Many times, the work I do and the supporting research/evaluation results in a collector being disappointed and wondering what went wrong. Let me say upfront, in this case, I feel the collector in question made the buy of a lifetime. He purchased this jersey through a public auction. How this jersey was described, who offered it and what it sold for is available to anyone who wishes to look into it. The buyer was not armed with any “insider information,” but rather had feeling that what he was buying was something potentially far more valuable than how it was listed.
What this article and evaluation represents is an example of the importance of information and time spent researching an item. Suffice it to say, I feel the value of this particular jersey has been significantly enhanced by this effort and the process and methods employed. The only way we will know this for sure is if this jersey is resold in a similar public manner. Only then can we gauge a change in buyer interest and confidence based on the body of work accompanying this jersey as opposed to when it was first offered.
On a personal level, this was an extremely enjoyable and rewarding project and I thank the owner of this jersey for affording me the opportunity examine and research it.
As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions and comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com.
SUBJECT: 1975 Carlton Fisk Boston Red Sox Post Season Home Jersey
For the purpose of evaluation and description, this jersey is referred to as a 1975 Carlton Fisk Boston Red Sox Post Season Home Jersey. After a detailed visual inspection and evaluation of this jersey using lighted magnification, a light table, a digital microscope, UV light and various references, I offer the following noted observations:
Size: The offered jersey is tagged as and measures at a size 44. The 1975 ALCS program (28) lists Fisk at 6’, 2”, 210 lbs.
Information on the Red Sox Team order sheets that have been made available to the collecting public by Lon Lewis indicates that size 44 was ordered for Fisk in 1975. As such, I consider this to be a correctly sized jersey for Carlton Fisk in 1975.
Manufacturer/Construction/Dating the Jersey: The jersey is manufactured by Stall & Dean and provided through the McAuliffe Uniform Corporation of Brockton, MA. Period Stall & Dean catalogs will confirm this (PLATE I). The jersey is a pullover style with set-in sleeves. This is also appropriate and something else confirmed by period images. The manner of tagging (Year, Size, Manufacturer, and Laundry Instructions) is also period and team appropriate. The McAuliffe tag is trimmed in blue, this too is period correct. All of this is sewn into the outer front center of the tail.
The lettering and numbering, done in red over navy blue tackle twill is also period correct with respect to cut, font styles and manner of appliqué. There is no name on the back and this too is period correct. This jersey is without the Massachusetts Bicentennial patch and there are no signs that this patch was ever applied to this jersey.
The Boston Red Sox home jerseys featured this patch during the regular season. Images from the Red Sox edition of the 1975 ALCS program will confirm this. Images from this program and elsewhere also indicate that these jerseys may have had a portion of the manufacturers tagging sewn into the rear of the collar (PLATES II -IV).
Images of Fisk not contained in the 1975 ALCS program from the regular reason confirm the presence of the patch in the regular season as well (PLATES V & VI).
Film footage of the 1975 ALCS vs the Oakland A’s shows that the Red Sox did not wear the Bicentennial patch during that series, with Games 1 and 2 played at Fenway Park (4-5 October 1975). (PLATE VII). Film footage and still images will also confirm that no patch was worn by the Red Sox during the World Series in 1975.
This patch was worn by the Boston Red Sox during spring training 1976 (PLATE VIII). The reference shown on PLATE VIII will also show jerseys without this patch in spring training.
Images of Fisk, in particular the uniform he was wearing on October 21st 1975 (Game 6 1975 World Series) show no Bicentennial patch nor signs that any of the manufacturers tagging was sewn into the rear collar area of his jersey (PLATES IX & XI).
Use/Wear: The jersey shows signs of moderate wear to the fabric body and the numerals/lettering. All coloring is still bright and vibrant on the lettering, numerals, and collar trim. All anchor stitching remains strong. The jersey is soiled and stained in areas, but this is not excessive and is more localized to the front of the jersey. The most notable stain is one is in the area of the waist line and is some 13.5cm by 2cmm.
Provenance/History: The jersey is sourced from a gentleman named Robert Livingston, former Athletic Director at Proctor Academy in New Hampshire by way of Hunts auction in November of 2009 as Lot # 324. Mr. Livingston’s letter states Fisk spoke an Academy banquet in November of 1975. Mr. Livingston made a subsequent visit to the Red Sox Spring training facility in 1976. It was at this time the jersey was gifted to his son. Internet searches for Robert Livingston Proctor Academy seem to add credence to this. As of June 2007, The Proctor Academy was still awarding the Robert J. Livingston Community Service Award.
(https://www.proctoracademy.org/ftpimages/3/misc/misc_46396.pdf) As such, I would consider this provenance reasonable and verifiable.
The jersey features a blue autograph on the left rear shoulder “Carlton Fisk.” At the time of my evaluation, there was no additional writing, markings, or inscriptions on this jersey.
Evaluation Findings: Based on my physical examination of this jersey and supporting data, it is my opinion that this jersey posses all of the characteristics you would expect to find in a 1975 Boston Red Sox home jersey supplied by McAuliffe for use and wear by Carlton Fisk during the post season. The presence of the Bicentennial patch on regular season jerseys as well as their presence in Spring Training 1976 leads me to believe that jerseys without this patch may have been ordered for post season use/wear. I am not sure what purpose it would have made to remove the patches for the post season and then re-affix them for spring training and subsequent use.
This jersey, having never having this patch applied, fits the profile of a jersey ordered for post season play. In addition, the manufacturers tagging is located in the front tail and not the collar. Images of Fisk, in particular those from October 21st (Game 6) appear to fit this profile as well. This becomes a very important point when you consider what appears to be the location of the tagging in Fisk’s regular season home jerseys. It is at this point that PLATE IV deserves special mention.
This photograph show is the Red Sox equipment manager with a caption describing how these uniforms are being cleaned and prepared for the playoffs. These uniforms are clearly 1975 offerings based on the presence of the patch and the date of the photo. If these were the same uniforms worn in the 1975 World Series, then I would have expected to see outlines of the manufacturers tag stitching in close ups of this area as in PLATE X. The close up image of Fisk from the back in PLATE III shows us that when this is present, it is an observable physical characteristic. I did not see this with the World Series home uniforms for Fisk and am left to obviously conclude that uniforms pictured with the tags in the collar are not same ones worn as those that do not appear to have the tags sewn in this manner. In simpler terms, they are different uniforms. This supports the premise that additional uniforms without a patch and with the tagging in tail may have in fact been ordered for the post season.
This premise was confirmed in an e-mail from Mr. Lon Lewis on 15 February, 2010 when he informed me, that according to Stall & Dean records in his possession, “that the Sox had extra uniforms for the ’75 ALCS and subsequently the series. How many sets were ordered is unknown by me as the portion of the order sheet that shows how many were to be made had the words “cut off” when it was copied.”
While I could not find any observable physical characteristic placing this jersey on Fisk for any one particular game of the 1975 post season, I also found no observable physical characteristics excluding it from any home game either.
The use and wear are more than what you might expect for the 1975 post season, and subsequent spring training use and wear could account for the overall condition of the jersey today. This seams to be consistent with the provenance offered with this jersey. The fact that images from spring training 1976 show jerseys with and without patch seems to further substantiate the provenance as well.
All of this, in its totality, strongly suggests this jersey was ordered for and worn by Carlton Fisk during the 1975 post season, a time frame that included his historic home run during Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Subsequent use/wear in 1976 spring training is also equally likely.
For Pre-1987 jerseys, the MEARS grading metric begins at base grade of 10 with five (5) major categories for consideration when looking to codify deductions. I found this reason to deduct points for this offered jersey:
-0 Category I: Missing patch. No points were deducted as there are no signs the Bicentennial patch was ever applied and there is more than ample evidence to indicate the Bicentennial patch was not worn by the Red Sox in the 1975 post season.
-2 Category V: Staining/soiling.
As such the final grade for this jersey with MEARS hologram number 310926 is A 8.
MEARS Auth, LLC