November 29, 2007

The following information was gathered via the MEARS Jersey Grading and Authentication worksheet, copyright 2005-07. Hologram #307533 was issued. Our methods of evaluation included the physical examination of the jersey, recording detailed information via the worksheet, comparing the information to our database, photographing of actual jersey for use for documentation, conducting imagery analysis, conducting trend analysis with respect to sizing and manufacturer, using both a light table and magnified light source to examine possible signs of originality and/or alterations, and finally preparing the completed letter of opinion. The final Letter of Opinion was uploaded to our website and the jersey was included in our jersey trade index report.

Item inspected: 1966 Jim Taylor Green Bay Packers Home jersey manufactured by Sand Knit

MEARS evaluator Troy R. Kinunen conducted the physical examination of the jersey and authored the final Letter of Opinion.

Jersey Physical Description

The player inspected is Jim Taylor, jersey issued (determined by tagging era) to 1966. The jersey was issued as a home version. The home issue is determined by the Kelly Green color found of the durene fabric. The Kelly Green was first used by the Packers during the 1960 season and remained the staple color to date. This color is in direct contrast to the Aqau Blue/Green issued pre 1961. The color is important as it helps support the 1966 dating.

The jersey was manufactured of high quality, professional grade dureene material supplied by the local Sand Knit manufacturing company of Berlin, WI. Sand Knit began supplying the Green Bay Packers with jerseys starting 1964 and continued to 1990. Previously they were supplied by the Red Fox Company. The style of the jersey was examined and compared favorably to 7 visual areas of distinction:

1. Crew Neck Pullover

2. Standard shoulder yoke construction

3. Proper sleeve length (full) & striping

4. Presence of elbow pad pockets

5. Square Tail

6. Proper shoulder, front, and back serifed numbering

7. Proper durene material

8. Proper Kelly Green color

All 8 of these features must be present for a circa 1966 game used Green Bay Packers Home jersey. Comparisons to the following photos allowed for a style match for each of the above features (see 1-8):

MEARS 1966 Fuzzy Thurston (#63) Action photo

MEARS 1966 Bart Starr (#15) throwing photo

MEARS 1967 #34 Wire Photo

MEARS 1966 Green Bay Packers Team Photo

The three jerseys and one photo allow MEARS to compare both the number 3 and 1 of the #31 to the numbers worn by the above players and the referenced 1966 team photo. The inspection of these jerseys allowed us to examine material and tagging and this circa 1966-67 Sand Knit manufactured jersey compared favorably. MEARS also compared the durene materials to other documented examples of authentic Green Bay Packers jerseys manufactured by Sand Knit. These included both Hall of Fame and common players. This was done in order to compare the durene fabric, cut and application of the numerals, and compare sleeve striping and length to actual examples.

Actual examples used for comparison were:

1968 Sand Knit Packers Home Doug Hart

1968 Sand Knit Packers Home Gale Gillingham

1963-65 Sand Knit Packers Home Bart Starr (color copy plates)

1969 Sand Knit Packers Road Willie Davis

1964-66 Sand Knit Packers Home Paul Hornung (MEARS #304033)

MEARS (#307533) 1966 Jim Taylor compared quite favorably to the 5 previously examined examples with respect to materials, numbering, sleeve length and striping, and overall characteristics. Also, the jersey was compared to the official 1966 Packers color team photo that featured the players in their home jersey. This image again allowed MEARS to confirm jersey construction (sleeve length & stripes, yoke, crew neck) and numeral characteristics. Besides being able to use the photo of Jim Taylor (from left: 7th player, top row), we are able to compare the numeral font of Taylor’s #31 to the following players to make comparisons of style and cut of numerals:

#81, #21, #43, #37, #63, #73, #83

Each of the above players wearing these numbers, each having Taylor’s 3 or 1 as part of their numbers, was viewable for comparison. The jerseys referenced in the photo compared quite favorable to the examined Jim Taylor jersey.

Tagging Era Examination (1966-67)

This jersey is manufactured by Sand Knit and is tagged on the outside lower tail. The tag has a white field with the large red “SAND” with black “KNIT, ATHLETIC SPORTSWEAR AND CLOTHING, SAND KNITTING MILLS CORP, BERLIN, WIS.” There is no size tag found on this version of the Sand Knit tag, which is a crucial element for dating this jersey to 1966-67. The previous version of this tag (1963-65) found the size included on the bottom line of the Sand Knit tag, not present on this version. Thus, with the style of the tag in conjunction with the lack of size printed, this tag can be attributed to the 1966-67 era. During 1968, the design of the tag again changed.


The size tag in the collar, 46 (box tag in collar), is applied with a single green thread. The numeric printing is sans serifs and consistent to both examined 1968 Packers home jerseys in the MEARS archives:

1968 Packers Home Doug Hart

1968 Packers Home Gale Gillingham

Although later issue, they are both Sand Knit supplied and the size tag is applied to all three examples in a consistent manner.

To verify the actual jersey size matches tagged size, MEARS measured the chest from armpit to arm pit. (standard measuring technique). The measured chest size is 23 inches across, which perfectly matches the size 46 tag. The torso measured at 33 ½ inches.


Jim Taylor was issued #31 while playing with the Green Bay Packers from 1958-66. Any number of sources including the 1966 Green Bay Packers Yearbook and media guide can verify this. The number is hand cut from heavy materials and sewn with a consistent and professional zig zag stitch pattern. This is consistent will all other examined examples. The size of the numbering, 9” front, 11” back, is consistent with the range of numbering for:

1968 Sand Knit Packers Home Doug Hart

1968 Sand Knit Packers Home Gale Gillingham

1963-65 Sand Knit Packers Home Bart Starr (color copy plates)

1969 Sand Knit Packers Road Willie Davis

1964-66 Sand Knit Packers Home Paul Hornung (MEARS #304033

Due to the hand cut nature of the numerals, there was a 1/8” to ¼” variance on all examined numerals, an acceptable and to be expected range caused by the hand cut. When examined on the light table, no signs of another number are present, thus establishing the numbers were original as issued.


MEARS attributes the dating of this jersey to 1966. This was determined by the fact of the style of the jersey, the manufacture and its style of tag, and Jim Taylor’s playing career, which ended in 1966. The intersection of all these facts allows for a 1966 year of issuance to be determined. As previously stated, the design of the Sand Knit tag allows us to date this version to 1966-67. The main feature is the absence of a size indicator. With MEARS determining the tag dating to 1966-67 and Jim Taylor’s last season with the Packers as being 1966, MEARS attributes this jersey to the 1966 season.

Tail Cut

Another feature of this jersey is the squaretail, which is hemmed with a reinforced seam. This is consistent with the other 5 examined Green Bay Packers jersey we examined.


The jersey is signed, “Good Luck, Jim Taylor” and the signature has been authenticated by JSA and PSA/DNA.


The jersey exhibits heavy game wear consistent with action associated with a fullback in the NFL. For the 1966 season, Jim Taylor played in 14 regular season games, ran the ball with 204 attempts (5th in league), gained 705 yards, and scored 4 TD’s. The overall wear of this jersey is consistent with a full season of wear. The heavy wear is consistent and distributed evenly throughout the body, chest, and shoulder areas of the jersey. With specific reference to game wear, use is manifested on the following areas:

*Right front there is evidence of a seam repair between yoke and upper jersey front

*Team repair on the right shoulder

*Team repair on right front area

*Two large team repairs on shoulder panel

*Large areas of contact remnants on right yoke

*Team repair on lower left yoke seam

*Team repair to left shoulder yoke

*Large areas of contact marks on left yoke

*3 large team repairs on reverse.

*Contact marks found in 3 large areas on reverse

*Front area exhibits heavy area of contact marks on both front numerals and surrounding areas

*16 vintage visible team repairs

After examining Green Bay Packers jerseys as both a collector and dealer for 20 years, it is my expert opinion that the wear is consistent with one full season of NFL game action. This point is mentioned because the Green Bay Packers were known for using their regular season jerseys in subsequent seasons as practice jerseys. This jersey is not consistent with jerseys worn during practice and is not evaluated as such. This was documented via the 1960s durene Packers Road jersey I personally purchased from the estate of Ray Nitschke. The jersey was in no condition for regular season use and it had been inventoried as Ray’s last practice jersey. It is also known the Packers donated their equipment to the Onieda Correctional Facility. This explains the scarcity of 1960s Packers jerseys. 1960s Packers jersey did not remain in condition to be used for several regular season use. Therefore in my expert opinion, this jersey is in the same condition as last used at the professional level.


Our physical examination of the jersey included inspection of the durene body shell, front, back and shoulder numbers, internal examination of stitching and repairs, originality of overall jersey features, evaluation of wear and team repairs, and comparison via the MEARS database of tagging, size measurements, and visual aspects of distinction. A magnified light source and table was used and there was no discovery of changes or alterations. MEARS is confident to evaluate this jerseys as a 1966 Jim Taylor Green Bay Packers Game Worn Home jersey. The heavy wear and team repairs, totaling 16, is consistent with regular/post season game wear. The jersey appears to be all original as last worn by Jim Taylor during the 1966 season.

Based on the intended use of the item, NFL football games, the team repairs and heavy wear help support the authenticity of this jersey. With support of photographs, tagging data, and comparable examples, we are able to award this jersey a perfect grade of MEARS A10.


Troy R. Kinunen

MEARS Authenticator

Additional Resources used for imagery analysis:

Complete History of the Green Bay Packers/Super Bowl Champions: Green Bay Packers DVD

MEARS Video Database

MEARS LOO Database

MEARS Jersey plate database

MEARS Tagging archives

1966 Green Bay Packers Yearbook

1967 Green Bay Packers Yearbook

1966 Green Bay Packers Official Media Guide

1967 Green Bay Packers Official Media Guide