One looks for an unswerving standard when analyzing a jersey. NOB fonts should be identical, numbers the same, and patches with no differences. And, 95+% of the time, they’d be right. Still, there are occasional inconsistencies where two items with rock-solid sourcing can have slight, or even glaring differences. The shirt will analyze a few documented instances.

2006 Twins alternate
Just recently on eBay, two 2006 Minnesota Twins alternate jerseys were up for bid. One carried MLB authentication, while the other came from the Twins Pro Shop. The two were both common players, Shawn Wooten (eBay item 270169090778) and Terry Tiffee (270169091077).

Both were sold with provenance, and both (likely) would grade a MEARS A10 if we examined them. Yet, there was a glaring difference in the front numbers.

Wooten’s jersey featured red front digits with white trim. Conversely, Tiffee’s top had the exact opposite…white front numbers with red trim. Both legit, but likely one would be rejected by the “photo match” crowd based on this difference.

1992-93 CUBS

This variance isn’t as obvious as the Twins case, but, based on viewing jerseys for sale at mid-1990s Cubs Conventions, it bears mention.

In the vast majority of instances, the round Cubs crest on the front has a thick blue outer rim. Yet, I can recall seeing at least three commons on the racks, pitcher Bob Scanlan and 2 others, on which the blue rim was, in turn, bordered on the outside by a slightly raised, thin white rim. Not common, but it happened.


Post-1978 Cubs road jerseys commonly carried a vertically arched NOB, unless a slightly inaccurate NOB restoration brought an arched NOB into play.

Yet, there are legitimate, unrestored Cubs jerseys in this genre with arched NOBs from the get-go. When this happened, it was generally for players acquired in late spring training or during the season. The 1984 season provides several examples. Bob Dernier and Gary Matthews, both picked up from Philadelphia in a late March trade, spent at least part of the ’84 season with arched NOBs on their road blues. Ditto Rick Sutcliffe, after coming over in a summer swap with Cleveland. (Side note: Sutcliffe wore jerseys made for Fergie Jenkins (both size 48) before the HoFer was cut in late March.

NEXT TIME: Misspelled NOBs and fronts…yeah, they happen, too.