Tags have long been an essential part of the authentication process, but even legitimate tagging can throw a curve ball to hobbyists not expecting it. Following are five examples off odd or substandard tagging in pro sports jerseys that were used on fully legitimate game gear.
With the Mets taking their business to Majestic in 2003, a flag tag was used when tagging was used at all. Most carried standard set numbers (1,2,3) but a number of jerseys…both new arrivals and established players…can be found with a Set E notation (extra jersey). This, in and of itself, is not a disqualifier in authenticating a 2003 Mets piece.
In most cases, 1992-93 Russell jerseys of pro issuance will feature a nub tag underneath the Russell label declaring the jersey to be “100%” polyester”. There are even exceptions to this (two to be detailed later), but a fairly common anomaly is the Intera tag…a larger, vertical flag type tag declaring the jersey to be of the copyrighted fabric Russell tried out the first two seasons of their MLB contract. Rarely seen after 1993, but it can be tail or collar-placed in the ’92-’93 examples in which it was used.
With the notion of getting their name out in the public domain, the Rockies issued multiple sets of 1993 home and road gamers, many of which carried retail style tagging in the collar and tail. These jerseys were bulk purchased from the team by Ball Park Heroes, and the team supplied their standard LOA’s with each. A lot of these are out there, but, despite the retail tagging, they ARE good.
Tigers Special Olympics:
In either 1992 or 1993 (I can’t recall which), the Tigers, in conjunction with show promoter Jim Hawkins, wore a set of home jerseys for fundraising purposes for Oakland (Mich.) County Special Olympics. These, too, were mostly retail tagged like the Rockies pieces, without the tail strip tag common on 1992-93 Tigers gamers. What they DID have, though, besides LOAs, were black markered lettering on the Russell tag (again, can’t recall exactly what, although it WASN’T the JS…Jimmy Schmakel…notation that was used to identify jerseys legally released by the team). Again, odd…but GOOD, in this instance.
Going back to their days in Wilson flannels, the Cubs have long employed detailed collar tagging for their jerseys. Such was again the case in 1993, although over half of their order (based on viewing racks at Cubs team sales) omitted the year from the tag. A 1993 Sandberg (home or road) may well carry a collar tag of “23-44-2”, without entering the year of use. Some ’93 Cubs do carry the year ID in the tag, as well, although they are in the minority. This wasn’t just an oddity limited to stars, either, as many commons also carried this odd omission.
Next time, more tagging oddities from the NFL and NBA will be covered…see you then.