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1977 George Brett Signed Kansas City Royals Game-Used Road Jersey
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $5,581.25
Early Kansas City Royals road jersey worn by Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett in 1977. The blue knit jersey is lettered “Kansas City” across the front and features the number “5” on the reverse. All letters and numerals are appliquéd in white tackle twill. A Kansas City Royals team patch appears on the left sleeve. Located in the collar are both a “Wilson 42” tag and a blue strip tag bearing the year “77” chain-stitched in blue. Brett has signed the jersey in blue Sharpie (“9”) in the collar. In their extensive analysis of this jersey MEARS has made special note that the Wilson tag is appropriate for the era but is the earlier version with the pre-1973 washing instructions. It is fascinating that MEARS notes that the use of this style instruction tag is almost certainly related to the fact that the Royals had to buy an entire second order of road uniforms in 1977 as a result of being victimized by a large clubhouse burglary in Milwaukee that summer. They also note that 1977 Royals uniforms are particularly rare, so much so that this is the only 1977 Royals road jersey of any player ever documented in the entire MEARS database, and that this great rarity is a direct result of the burglary. The stolen uniforms have never surfaced and after thirty years it is unlikely that they ever will. The jersey is completely original, with no alterations, and displays moderate wear throughout. Barry Halper made a point to keep this jersey because he was particularly good friends with George Brett. When Barry wound up with the "pine tar bat" from the famous 1983 incident involving Brett, Barry gave the bat back to Brett as a keepsake of the incident as a special favor. They were great friends ever since, and Brett signed and gave Barry many items over the years. 1977 marked George Brett’s fourth full season in the majors and, in that short time he had already established himself as one of the game’s top hitters. Beginning in 1975, Brett batted over .300 on eleven separate occasions, including league-leading totals of .333 in 1976, .390 in 1980, and .329 in 1990. 1977 witnessed another stellar season by Brett, as he batted .312 with twenty-two home runs and eighty-eight RBI. Brett retired in 1993 with a .305 average, 3,154 hits, 317 home runs and 1,595 RBI. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 in his first year of eligibility. Graded A10 by MEARS. To date, this is only the sixth George Brett jersey ever evaluated by MEARS and it stands by far as the highest-graded example (the next highest-grade example is A6.5). This is also the only George Brett jersey graded by MEARS that dates to the 1970s. From the Barry Halper Collection. LOAs from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,581.25
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