I always enjoy hearing from readers, especially those who are good enough to identify themselves and share a story.

“Dear Dave,

I really enjoyed your article on the Ernie Banks bat. I grew up in Oswego, Illinois and the memories of going to Wrigley Field with my dad and brother Peter to see Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Billy Williams remain very special to me. Of the three, Billy Williams was my favorite. When we would play ball, I would always claim Billy Williams since I was left handed like him. I have seen a few of his coaching jerseys, but would really like to get one of his playing uniforms from when he was with the Cubs.
Could you tell me something to look for?


Alex Von Kannel”


“Dear Alex,

Thanks for the note. To begin with, the jersey you will be looking for should be a Wilson product in either a home or road. You will also likely to be looking for something in a size 40. These are only a couple of factors as there is only so much I can describe for a shirt you don’t have. I have written any number of articles on things to look for and how to go about evaluating a uniform for yourself. You may want to consider looking through them in the News Archive.

You may also want to begin looking through period images either on line or in print publications and study them in detail. In doing your own detailed research you are likely to be more comfortable with what you purchase, and as such, likely to enjoy the jersey all the more. I have enclosed some graphics that you may find helpful. Your questions are common ones, and as such, I plan to share your note and these images with our readers as it may be of benefit to them as well.

One again, thanks for the note and best of luck in your hunt for a Williams jersey.



The graphics I have provided with article highlight a couple of things I have touched on in the past, those being the value of print references and building and utilizing a data base. The picture of Williams in 1968 confirms that, at least for that year, wore a size 40 jersey. In looking at year specific references, you will see that in that in 1968, Williams was listed as being 6’, 1”, 175 lbs. This is a recorded height and weight that does not appear to have changed over a certain period of time. Since we have an actual known size for 1968, we can use that as a baseline metric to make inferences over time based on what we might see as changes in height and weight. In the case of Billy Williams, this appears to have remained relatively constant so we may expect to see the same thing reflected in uniform size. The data base of jerseys offered in the hobby or seen elsewhere also provides additional data for consideration.

My advice to anyone looking to buy a jersey, decide for yourself upfront “what right should look like” before you buy. If you have to or are interested in getting an outside opinion, make sure you are very comfortable with that person or organization’s knowledge base and methods/process for arriving at any opinion they offer.

In short:

Know what it is you want.

Know what it is you don’t want.

Know what right looks like.

Know what you don’t know.

Know where to go if you have questions.

Knowing this, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.


For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com