Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    With letter of provenance from Bleier himself

    Early 1970's Rocky Bleier Game Worn Pittsburgh Steelers Jersey. He had only played a single NFL season when Uncle Sam's call came, directing Bleier to report for military service in the Vietnam War. Just three months into his tour, Bleier lay on the damp ground of a rice paddy, a bullet wound in his left thigh and a portion of his right foot blown off by an enemy grenade. As he recovered in a hospital in Tokyo, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart displayed on his bedside table, a postcard arrived from Pittsburgh:

    "Rock, the team's not doing well. We need you. Art Rooney."

    Deeply touched by that show of support from half a world away, Bleier dedicated himself to answering the Hall of Fame team owner's call, hobbling back into the Steelers' training camp thirty pounds underweight at the start of the 1971 season. He'd carry the ball only four times over the ensuing three seasons before earning the starting running back role in 1974. By the time of his 1980 retirement, Bleier had earned four Super Bowl Championship rings and a place of honor in the Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Bleier's personal letter of provenance leaves the precise vintage in question, reading simply, "This letter certifies that this jersey was worn by me as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers after my return back to the team from the Vietnam War," but the heavy game wear suggests the strong possibility of multiple seasons' wear. We count five separate team repairs to the white durene body, and still more to the black tackle twill identifiers that announce number "20" on chest, shoulders and back. The rear numerals exhibit some minor separation from the jersey body but remain firmly affixed. Yellow three-inch block reads "Bleier," affixed to rear nameplate with black thread. Blood staining appears at the lower hem. Lower left front tail holds a proper "Sand-Knit size 44" label and a local "Olympic Sport Center" supplier's tag just above.

    Joining the garment and personal letter of provenance are four photographs of Bleier picturing him holding the jersey and signing the letter. Letter of provenance from Rocky Bleier. LOA from Heritage Auctions.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2016
    20th-21st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,413

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976

    Learn about consigning with us

    Just wanted to let you know how pleased I am regarding the sale of my hockey jersey. You were great to work with, you answered all my phone calls and e-mails in a prompt manner, and you did a great job marketing the jersey.
    Jack,
    Fairmouth, ME
    View More Testimonials

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search