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1954 House of David Norm Swanson Basketball Warm-Up Jacket and Pants (2)
Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $1,410.00
The House of David, a religious commune founded in 1902 and based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, is best remembered today for its renowned barnstorming baseball team featuring a lineup of hirsute ballplayers (the practice of shaving was forbidden by members of the order). Less famous, but equally successful, was the order's barnstorming basketball team. Like the baseball club, the House of David basketball team toured the country taking on all comers and also traveled to Europe on occasion. Offered here is an exceedingly rare House of David basketball warm-up suit dating from the team's final organized season in 1954. The yellow satin jacket features a patriotic red-white-and-blue shield patch on the left breast that is lettered "All American 1954" in white chain-stitch. The large collar-flap on the reverse is lettered "House of David" in red on blue tackle twill. The uniform number, player's name, size, and added length measurements ("32 Swanson 48 plus 2 plus 2") are chain-stitched in blue upon a yellow-satin strip tag located on the interior right tail. This warm-up jacket was almost certainly worn by Norm Swanson, a six-foot, six-inch forward who graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy and was later drafted by the Rochester Royals of the NBA in 1953. Swanson only played one season in the NBA (1953-1954) before his apparent recruitment by the House of David team (being a member of the order was not necessary to play on either the baseball or basketball team). 1954 was the last official season of the House of David basketball team and was highlighted by a European tour against the Harlem Globetrotters. The team played a sporadic schedule the next two years before disbanding completely in 1956. The jacket displays excessive wear including a hole in the collar (where, presumably, the manufacturer's tag was attached), as well as a number of tears on the reverse, cuffs, and waist trim. Included with the jacket is a matching pair of yellow-satin pants belonging to different player. The name of the player and the size ("Thomas 34") are chain-stitched in blue within the waistband. A "Wilson" label also appears in the waistband. The pants also exhibit excessive wear including a large hole in the left leg and heavy staining. Both the jacket and pants originate from the traveling trunk of George Anderson, who was the player/manager of the House of David basketball team during its final years (Anderson left the order sometime around 1958). These were stored in the trunk in a garage for over forty years. Both garments are original and unaltered, and have been deemed "Authentic" by MEARS (MEARS doesn't grade warm-up suits). LOA from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,410.00
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