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    Letter of provenance from son of Browns teammate Lou Groza

    Circa 1965 Jim Brown Game Worn Cleveland Browns Jersey, MEARS A10. "Make sure when anyone tackles you he remembers how much it hurts," Brown once advised fellow Syracuse alumnus John Mackey. The legendary running back might not have been the most elusive rusher who ever suited up in the NFL, but he was famous for being the toughest to bring to the ground, his bone-rattling style averaging an outrageous 5.2 yards per carry. He claimed the NFL rushing title all but one of his nine seasons in the League, and his 1,863 rushing yards in 1963 remains a Cleveland Browns franchise record, the oldest franchise rushing record of all thirty-two teams.

    A 1988 letter of provenance from the son of Lou "The Toe" Groza recounts many visits to the Browns locker room with his dad, where he commonly begged for souvenirs from team equipment manager Maurie Kono. The younger Groza assesses the Jim Brown garment as "Circa 1965," so we do as well, with the MEARS letter of authenticity stating a potential range of 1961-65. Certainly these statements open the thrilling possibility that the NFL Championship season of 1964, the last in franchise history, could be the jersey's true vintage.

    The style is instantly recognizable, the thin "tear-away" brown fabric adorned with four sets of Brown's fabled number "32," on chest, back and each shoulder. Rings of white and orange adorn each sleeve. Proper "King O' Shea [size] 48" tagging resides in the buttoned crotch piece.

    The picture-perfect representation exhibits sweat-staining at the interior armpits but is otherwise in marvelous condition, quite rare for this fragile format that has allowed few survivors to the modern hobby. A 9+/10 black sharpie signature on the front numerals concludes the aesthetics.

    You'll find similar jerseys on display at Canton, but none on the modern Browns roster, the number "32" properly retired by the franchise in honor of the nine-time Pro Bowler. Though Brown mused over coming out of retirement in 1983 to protect his all-time rushing record from a threat by Franco Harris, whose tendency to run out of bounds rather than grind for the extra yards offended his football sensibilities. But discretion proved the better part of valor, ensuring that this remarkable relic remained one of the last ever worn by the greatest talent in gridiron history. LOA from MEARS, A10. Letter of provenance from son of Lou Groza.








    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2014
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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