1969-1970 Gale Sayers Jersey

Value (2006) | $20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction

GUEST:
My oldest brother coached Little League up in Connecticut about 30 years ago. And one of the kids on his team, his father was the public relations director for “Sports Illustrated.” Well, around that time, my brother opened up a sporting goods store, and the kid's father, out of appreciation for my brother's coaching efforts with his son, gave my brother a bunch of sports memorabilia to hang on the walls of the sporting goods store. The sporting goods store didn't last but a few years, and when my brother moved down South, he brought all the sports memorabilia with him, and I've been a lifelong Chicago Bears fan. So he gave me the jersey that we have here. And this jersey belonged to Gale Sayers.

APPRAISER:
Gale Sayers.

GUEST:
And, uh, it was one of his away-game jerseys. And Gale Sayers was one of my heroes when I was a little boy.

APPRAISER:
The Kansas Comet.

GUEST:
That's right.

APPRAISER:
One of the greatest and most exciting players of all time in NFL history.

GUEST:
He was.

APPRAISER:
And one of the most tragic careers cut short by a knee injury. And, actually, he was the youngest man ever elected to the NFL Hall of Fame.

GUEST:
Oh, wow.

APPRAISER:
Here we have this jersey. It's been in your possession for over 30 years.

GUEST:
Over 30 years, yes.

APPRAISER:
What have you been doing with it?

GUEST:
It's been folded up inside a box in my closet at my parents' house. When I opened it up and my wife saw it, she was like, "Is that your high school football jersey?" And I, of course, told her no, and she was like: “we just need to turn that into a rag and use it to wipe down some of the furniture.” But I persisted and told her, “No, no, no, it's a famous football player's jersey.” And, uh, she just was kind of like, "Yeah, whatever." (laughs) And then I put it back in the box and it's been probably sitting in that box now, well, about 16 years.

APPRAISER:
16 years. I'm glad she didn't turn it into a rag, you know?

GUEST:
I am, too.

APPRAISER:
What you have here is, as you said, it's a Chicago Bears jersey. It's from around 1969, 1970.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Which were prime years for Gale Sayers. It's picture perfect as far as tagging. Tagging is very important when you're identifying jerseys and authenticating jerseys.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Right down here, we have King O'Shea. This was the manufacturer.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And King O'Shea manufactured the jerseys for the Chicago Bears during that time period. You also have the size: 46. That was Gale Sayers' size. Now another thing-- you look to see how much use a jersey has. Now, as you can see, this jersey is pretty dirty.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
There's a lot of sweat, there's a lot of blood. There's a lot of repairs, team repairs. This jersey's been torn apart.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
It's been through war, battles-- more than one.

GUEST:
Sure.

APPRAISER:
This jersey's gone through game after game after game.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
It's not like today, where a football player gets a new jersey every game. Let me show you another one back here. There's a big patch on the back. You can see... look at this. Somebody tore that.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
This has just been torn apart and fixed and he wore it again.

GUEST:
Right, sure.

APPRAISER:
And again, and again, and again. Now, it does have some issues, okay? The zero on this sleeve right here is missing, okay? That probably got torn off, too. But that makes it better. All these tears and rips and blood and sweat, that's what collectors want. That's what everybody wants.

GUEST:
Yeah?

APPRAISER:
That's the history. That's the NFL. That's all those... That's the NFL. That's it. That's it. And it's all here.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
I mean, when you pulled this out, I almost lost it. Now, the fact that you have the provenance you do, this jersey, I would estimate at at least $20,000 to $30,000, Roger.

GUEST:
(laughing): Oh, my gosh. I'm glad my wife didn't turn it into a rag.

APPRAISER:
I am too, man. It's amazing! It's awesome!

GUEST:
Oh, wow. Oh, wow. (laughing) Wow. (laughing) 20 to 30?

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
Is that at auction or is that...?

APPRAISER:
Yeah. Man.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2006)
$20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction
Event
Mobile, AL (July 08, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Material
Cloth

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