This is not the article I had hoped I would be writing, but it needs to be written none the less. The jersey recently obtained for consignment from Mr. George Shuba is being returned with our regrets. Our regrets are not that MEARS Auctions has one less consignment, but rather, years back someone sold this jersey to Mr. Shuba’s son as he was looking for a special gift for his father. My hope is that in sharing this information, I am able to make a couple points.
1. As I have always said, provenance can not make any item into something it is not. At the end of the day, the item must be able to speak for itself and on its own merits.
2. MEARS looks at all items the same way, no matter what the source is. It is only fair to submitter and potential buyer.
3. To clarify why Dave Bushing picked it up in the first place. Dave is a consignment consultant for MEARS Auctions. He was not tasked to offer any opinion on the item nor was he expected to. In fact, after leaving the household on Friday, he called Troy and informed him he felt there were problems with the uniform. This prompted me to make the 4 ½ hour drive (one way) to pick the jersey up on Saturday. Dave Bushing does not offer opinions on the items he obtains for consignment nor on the items that he consigns to MEARS Auctions. I wanted to see the jersey as soon as possible so that it could be examined and returned if need be to the Shuba family as soon as possible.
Over the past couple of years, MEARS has sold items back to players and their family members who have been looking for relics from their playing days. We always feel very good about being able to do this. My hope is that collectors, former players, and family members are taking advantage of the articles and information we provide in order to make more informed purchase decisions.
Below is my evaluation of this jersey. I hope someone finds it useful besides those who produce these items and prey on the uninformed.
As always collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com
SUBJECT: 1955 George Shuba Brooklyn Dodgers home jersey.
For the purpose of evaluation and description, this offered jersey is referred to as a 1955 George Shuba Brooklyn Dodgers home jersey. After a detailed visual inspection and evaluation of this jersey using lighted magnification, a light table, UV light and references listed, I offer the following noted observations, some of which are problematic:
Jersey Size: The jersey is tagged as a size 42 with Wilson c 1954-1959 manufacturer’s tag. This is also the true measured size of the jersey. This is consistent with other period George Shuba Brooklyn Dodger’s flannel jerseys in the MEARS data base:
1952 Home, Rawlings, Size 42
Offered Jersey: 1955 Home, Size 42
1956 Home, Spalding, Size 44
Contemporary Sizing Information for George Shuba:
1952 Dodger Yearbook: 5’, 11 ½”, 180lbs
1955 Dodger Yearbook: 5’, 11 ½”, 180lbs
1956 Dodger Yearbook: 5’, 11 ½”, 180lbs
Tagging: The fabric of the Wilson manufacturers tag is not consistent with other professional grade Wilson products in my on hand exemplar collection. The laundry instructions are not correct for a Wilson product, rather this style of laundry tag is found in period Rawlings and Spalding products.
Construction/Style: This jersey is constructed with set-in sleeves. This is not consistent with other period Brooklyn Dodger Wilson home jerseys that feature Raglan sleeves. The white felt swatch in the collar, of which only the trace outlines remain, gives off a distinctive fluorescent glow when seen under UV lighting. This is often indicative of a fabric with man made fibers and is also inconsistent with period exemplars of similar Wilson products from the same period. In addition, it also appears the collar may have been opened up at some point in time to accommodate affixing the felt swatch or remnant. This same fluorescent phenomenon can also be seen in the thread used to anchor the “1955” swatch in the tail.
The fabrics used for both the “Dodgers” and the numeral “8” (both front and back) are not period fabrics as can be seen be the crisp clean non-aged backing to the felt. The cut and color of the blue felt fabric is also not consistent with what you would expect to see in a professional grade product.
Use/Wear: The jersey appears to have signs of contrived use and wear, most notably in the discoloration or soiling present throughout the majority of the jersey. This does not include the areas directly behind any of the affixed felt lettering or numbering. This leads me to believe that some dark liquid was applied to the exterior of the jersey, but because of the backing on the felt, it was not absorbed through the material to the body of the jersey. In addition, while the tagging and stitching associated with it is extremely worn, there is no similar stressing to any of the stitching in the rest of the jersey.
OPINION: Based on the aforementioned problematic observations, it is my opinion that this jersey can not be authenticated as a 1955 George Shuba Brooklyn Dodgers home jersey.