Item examined: 1974 Oscar Robertson Milwaukee Bucks Road Game Worn Jersey
The following information was gathered via the MEARS Jersey Grading and Authentication Worksheet, copyright 2005-2008. Hologram #308234 was issued. Our methods included the physical examination of the jersey, recording detailed information via the worksheet, comparing the information to our database, preparing full scale (1:1 ratio) color prints for examination, photographing of actual jersey for use for imagery analysis, using a light table and magnified light source to determine originality and check for alterations, comparing fabric and lettering to a common player jersey from the same relative timeframe, and finally preparing the completed letter of opinion.
Jersey style was issued to be worn in the 1973-74 season, Oscar Robertson’s final NBA season and verified via Getty Images. Due to the dating of the Sand Knit tag (examples introduced during 1974), this jersey was issued as a road pull over mesh jersey to be worn during the end of the regular season and possibly the 1974 Playoffs/Finals. With the NBA season overlapping two calendar years (end of 1973, beginning of 1974), the 1974-style tag is consistent with a jersey being issued for the early 1974 portion of the season. The 1974 season spanned from January to May. Therefore, the style and design of the Sand Knit tag was most consistent with a jersey that would have been supplied to the Bucks for the 2nd half of the season or was issued as a new jersey to be worn during the playoffs and NBA finals. The Medalist-Sandknit company of Berlin, WI, a local supplier of team apparel, manufactured the jersey. The jersey in uniquely designed with 3 different and distinct tagging. The tags are:
1. Milwaukee Sporting Goods Sand Knit distributor tag
2. Designed & Tailored Exclusively for the Milwaukee Bucks tag
3. Sand Knit size 42 tag
The tagging arrangement is consistent with the 1972-73 Bucks road #19 jersey examined by MEARS, meaning three tags (distributor, exclusive, size) were applied in a vertical fashion. This jersey was dated by the early version of the Sand Knit tag.
All three tags are required for this jersey to be an authentic 1973-74 example. The dating of the tag can be determined by the bottom Sand-Knit size 42 tag. During the 1974 season, the first examples of Sand Knit tags can found with the medal symbol being found on the bottom middle of the tag. Previous examples found the tag on the upper right edge. This design practice continued through 1976. Based on the playing career of Oscar Robertson, (ended 1974), the style, and the Sand Knit tag (introduced in 1974), this jersey can be attributed to the final half of the season of Oscar Robertson’s career.
The jersey is size 42, appropriate for Oscar Robertson’s 6’5” frame. The chest measurement of 19 inches and torso measurement of 31 inches is also correct sizing for the Big O. Regarding the size, the jersey compares quite favorably to another Sand Knit jersey of a Hall of Famer of comparable size.
Per our evaluation, MEARS #305084, 1975-76 Pete Maravich New Orleans Jazz Sand Knit Road Jersey, the physical dimensions of both the player and the jersey compared quite favorably to the examined Oscar Robertson. Both were supplied by Medalist/Sand Knit, which allowed us to track the consistency of the body shell materials and the chest/torso cut and sizing. Also, both players were of similar physical stature.
6’5”, 205 pounds
1974 Oscar Robertson Jersey Measurements
Tag Size: 42
6’5”, 197 pounds
1975 Pete Maravich Jersey Measurements
Chest: 20 ½ inch
Torso: 30 ½ inch
Tag Size: 42 inch
Therefore by comparison, both Sand Knit supplied jerseys were tagged size 42 and measured via the chest and torso to within ½ “ of each other. Both players were 6’5”; therefore, the size of 42 is consistent for their size for a 1974/75 Sand Knit supplied jersey.
The team name (MILWAUKEE), numbering (1), and lettering (ROBERTSON), are manufactured from a unique red on white painted vinyl. Again, this is consistent with the common 1972-73 Bucks road #19 jersey examined by MEARS.
ROBERTSON is manufactured from traditional double serifed two color tackle twill, red on white and is directly applied to the reverse in 2 ¾” lettering and sewn with a zig zag stitch. The front number 1 (3 5/8”) is serifed cut from the same two color vinyl materials as the MILWAUKEE team font. The reverse number 1 (7 7/8”) is serifed cut from the same two color vinyl material as the front numeral. The vinyl materials is consistent with the 1972-73 Bucks road #19 jersey examined by MEARS is similar in respect to texture, two tone color application, zig zag anchor stitching of the materials.
The style of the jersey could be verified as being worn during the period by examining Getty Images:#73634884, 75880628.
Inspection with both the magnified light source and table revealed this jersey is all original and exhibits solid moderate/heavy game wear. The lettering shows wear around the edges of the anchor stitching and the three rows of tagging shows signs of light/moderate puckering. There are no alterations or team repairs.
With this being Oscar Robertson’s final season, he helped lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a Central Division Championship. The Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Semi Finals. From there they beat the Chicago Bulls in 5 games for the Western Finals. With the victory, the Bucks played the Boston Celtics for the 1974 NBA Finals. The Celtics beat the Bucks in a close 7 game series to end the career of Oscar Robertson. Based on the design of the jersey and the introduction of the 1974 style Sand Knit tag, this jersey was definitely issued to be worn during the 1973-74 season and possibly the 1974 playoffs and Finals, thus making this Oscar Robertson’s final NBA jersey.
Troy R. Kinunen