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    Description

    The earliest known team-issued garment of Lombardi's career

    1949-53 Vince Lombardi Game Worn US Army West Point Coaching Jacket, MEARS Authentic.

    UPDATE: Heritage has been contacted by the family of Bill Wannamaker to make it known that it was his widow that donated the Lombardi sweater to Goodwill. Wannamaker was a coach on the West Point staff with Vince Lombardi. In light of the new revelations that trace the history of this important sports artifact back to its owner for the past six decades, Heritage Auctions is pleased to donate the seller's commission of Lombardi's West Point sweater to Goodwill in memory of Bill Wannamaker, at the request of the Wannamaker family.

    Man who played for Bear Bryant owned Lombardi's sweater

    The West Point football program was the legendary coach's final stop before making his NFL debut with the 1954 New York Giants, a five-year term of service that Lombardi himself credited with providing the tools with which he'd construct his own Hall of Fame immortality. Serving as assistant to veteran head coach Earl "Colonel Red" Blaik, Lombardi inherited his mentor's focus on repetition and execution that formed the basis for the iconic leader's personal mantra: "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

    Presented is an incredible photo-matched jacket worn during Lombardi's years with the Army Black Knights, a garment that distinguishes itself as the earliest known from the wardrobe of the most heralded football coach of all time. The jacket is crafted from black wool with yellow and grey striping at the biceps and black chenille on yellow felt lettering reporting "West Point" on the chest. Zipper collar descends to mid chest and assists in the visual authentication, as all lettering matches perfectly in spacing relative to that guideline.

    A handwritten identifier, clearly vintage, provides the certain attribution, reading "Lombardi 46" in black ink on a white cotton swatch at interior tail. A manufacturer's label from local New York football equipment supplier "Alex Tailors" appears at interior collar. Heavy wear is apparent throughout the garment, with a scattering of moth holes throughout that would be rendered nearly invisible if the jacket were mounted over a black-colored mannequin bust. The jacket remains structurally sound and retains an elite significance that more than compensates for any rather minor condition concerns.

    The detailed letter of examination from leading uniform experts MEARS confirms that all aspects of the garment are original and unaltered. With the ironclad provenance of photographic documentation, and the singular relevance of its status as the earliest known Lombardi gear, this is one of the most historically significant football relics to surface in recent years. Included is a copy of the 2011 hardcover volume, "Lombardi: An Illustrated Life" that pictures Lombardi wearing the jacket. LOA from MEARS, Authentic.







    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 29
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 91,235

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