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    Description

    Each garment photo matched to game action!

    1998 Barry Sanders Game Worn Detroit Lions Jersey & Pants, MEARS A10. He's immortalized in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and ranked by NFL Top 10 as the most elusive rusher in the League's history. In his decade of service to the Detroit Lions, Sanders averaged better than 1,500 yards per season, retiring just 1,457 short of Walter Payton's all-time rushing record at the close of the 1998 campaign. It was during that last NFL stand that Sanders suited up in the presented jersey and pants, each photo matched to gridiron action and sporting battle scars that remind us that his Italian sports car speed and agility came hand in hand with the thud of a Mack truck.

    The announcement of Sanders' retirement on July 27, 1999 came as a healthy shock to the football world, and devastated his legions of fans in the Motor City. While most NFL backs are worn down to a nub after ten seasons in the trenches, Sanders' 1998 numbers provided no indication of cracks in the armor, with 1,491 yards on 343 rushes for a solid 4.3 yards per carry average.

    The presented powder blue mesh jersey exhibits several games' wear from that last season on its battered surface, with dozens of hit marks and several team repairs centralized in the shoulder area where Sanders punished aspiring tacklers. Number "20" is applied to the chest in white and grey tackle twill, and a loose thread trailing from the bottom of the "2" perfectly matches a shot of Sanders baffling Bengals defenders at the Silverdome. Number "20" is repeated at each shoulder and on reverse, where "Sanders" is applied in three-inch block across rear nameplate. Interior collar is properly tagged "Reebok [size] 42." Secondary tagging at lower left front tail announces "Reebok NFL Pro Line Authentic 1998."

    The matching pants are year-tagging "96" at interior but perfectly match the August 9, 1999 cover of Sports Illustrated covering his retirement, and were likely used for multiple seasons. The wear is absolutely tremendous, with heavy fabric pilling, particularly in the crotch area where Sanders' massive thighs caused friction. A Frankenstein repair on lower right thigh perfectly lines up with the SI cover. Number "20" is written in marker at interior waistband, near "Reebok [size] 34 Short" labeling. With enormous game use and photo documentation, this is arguably the finest Sanders ensemble ever presented at auction. LOA from MEARS, A10. LOA from Heritage Auctions.







    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2014
    31st-1st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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