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1960 Jim Otto Game Worn Oakland Raiders Rookie Jersey, Inaugural AFL Season!...

2011 April Dallas Signature Sports Collectibles Auction #7032

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Auction Ended On: Apr 22, 2011
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions - Design District Annex
1518 Slocum Street
Dallas, TX

1960 Jim Otto Game Worn Oakland Raiders Rookie Jersey, Inaugural AFL Season! Though the Hall of Fame center is best remembered for the double-zeroes on his jersey, an odd number purportedly allowed by AFL brass due to the pun on his name (aught-oh), the more advanced AFL historian will recall that the University of Miami standout made his professional debut as number "50," digits worn only during that historic rookie season. And even the most casual fan knows that Otto's 1960 rookie season was likewise the debut of the American Football League and the Oakland Raiders franchise he would come to epitomize during fifteen seasons of faithful service. Inclusive of post-season play, Otto started 223 consecutive games over his decade and a half in the Bay area, second of all time for the center position.

The yellow detailing we encounter here has long since given way to silver in Raiders fashion, but it's interesting to note it was actually the Chicago Bears and Navy that inspired the presented look, as original coach Eddie Erdelatz had coached Navy and the Bears' rival San Francisco 49ers, and utilized Bears and Midshipmen manufacturer "King O'Shea" to produce Raiders uniforms. The company's tagging is located in lower left rear interior tail, denoting "Long, 48, King O'Shea." Number "50" is applied to chest, shoulders and verso in black and yellow tackle twill while a 1.75" block lettered "Jim Otto" is applied directly to the jersey body at upper shoulders.

Wear is very heavy, certainly due in significant degree to secondary practice use after that debut AFL season. Massive team repairs abound, and the black dye of the tackle twill has faded from sweat and multiple washings. But football players aren't supposed to be pretty, and neither are their jerseys. As a symbol of one of the game's most durable trench warriors, the look couldn't be more appropriate. Along with the Biletnikoff gamer likewise presented within this auction, the jersey was sourced from the Raiders' first equipment manager, and will be accompanied by his letter of provenance. This is the only known Otto rookie and, in fact, the only known surviving jersey from the Raiders' inaugural season. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Letter of provenance from Raiders equipment manager.

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