"The best Montana jersey I've ever seen," says lead MEARS authenticator1987-89 Joe Montana Game Worn San Francisco 49'ers Jersey, MEARS A10. If you're looking for an endorsement, you won't find any better than the one offered by Troy Kinunen, lead authenticator for MEARS, the hobby's most trusted game used sports collectibles evaluation service. He's seen it all, and he's not one to sign his name to a perfect A10 rating lightly. In truth, the majority of Montana gamers that have surfaced within the collecting community are dubious at best, so one's ears should definitely perk up when that rare trifecta of strong wear, rock-solid provenance and Championship-era vintage manifests itself.
Few gridiron relics so instantly transport the viewer back to those 1980's NFL glory days as the presented red mesh gamer. Like the Heavyweight boxing division of the 1970's, it was an age when true giants ruled the sport--John Elway, Dan Marino and, of course, the mighty Joe Montana, who earned four Super Bowl rings during his Hall of Fame career, taking the game's MVP honors in all but one of them. This is the jersey style most closely associated with that period of dominance, and we stress that two of the three seasons in which this particular model could have seen action culminated with Joe Cool hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
Contrary to the vast majority of jerseys owned an operated by elite NFL quarterbacks, the presented specimen exhibits rock-solid wear with scattered face mask scuffs on the chest and sleeves, and a patched team repair on verso. The "Russell Athletic [size] 44" label at lower left front tail exhibits softness characteristic of sweaty wear and subsequent washing. A "100% Nylon" flap tag is affixed below. The understated design features screened identifiers, the since-retired number "16" applied to front, verso and triple-striped sleeves, and "Montana" standing in three-inch block on rear nameplate.
The garment derives from the personal collection of Joseph G. DiLorenzo, former CFO and Senior Vice President of the Boston Celtics, to whom the jersey is inscribed in very faded vintage marker on the rear numeral, "To Joe, All the best, Joe Montana." The provenance is further enhanced by a photocopy of the December 8, 1989 Federal Express mailing label from famed 49'ers equipment manager Bronco Hinek to DiLorenzo at his Boston Celtics office.
In 2010, a blue ribbon panel was convened to create a television program entitled, "The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players," for broadcast on the NFL network. After what was surely great consideration and debate, a final list was released. Top honors went to Mr. Montana's primary target, the masterful wide receiver Jerry Rice. Number two was Jim Brown, and number three Lawrence Taylor. Taking the number four position, the top-ranked quarterback in NFL history, was none other than Joe Montana. So if there was any room at all left on the Montana trophy shelf, that final accolade surely fit in quite nicely. LOA from MEARS, A10. FedEx airbill mentioned in text. Letter of provenance from Celtics executive Joseph DiLorenzo. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph).
1987-89 Joe Montana Game Worn San Francisco 49'ers Jersey, MEARS A10.
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