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2005 Jerome Bettis Pittsburgh Steelers Home Jersey
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,528
Jerome Bettis Pittsburgh Steelers home jersey dating from the club's 2005 Super Bowl Championship season, which was also Bettis' final year in football. Graded A7 by MEARS. The black jersey, which is a combination of mesh and satin, features the number ‘36’ on the front, reverse, and each shoulder. The name ‘Bettis’ is lettered on the reverse above the number. All numerals are appliquèd in white tackle twill, while all letters are appliquèd in gold tackle twill. Both the year and size (‘05-48’) are printed on a white strip tag located in the collar. A ‘Reebok’ label and adjacent ‘48’ size tag appear on the left front tail. As MEARS notes in its accompanying LOA, this jersey exhibits approximately six inches of extra length (no ‘extra length’ tag is present) and customized (cuffed) sleeves. The extra length is particularly important, as it is consistent with other exemplars and is one of the key identifiers for Bettis jerseys. Aside from the aforementioned desirable modifications, the jersey is completely original and displays moderate wear, including a team repair and light contact marks. At five feet, eleven inches, and weighing 252 pounds, Jerome Bettis was more akin to a tank than a running back. A standout at Notre Dame, Bettis was drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Rams in 1993 and played three seasons with the club before joining the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996. It was a match made in heaven, as Bettis' running style perfectly suited the Steelers' vaunted ‘power’ running game. Bettis enjoyed six consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons with the Steelers as the team's number-one ball carrier before switching roles and becoming the team's designated ‘short yardage’ back. 2005 was Bettis' thirteenth and final NFL season and he went out in style, leading the Steelers to their first Super Bowl victory in twenty-six years. Bettis' Hall of Fame resume includes six Pro Bowl selections, two 1st-Team All-Pro selections, 13,662 rushing yards (fifth all time), 91 rushing touchdowns (tenth all time), 3,479 rushing attempts (fourth all time), and 15,111 total yards from scrimmage (sixteenth all time). Graded A7 by MEARS (base grade of 5, plus 3 points for the documented player traits, but minus 1 point for the lack of an extra length tag). This is currently the only Jerome Bettis jersey listed in the MEARS census, and thus represents the highest-graded example. LOA from Dave Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $1,528
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