It wasn’t an official statistic yet but later research showed the man who would actually coin the term had 22 sacks in 1968, a total that even today would rank among the best of all-time.
Deacon Jones was a force of nature on the defensive line, primarily with the Los Angeles Rams during his Hall of Fame career. Now, a game-worn jersey from that incredible season 50 years ago is about to hit the auction block.
Photo-matched to three different Rams games in 1968, the size 54 road jersey bearing Jones’ familiar #75 is expected to fetch at least $30,000 when Heritage Auctions puts it on the block later this month.
The jersey was photo-matched thanks in part to what Heritage calls “a Frankenstein’s monster of jagged team repairs.” There are dozens of them and stains visible, especially in the top of the shoulders. The blue tackle twill numbers, stitched onto the white durene jersey on the chest, back and sleeves, all show at least one repair.
Resolution Photomatching says it has photos documenting game use on September 29, 1968 (at Cleveland); November 17 (at San Francisco) and one of two games against the Atlanta Falcons (the Rams donned white jerseys in both their October 20 home and November 10 road contest.
The numbers are sewn onto the jersey rather than screened, a practice which would soon become virtually extinct. The jersey remains unaltered. The year tag beneath the Sand Knit Manufacturing label in the crotch piece is the only element lost to time, according to Heritage, which also notes “scattered foxing” that is “to be expected for a jersey of this advanced vintage and causes little visual distraction.”
The jersey includes a letter from Resolution regarding their findings.
Bidding will begin September 26 as part of the Heritage Fall Sports Memorabilia Catalog Auction, set to close October 18-19.