Some one-of-a-kind pieces of NFL history are on the block as the Game Used Universe auction heads toward the finish line.
John Taylor had always been on the receiving end.
An integral part of the San Francisco 49ers dynasty during the late 1980s through the mid-90s, Taylor was a clutch receiver who teamed with Jerry Rice to give Joe Montana some serious weaponry.
His receiving days over, Taylor is now on the 'delivery' side. He's made good on a promise to build a trucking business after his career and spends much of his time making cross-country trips from his California home in a big rig. He did stay put long enough to dig into his garage and pull out two pieces of game-used memorabilia from his playing career, consigning them to Game Used Universe and its fall auction.
The helmet Taylor wore for his first several years in the league including his dramatic appearance in Super Bowl XXIII and his Super Bowl XXIX jersey, both autographed, are featured items in the sale. Bidding closes Thursday night.
In addition to the Taylor items and dozens of other authentic memorabilia, GUU is offering the first public auction of a game-worn jersey from Super Bowl II, a black Raiders shirt worn by tight end Dave Kocourek, who has also signed the item on his #88.
Taylor's Schutt helmet shell was manufactured in 1986 and Taylor has inscribed it as the one he wore when he made the game-winning reception that lifted the 49ers over the Cincinnati Bengals in January of 1989. The helmet was reconditioned to fit subtle changes in the 49ers' look in the years immediately following that historic game--one that lifted Montana to near-legendary status for leading San Francisco on a 92-yard drive in the final minutes.
Taylor's Super Bowl XXIX jersey bears the NFL's 75th anniversary season patch. The Delaware State product donned it when he grabbed four passes for 49 yards in the Niners' 49-26 rout of the San Diego Chargers in January of 1995. His receptions were courtesy of quarterback Steve Young, Montana's successor who was named the game's MVP. It, too, was a watershed moment for Young, who finally cemented his status as a worthy successor.
Kocourek was a backup tight end for the Raiders when they met Vince Lombardi's Packers in Super Bowl II. A nine-year NFL veteran, Kocourek was a four-time Pro Bowler with various AFL teams. His black durene jersey has never been washed and still bears grass stains from that day in Miami.
It's possible those stains came from a pivotal moment in the game. With the Packers clinging to a 13-7 lead in the second quarter, George Blanda missed a 47-yard field goal. Willie Wood grabbed the ball for the Packers and returned it safely to the eight yard line where Kocourek, a valuable member of Oakland's special teams, made the tackle. The Packers then drove into Raider territory before the half and Don Chandler's field goal extended Green Bay's lead to 16-7. The Pack never looked back, winning their second straight Super Bowl and third straight world title.
The GUU auction closes Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 8:00 pm PST (subject to the 15 minute rule) and includes dozens of game-worn jerseys, game-used equipment and other memorabilia from all major sports. Collectors interested in bidding on items in the auction have the opportunity to ask questions about any item in a public forum. GUU representatives will respond to keep the process as transparent as possible.