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    Description

    Possibly Broadway Joe's last durene gamer!

    1970-73 Joe Namath Game Worn New York Jets Jersey, MEARS A10.

    UPDATE: Please note that letter of provenance from original owner is a photocopy.

    We'll never know for certain if Babe Ruth truly called his shot prior to his Game Three blast of the 1932 World Series, but there is no such controversy over the improbable prediction made by another legend of the Big Apple playing fields. Joe Namath's guarantee of a Super Bowl III victory for his underdog New York Jets became one of the greatest stories of the post-war gridiron when he delivered on that promise, a conquest that proved to be a crucial turning point for the man, the team, and the American Football League itself. Only the "Miracle on Ice" of the 1980 U.S. hockey team is remembered as a greater David and Goliath tale.

    The offered garment finds Namath as the most famous resident of the professional gridiron, a status conferred upon him by that heroic turn in Super Bowl III. Though the Jets would never again set their landing gear upon the sport's mountain top, Namath would remain one of the League's top quarterbacks, and one of the most popular and compelling figures in the entirety of American sports. This special brew of celebrity and skill--Namath ranked number ninety-six on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players in 1999--fuels a red-hot market for quality game used relics from his Hall of Fame career. Few could measure up to the offered representation.

    The physical attributes of the jersey itself account for part of our defense of that bold assertion, as the heavy green durene beauty is enhanced by custom-tailored hand-warmers for cold weather contests on the team's home turf at Shea. The style is otherwise delightfully familiar, with white tackle twill reporting Namath's dozen on front and back, those number "12" identifiers appearing in green on the white fabric of the sleeves. "Namath" is applied in two and a half inch (2.5") block on rear nameplate. Full crotch piece remains, a rarity for jerseys from an era when most were repurposed for training wear after the regular season and trimmed of this fabric. Dual "Sand-Knit" labeling appears here, referencing Jets exclusivity and "Size 46." Some form of stamped serial coding appears on opposing side of the crotch piece.

    The experts at MEARS assess game wear as "Heavy," the battered fabric recalling a time when quarterbacks were not the protected species they are today. The durene shows the indications of multiple washings, the numerals showing contact abrasions and puckered by the cycles of sweat infusion and subsequent cleaning. A distinct team repair appears at left ribs, about the size of a quarter coin.

    The jersey's survival in 100% original and unaltered condition is likely due to the team's transition to mesh, which informs our suggestion that this was very likely Namath's final durene gamer. An included letter from the first owner subsequent to Namath expands upon the provenance:

    "I obtained the jersey described above in 1996 while working for the athletic manufacturer, Riddell. They had recently purchased my prior employer, Raleigh Athletic Reconditioning Company, which had been responsible for applying the lettering & numbering on game used, professional model football jerseys. I found the Namath jersey in a box of old used jerseys that were slated to be thrown out. The jerseys had been sent to Raleigh two decade before as it was common practice for the teams to submit the prior season's uniforms as guidelines for the next season. I rescued the Namath jersey and it has been in my possession until its current offering."

    Four decades have passed since the fruitful partnership of Joe Namath and the New York Jets came to its conclusion, but Broadway Joe still lights up the team's all-time record book, most notably the career and single-game superlatives for both passing yardage and passing touchdowns. As a flawless example of the most attractive and desirable jersey style of the franchise's most celebrated figure, this is an offering of which few Jets collectors have even dared to dream. LOA from MEARS, A10. LOA from Heritage Auctions.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2016
    20th-21st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,716

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