time frame.
For ease in comparison, I have referenced the images located on the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Dressed to the Nines (DTTN) data base. While I feel this is a solid reference, in my opinion it should only be used as an initial point of departure when doing research.
For 1972, this data base shows three different styles, largely as function of color. What you have to consider for 1972, is the presence or absence of numbers as well.
PLATE I shows that the A’s white jerseys can be found with either numbers or not.
PLATE II shows that the A’s yellow jerseys can be found with either numbers or not.
PLATE III shows that the A’s green jerseys can be found with either numbers or not.
These three plates show the value of having period team photographs.
PLATE IV begins to show the value of having access to period film images.
PLATE V, from the 1972 World Series film, shows some interesting jerseys and underscores you’ll never know what is located in references like this unless you watch them.
So for 1972, there are at least six different styles to consider.
For 1973, the DTTN data base shows five different styles, largely as function of color. Numbers on the front of the jersey still come into play. An additional characteristic worth noting is the font style of the “A” itself. One version has a single serif and another features a second below the first.
PLATE VI shows that the A’s white jerseys can be found be found with both styles and these were both worn at the same time.
PLATE VII confirms this was not isolated to one player for the white jerseys.
PLATE VIII shows this same font variation within a single game as well for the green jerseys.
This means that you have to add two more styles brining the count up to at least seven.
For 1974, the DTTN data base shows four different styles, still largely as function of color. The additional characteristic still worth noting is the font style of the “A” itself. One version has a single serif and another features a second below the first.
PLATE IX shows the green jersey can be found with both styles of “A”.
PLATE X shows both of the variations on the green jersey being worn in a single game.
PLATE XI shows both of the variations on the green jersey being worn in a single game.
What is interesting to note is that Reggie Jackson can be found with each of these styles during the same World Series (Games 2 & 4).
Collector’s will often want to dismiss a variation as being no good based on the fact that “it’s not like mine” or because of a limited ability to confirm the variation. Relying solely on a comparison to other product or cursory research may cause you to pass on some tremendous bargains. As I have long espoused, decide what it is you want to collect and decide what right looks like before you spend money on jerseys. Invest some money on references and take the time to go through them. If you do, I think you will certainly enjoy what you collect and collect what you enjoy.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions and comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com