Several years ago I was shopping for a jersey. My first. I was a little shocked at the price of new retail jerseys. It didn’t matter, I didn’t want a new one. That much I knew.
I grew up in San Diego and my dad took me to my first game in 1983. Gwynn was the starting right fielder, his rookie year. I was 5. He would continue to play for the Padres well in to my 20’s. He was my favorite player and there wasn’t even a close 2nd. So I knew what player I wanted, but which style uniform?
I checked ebay and found a style that was orange and brown. It looked like what he might have worn in his early years. The price was good. I checked with a buddy of mine who I knew was a Jersey collector. Within seconds he responded, “umm… that’s a fake.”
Amused at the speed of his response, “How can you tell?”
He explained that the font, the fabric used, the jock tag, all of it. It was all wrong. I was shocked. Not that it was fake or that I didn’t know the difference. But in that moment I realized just how much I didn’t know.
I started to ask a lot of questions, doing a lot of research. Like most who have fallen in this rabbit hole, you might want more than just that Gwynn or Griffey. You want different styles, different years. Different players. Home and Road for that MVP season? Yup. As I researched and added to the collection I learned a lot. It has been said, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” This was certainly the case.
Deeper in to the rabbit hole I go.
Textiles. Numbers. Letters. Colors. Fonts. Name or No Name. Nameplate. Commemorative Patches, Etc. In time I could no longer keep track of the variation for every given vintage. So I began to keep a record of Text and Images… and so it began.