While Score Board MLB jerseys and NBA Commemorative Collection shirts are the most obvious examples of jerseys carrying tagging that weren’t made for team use, they aren’t the only ones.

A recent eBay offering highlighted another example of this confusing genre. Back in the days (pre-1987) when there was no “official” MLB uniform supplier, and multiple companies outfitted the major league clubs, Wilson was the dominant name among MLB uniform suppliers. Most of Wilson’s issuances carried tagging that often was quite detailed in nature, such as that used by the Cubs, Yankees, and Phillies. However, a confusing (for some) run of tagged 1983 salesman’s samples have surfaced from time to time (such as in this eBay listing) that can be identified, if one knows what to look for.

Two such examples of these tagged samples were encountered by me over 20 years ago at, of all places, a suburban Chicago shopping mall. An on-site show (not a card show) was taking place in the mall halls, and two women at one booth were clad in, respectively, a Cubs home jersey and a Giants road jersey…BOTH with 1983 tail tagging that was of the standard nature of such tags on Wilson jerseys of the era. I asked about them, and, as it turns out, one of the two females had a friend who worked at Wilson (keep in mind, Wilson is based in the Chicago area), and was able to get them from him.

Since then, I have seen examples of this odd grouping on and off, at shows, on the Internet, and in other places where one may find pro quality jerseys. The examples I’ve seen cover most of the teams/styles Wilson made for MLB in 1983. In nearly all instances, however, three facets of these tagged salesman’s samples stand out:

1) On the TSSs (tagged salesman’s samples), the tagging is limited to just the embroidered “83′ box tag. Dual numbered strip tags, such as what is normally on the 1983 Giants jerseys such as what the mall vendor wore, are not present. Likewise, longer strip tags (such as the normal 4 number strip tag that is normal for Cubs 1983 knits of game-issued variety) aren’t there, as was the case with the home #15 jersey the other mall vendor sported. NIC tags (Phillies), year/set strip tags (Orioles), NIC/year/set strip tags (Yankees)…basically, anything that goes beyond just the year on the team’s garb is limited to just a year on the TSSs.

2) TSSs do not carry NOB’s, plated or otherwise. The Rose Phillies road piece in the eBay offering did not have the normal vertically arched NOB plate standard for 1983 Phillies pieces. The same held true for the mall vendor’s Giants shirt. Every TSS jersey of the 1983 Wilson variety that was of a style that used NOBs on MLB fields didn’t have them.

3) While standard logo patches are included on the ’83 Wilson TSSs, special patches are NOT. The Phillies pieces do not have the team 100th Anniversary patch. Braves TSSs will not feature the Georgia 250th Anniversary patch.

Bottom line…if you know what to look for on a 1983 Wilson jersey, including what “all tags intact” exactly comprises, and don’t get charged up by a simple embroidered 83 box tag when more tagging should exist, the 1983 Wilson TSSs shouldn’t cause too much of a headache.