From the days when hockey sweaters were really sweaters.
Babe Ruth was in his prime. The NBA was still a quarter century away and the NHL was just a baby.
In the winter of 1924-25, a new hockey franchise destined for greatness was born.
When grocery magnate Charles Adams, inspired by witnessing the 1924 Stanley Cup finals in Canada, decided to create the Boston Bruins, it began the history of one of the most important sports franchises in North American history.
Thus far, only one game-worn sweater from that first Bruins team has been discovered and it’s heading for the auction block. Bruins left-winger George Redding’s 1924-25 jersey has been consigned to Heritage Auctions by Redding’s descendants and the jersey is in the company’s current auction.
The brown wool top "is the only surviving representation to surface from the ’24-25 Bruins,” according to Chris Ivy, Director of Sports at Heritage, “a team that holds the distinction of being the first NHL club to play its home games south of the Canadian border."
For the record, Redding would net three goals and two assists in 27 games in that inaugural Bruins season. The jersey lot includes a photo of Redding wearing it.
Another rare early NHL gamer, a mid-1930s Frank Finnigan game-worn Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, is also up for bid.
The oldest living NHL player at the time of his death at age ninety-one in 1991, Finnigan had been a member of the Stanley Cup Champion 1927 Ottawa Senators and 1932 Toronto Maple Leafs, and a participant in the Ace Bailey Benefit Game of 1934, considered the NHL’s first All-Star contest.
Heritage says it is the earliest Maple Leafs jersey ever presented at public auction. The sweater dates from Finnigan’s second tour of duty in Toronto between 1934 and 1937.
Related: Game-worn hockey on eBay