A game-worn Jim Brown jersey sold for $61,212 over the weekend via MEARS Online Auctions. The Milwaukee-based firm called the brown home model dating from the running back’s prime of 1962-63 “the finest Jim Brown Cleveland Browns jersey to have ever surfaced”. It’s the second highest price ever paid for a game-worn Brown jersey.
The Brown jersey was consigned by the family of a man who obtained it originally more than 50 years ago. It included numerous repairs and according to MEARS’ Troy Kinunen, has never been washed. Bidding jumped over 500% in the final 72 hours of the auction.
The consignor and his father lived in Cleveland during the time and were huge Browns fans. The consignor’s father befriended the driver from the trucking company that had the contract to take the Browns used jerseys from the Cleveland Municipal Stadium to the contracted laundering company. As a token of their friendship, the consignor reported that the driver let his father pick a jersey from the truck as it was en route to the laundry immediately following a game. Naturally, a Jim Brown jersey was his choice.
The home #32 brown shirt was made by King O’Shea, which manufactured team jerseys during the period. The dirt on the numerals can still be seen, and according to MEARS, the jersey “has the scent of body odor – recognized by anyone that ever stepped foot in a locker room”.
The jersey was rated MEARS A10.
We’re not sure, but it’s possible this jersey is the same one he’s wearing on his 1964 Philadelphia Gum football card has him posting in front of his car which was parked by the practice field.
A Babe Ruth game model bat also scored big, selling for $34,073 in the auction.
The Ruth bat dates from 1923-30 and is consistent with those he ordered through H&B during the time frame. At 35” and weighing 36 ounces, the bat shows heavy game use and has been professionally restored. The handle crack, tape, and checking have all undergone professional restoration with a successful attempt to bring the bat back to its near original condition. One-third of the knob was chipped and now is 100% intact.
Other items up for bid included a three-quarter sleeve baseball undershirt worn by Hank Aaron during his final two big league seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, dozens of items from a massive Mickey Mantle collection and a 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente graded PSA 8, which sold for $9,261.