Collectors, dealers and auction houses will often use photographs to try and match a game-used jersey, bat or helmet to a specific moment in time. It’s not often a player’s baseball card can serve the same purpose.
Last fall, collector Mark Heller purchased a Reggie Jackson vest-style jersey dating to the 1969 and 1970 seasons. The jersey came with a signature and inscription from Jackson who years before had provided a letter of authenticity for it, so while there was never much of a question about it being the real deal, it now comes with some new photo-matching: three of Jackson’s old baseball cards.
Photos taken by Topps for Jackson’s 1970, 1970 All-Star and 1970 Super all show him wearing the same jersey. Multiple magnified images of the photos for those cards show the same characteristics on the trim and numbering that can be seen on the jersey itself, according to Sports Investors, which confirmed the photo matches.
It has also been photo matched to a game in which Jackson hit the 53rd home run of his career and 23rd of the 1969 season. A photo from the Fenway Park locker room prior to that game shows Jackson and Joe DiMaggio sitting the locker room having a chat.
The auction listing chronicles some interesting changes that took place during the two seasons in which the jersey was worn including the addition of Jackson’s name and the removal of the MLB 100th Anniversary patch worn in 1969 when it was used again during the 1970 season.
Heller is an avid fan of game-used material but mainly collects Cardinals game used bats and jerseys as well as flannel jerseys. He’s also working on a run of flannel jerseys from every MLB team from the 1940s through ’71, when the flannel era was coming to a close.
The Jackson jersey is currently in Goldin Auctions’ Summer Premium Live Auction which takes place Thursday night. The current high bid is $10,000.