April 17th - 29th, 2010- 9:00 P.M. CST w/ 15 min
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2010

Consigned in memory of Harry Croft


Without a doubt, one of the most gorgeous and pristine pre-1930s uniforms we have ever seen.  A rare first year style complete with matching pants from the same season.  Even with the replaced buttons, this rare and striking ensemble still grades out as an A8.  The good news for the next owner is that the buttons on the front of the jersey, while still visually appealing, can be replaced with correct year/team/manufacturer specific ones currently residing in the pants…leaving them with a high grade/high demand-low density pre-1930s flannel.


SUBJECT:  1927 Sparky Adams Chicago Cubs Home Jersey and Year Associated Pants of Howard Freigau


For the purpose of evaluation and description, this uniform is referred to as a 1927 Sparky Adams Chicago Cubs Home Jersey.  After a detailed visual inspection and evaluation of this jersey using lighted magnification, a light table, a digital microscope, UV light and various references, I offer the following noted observations:


Size:  While the jersey is without any stitched size identification, the superb condition of the jersey has left the stamping on the laundry tag located below the manufacturers label in tact and legible.  This is very rare.  Stamped very lightly on that tag is the annotation “BAMS 40”.  The measured size of the jersey is a size 40.  According to the Baseball Almanac, Sparky Adams is listed as being 5’, 5 ½”, 151 lbs.  As such an annotation and measured size 40 jersey would be appropriate for Sparky Adams.


Manufacturer/Construction/Dating the Jersey:  The jersey is dated to 1927 by straight stitch embroidery of “3-27” in both the jersey and pants. Since this clearly does not refer to a uniform number, it is assumed that it relates to an order or form of inventory/identification control.  This same manner of annotation can be found other period Spalding products that include:


1929 Tigers Home of Richard Nolan. Halper Auction Lot #774. This jersey predates Tiger's using numbers (began in 1931). This jersey has "3-29" chain stitched in the tail. MFG is Spalding.

1931 Chicago Cubs Home of Ed Baect. Masto Net June of 2003. Lot # 1236. This uniform has "3-31" chain stitched in the tail. Cubs did not begin wearing numbers until 1932. MFG is Spalding.

1932 St. Louis Browns Home Jerseys of Rick Ferrell (Hunt Actions Lot # 992, FEB 2004), Lou Polli (Hunts Auction Lot # 993 FEB 2004) and George Blaeholder (Hunts Auction Lot # 995 FEB 2004). All three of these jerseys manufactured by Spalding have the annotation of “ 3 32” chain stitched in them. This shows three examples from the same team and year when none of these players wore # 3 (Goose Goslin wore # 3 that season).

1932 Chicago Cubs Home Jersey of Rogers Hornsby ( Richard Wolfers Auctions) November 1991, Lot 861 and then later in Robert Edwards Auction as Lot 5 June of 1996). This jersey is manufactured by Spalding and has “3 32” chain stitched in the back rear tail.

The jersey is identified a Spalding product by the manufacturers tag in both the rear collar of the jersey and the rear belt line of the pants.  This style of jersey was first worn by the Chicago Cubs in 1927.  Although this style did change slightly from year to year through 1936, the manner in which the collar area, button line and sleeves are trimmed/finished is consistent with images of Cubs players at home in 1927 as seen in the files of the Chicago Daily News (1902-1933).  1927 was also Adams’ last year with the Cubs.


The fabric of the body of this jersey is of professional grade.  The weave of the fabric was compared under a digital microscope to both a 1921-1926 Detroit Tigers road jersey (Spalding Product) and c 1927-1934 mid-grade Spalding road jersey.  The pants also compare favorably and are also considered to be a professional quality/grade product. 


Use/Wear:  The use and wear to the jersey is light to moderate.  All fabrics and trim are original to the jersey.  The buttons on the jersey appear to have been replaced at some point with a style that is slightly darker than the originals.  This can be seen in period images as well as comparing the jersey buttons to those on the pants.  The button on the left rear pocket has also been replaced with one similar as those found on the jersey.  When viewed under UV lighting, the thread used to affix these darker buttons does give of a slight florescent glow.  This may be an indication that the buttons have been reapplied with thread containing synthetic fibers.  This would indicate a non-period restoration.


The jersey is only lightly soiled in a couple of places.  With the exception of the buttons, the overall condition is quite pristine.  There are no moth holes or fabric tears.  The pants feature some light soiling, most pronounced around the bottom of the leg.  There appears to be some bluish fabric bleed, most likely associated with the colored stirrups worn beneath.  The pants do feature a 6 cmm repair in the right knee.  This does appear to be period appropriate when viewed under UV lighting.  There is also some faded writing on the inside rear tail of the jersey “ 2  3  9” and something else that is not discernable.  This writing does not effect the display or condition of the jersey so no points are deducted.  It is only mentioned .


Provenance/History:  At the time of evaluation, no provenance was offered with this jersey.


Evaluation Findings: Based on my physical examination of this jersey and supporting data, it is my opinion that this uniform, with the exception of the aforementioned buttons, possesses all of the characteristics you would expect to find in a 1927 Chicago Cubs  home ensemble supplied by Spalding for use and wear by Sparky Adams (pants of Howard Freigau) during the 1927 season.

For Pre-1987 jerseys, the MEARS grading metric begins at base grade of 10 with five (5) major categories for consideration when looking to codify deductions.   I found these reasons to deduct points for this offered jersey. 


-2:  Category I  (.5 x 4 for replaced buttons)


MEARS does not have grading metrics for pants.  As such, those are only deemed as being authentic.


As such the final grade for this jersey with MEARS hologram number 311022 is A8.


Dave Grob



Enclosures:  PLATES I-II


Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $13,225
Number Bids: 15
Auction closed on Thursday, April 29, 2010.
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