Please be advised that if you are offered a 1976 Pete Rose Cincinnati Reds Road jersey by Mr. Greg Walker, the jersey WILL NOT come with a MEARS LOO or a grade of A10. On 9 December 2010, Mr. Walker provided images of his 1976 Pete Rose road jersey along with images of MEARS LOO with Cert #311143 for a collector’s consideration. Mr. Walker stated in that e-mail that “Here’s the coa and pics..Graded a perfect A10 by Mears. It’s a perfect beauty. Let me know what ya think. It used to hang the Cincinnati Reds Museum too before I bought it. Take care”.
Mr. Walker knows the LOO, worksheet and hang tag/hologram for this item are in my possession and have been for some time since he was the person who returned them to me by my direction. These items were returned because the MEARS opinion on this item has been rescinded. Mr. Walker is fully aware of this and the reasons behind it. The jersey was in fact evaluated by me and awarded a perfect grade of A10. After that evaluation, it was brought to my attention that there were very striking similarities in the tagging of this shirt and 1975 Pete Rose jersey also owned by Mr. Walker. These included location, manner of stitching, and location of thread pulls.
The 1976 jersey featured a period correct NL centennial patch. I would later learn that Mr. Walker had acquired a 1976 Reds common player home jersey with patch, but the jersey was later offered for sale with the patch missing. Those patches feature a thick red border, and once applied to a jersey, signs of pervious seam holes are almost impossible to detect. While the patch showed even wear and use compared to the rest of the jersey, the 1975 and 1976 Reds road jerseys are really the same and it is always possible I missed seeing a re-applied patch. I asked Mr. Walker if he still owned both jerseys and he replied that he did. As such, I informed Mr. Walker’s that I now had reason to believe the 1975 and 1976 jerseys were one in the same and asked him to provide photographic proof that they were in fact two separate jerseys. He then informed me the 1975 Rose was with his brother in Idaho and he did not want have the jerseys shipped. I then asked for a picture of the 1975 Rose jersey with a current dated newspaper. The 1975 road jersey featured an autograph in the neck, and unless it was removed, I should have expected to see it present along with no “2” drawn on the set tag. Mr. Walker declined as he felt he was under no obligation to prove what he owned or did not own. On principle, I think this was a position he was well within his right to assert. At no time was Mr. Walker ever asked to send the jerseys in or pay any fee associated with this.
Regardless, half of his evaluation fee was refunded for his time and inconvenience. I say half because during the evaluation process, I had made an error on the worksheet checking the wrong boxes for player number and patch sleeve location. This was sloppy and I was personally and professionally embarrassed. This refund was born by me personally and done well before I suspected problems with the evaluation. A subsequent corrected LOO was issued on the jersey.
The end result and one that was communicated to and understood by Mr. Walker is that the evaluation was going to be rescinded and that I would have to insist on the return of the documentation for this jersey. Mr. Walker was sent funds via pay pal to cover the cost of the return of the documentation. This is how I came into possession of the original LOO, the replacement LOO, the worksheet and the hang tag/hologram which I have on hand today.
While Mr. Walker is free to do whatever he wants with the items in his possession, he has no right to market them by stating, implying, or inferring they are supported by a MEARS LOO or opinion that he knows has been rescinded. You will not find this item or Cert # 311143 in the MEARS jersey census. If you search the LOO data base for Cert # 311143 you will find that all entries for this, other than the Cert # itself have been deleted. Mr. Walker is fully aware that this information was being deleted from the MEARS data base.
As part of Mr. Walker recently offering this jersey to a collector for $8,500 (10 December 2010), he was asked by the collector for a copy of the hologram because the cert# was not showing up in the MEARS data base. Mr. Walker quickly replied to this request that “xxxx xxxxxx (collectors name redacted for article) just got back to me and says none of his Rose gamers are for sale. I was just gonna sale and buy another one but not so sure now. I don’t want to be Roseless.Mears takes forever to load their coas on their site. I got a pair of Bill Russell shorts they did last May that still aren’t on there either. If I decide to sell I’ll let ya know.”
When the collector then informed Mr. Walker that he would notify MEARS that the cert # was not showing up in the data base, Mr. Walker responded with “mears knows..it just takes em awhile to load all their work..ill hold on to for now until i can find a good rose item…sorry .”
Each of you reading should form your own opinions as to Mr. Walker as you see fit and form your own opinions as well about the items in his collection. Please know that if you are considering this 1976 Pete Rose road jersey, it is not supported by a MEARS opinion or letter in any form or fashion. As Mr. Walker has communicated, he is under no obligation to prove the jerseys are not one in the same and MEARS has no definitive proof against this claim. My interest in Mr. Walker and this jersey is only to ensure that collectors are not led to believe that the 1976 Pete Rose road jersey is supported by a MEARS opinion and that Mr. Walker is fully aware of this and has been for some time.
This article also serves the purpose to remind collectors that if you are buying a MEARS evaluated product, you need to be sure what you are buying is what it represented to be. Be sure to ask for the LOO, worksheet and hologram. While Mr. Walker is correct in that it has taken a long time to get items into the data base, the absence of his 1976 Pete Rose road jersey in the data base has nothing to do with being prompt in posting. It’s not in there because it shouldn’t be.
As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect. For questions and comments on this article, please feel free to contact me at MEARS Auth, LLC1@aol.com.