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    Description

    1973-74 Bubba Smith Game Worn Oakland Raiders Jersey, MEARS A10. A mountain of a man, Bubba Smith fit in comfortably with the renegade Raiders during the twilight of his career. Known to one generation as Moses Hightower in the Police Academy movie series, Smith was a silver screen natural when his NFL playing days were behind him. Worn by Smith during his three-year stint with the Raiders is this "Sand Knit [size] XX-Large" jersey. Graded a perfect MEARS A10 by the experts, the jersey has a few unique features to it. A notched V-neck, custom sleeve ends and crotch piece are all visible. Heavy use is showing with a number of red marks in the shoulders and at least two minor unrepaired tears. "B. Smith" is applied to a cheesecloth nameplate. Moderate wear and puckering are both captured on the two-color tackle twill identifiers. Applied to the end of the crotch piece are two manufacturer's labels: "Raiders Sand Knit" and size. LOA from MEARS, A10. Letter of provenance from Ian Kindler. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    The John Kindler Collection

    It has been twenty years since John Kindler left his family one of the most significant personal collections of game worn football jerseys ever assembled, and it took that long for the Kindlers to come to terms with the notion of parting with it. Kindler's son Ian is quick to report that the pursuit of the next gridiron garment was his father's greatest passion, his collection the thing that most succinctly defined this important pioneer of the hobby. Ian's fondest memories of his father involve their shared pursuit of the next addition to the collection. "He got into it first through UCLA equipment managers," Ian explained. "UCLA was his first love. Then it grew through those relationships, cold calling, and the fact that he somehow knew the sport would explode and very few were doing what he did. He focused on game used jerseys. Somehow he knew that would matter. UCLA, NFL, Heisman winners, and certain UCLA-related NBA was his focus."

    By the time of the elder Kindler's 1994 passing, his collection had swollen to over 250 jerseys, representing two decades of single-minded determination. In his earliest days of the hunt, just after his graduation from college, John Kindler was among the first game used jersey collectors in the country, reaching out to team sources who were often confused at the young man's request for a dirty, old shirt. But Kindler's charm won most targets over. "He was very social, personable. He'd reach out to equipment managers first, then assistant coaches, management, and even head coaches," his son reported.

    Though his collection may have had little value in its earliest days when few collected game used gear, today the Kindler Collection is estimated at over a half a million dollars. Highlights include collegiate jerseys from Heisman winners Barry Sanders, Tim Brown, Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker, and professional gamers from Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Bob Griese and more.

    Heritage Auctions is proud to represent this important collection, and to honor this essential early pioneer of the sports collectibles hobby. The earliest offerings from The John Kindler Collection appear in our July 2014 Platinum Night auction, and our November 2014 Signature auction will highlight dozens of important jerseys from this unique assembly. All will be accompanied by a letter of provenance from Ian Kindler.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2014
    6th-8th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,712

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    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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