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    Fresh find is one of the finest NHL gamers ever to surface!

    1929-31 Eddie Shore Game Worn Boston Bruins Jersey. When the National Hockey League began its expansion southward into the United States in the mid-1920's, even the most optimistic advocates were well aware that success was far from assured. Many Americans had never seen hockey played at any level, making the NHL's international aspirations a particularly risky endeavor. "In order to succeed," said Frank Boucher, a star in his own right with the New York Rangers, "the league needed a superstar of extraordinary dimensions."

    They found one in Eddie Shore, arguably the most significant figure in hockey history for popularizing the sport to an American audience. While his stick-handling and skating talent alone ranked with the top Canadian stars, Shore became a fan favorite for his peerless ability to deliver punishment, and to take it. When his ear was nearly detached from his head in a Bruins practice during the 1925-26 season, Shore refused anaesthetic and held a mirror so he could watch the doctor sew it back in place. In December 1933, Shore delivered one of the most notorious checks in the history of the sport, nearly killing fellow Hall of Famer Ace Bailey and spawning what was effectively the first NHL All-Star Game as a benefit for the wounded Maple Leaf's recovery.

    ''He was bruised, head to toe, after every game,'' recalled Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt, who played four years with Shore. "Everybody was after him. They figured if they could stop Eddie Shore, they could stop the Bruins.''

    Presented is a garment that struck fear into the hearts of opponents throughout the National Hockey League, a simply gorgeous garment in the brown and gold "barber pole" design that instantly evokes the 1920's and 1930's game. A detailed letter of authenticity from Harvey McKenney, widely considered the foremost expert in Boston Bruins memorabilia, assigns the listed vintage to the garment. Every key Shore attribute makes its presence known, from the multitude of team repairs in the shoulder area to the heavy sweat discoloration in the neck and arm pit area. The magnificent team logo patch, crafted from chenille and felt, remains firmly affixed the chest, with Shore's fabled number "2"--the second digit ever retired by the Bruins franchise--in place on verso. Rear interior tail holds a small rectangular "Horace Partridge" manufacturer's label, a placement that assisted in McKenny's dating of the piece.

    Also assisting in that regard is the "Cubs" logo patch on left sleeve, a post-Shore addition that leads us into the provenance of the relic. The garment is consigned by the family of Byron Johnston, who represented the Boston Cubs farm club that wore hand-me-downs from their parent team. Along with the jersey, the family saved an April 12, 1934 typed and signed letter on team letterhead from legendary Bruins coach Art Ross hoping for confirmation that Johnston would be coming to Boston for a tryout. That letter, exhibiting original mailing folds and tape along one edge, is signed in 9/10 black fountain pen ink. We also have a charming team cabinet photograph of Johnston with the 1932 Cowansville Victorias; he stands at top left (VG). Note that Johnston's name is incorrectly spelled "Johnson" in the supporting documents

    Pre-war jerseys from the National Hockey League are stupendously rare and desirable, but this sublime style from one of the early professional game's most celebrated stars is a treasure beyond compare. After eight decades of storage in an Ontario attic, it makes its hobby debut in this Platinum Night auction. LOA from Harvey McKenney. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Letter of provenance from the Johnston family.






    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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