MEARS Auction #61, Ends March 29th, 2014, 9:00 CST w/ 15-Minute Rule
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/30/2014

"He was a guy that came along and broke a lot of the conventions. He was like a rebel with a cause. It was like traveling with a rock star. He just was a magnet. He's attracting people. And mostly young people. And talk about excitement and energy. Wow!" says former teammate John Dockery

The winner of this lot will be treated like a rock star among NFL jersey collectors. Based on our research, this is the only Joe Namath road jersey that can be attributed to being worn during the 1968-69 seasons, and remember, the road jersey was worn in Super Bowl 3. To date, there are only three known pre 1970 Joe Namath New York Jets jerseys.

1966 Road

1968 Home

1968 Road (MEARS #313452, offered in this auction)

The 1966 example was a totally different style, so this makes this the second 1968 era jersey ever to come to market!


The AFL. Broadway Joe. The guarantee. Joe Willie Namath brought major attention to everything he did. By winning Super Bowl 3, he brought respect to the AFL. His play on the field under the bright lights of New York dubbed him the nickname, “Broadway". Resembling a carnival gypsy, his fortune telling skills of a Jets victory came to be true. Joe put his money where his mouth was!

For this lot, one very lucky collector will ultimately be the winner of the only documented Joe Namath game worn road jersey that can be documented to the 1968-69 seasons. Based on thorough research conducted by the MEARS team, the analysis of material, numbering cut, sleeve cut, nameplate positioning, and review of the team’s schedule allowed us to document this jersey as being worn exclusively by Joe Namath during the 1968-69 season. Due to injuries and available images, we could not find any examples of Namath wearing this style of jersey past the 1969 season, thus providing us with the two year window.


Style: The examined jersey is a white (road) durene body shell with factory hemmed shortened striped sleeves, and crew neck. At the original time of issue, a factory applied crotch piece was present. The crotch piece contained the manufacturer’s tags. The back portion which contains the manufacturers tag has since been removed, and the front flap with 6 buttons is still present. The construction has been compared to:

1968 Home Jersey (Sand Knit)

1970-73 Home Jersey (Sand Knit)

The presence of the 6 buttons on the front of the jersey is consistent with 1968 & 1970-73 Joe Namath jersey that have entered the hobby with respect to crotch piece construction.

Namath’s uniform number 12 appears on the front (9 ½”), reverse (11 ½”) and sleeve numerals (3 ½”) in single tackle twill and sewn with a zig zag stitch.

NAMATH (2 ½” appears in green tackle twill on nameplate and is attached with a zig zag stitch).

Tagging / Manufacturer: Although the tagging is missing, we can conclude this jersey is a Sand Knit offering from the same period based on examination of the body shell material, examination of tackle twill material, and visual comparison of the jersey construction. By comparison to period on hand samples, the material of this examined jersey compares favorably (1968 Packers). Visually, the construction of the jersey is comparable to the 1968 Jets Home Namath. Based on the examination and comparison, MEARS confirmed this is indeed a Sand Knit product, which is consistent with what the Jets wore during the era. Other example of Sand Knit jersey supplied to the Jets includes:

1968 Namath (Home)

1969-73 Maynard (Road)

1969 Jerry Philbin (Road)

Therefore, it is confirmed that Sand Knit was the supplier of Jets jerseys during the era and this jersey compares favorably with respect to material and design to those examples.

Dating 1968-69: 1967 found the Jets using a different numbering font. During 1968, the team switched to the font found on this style of jersey and this font was continued to 1973. Per our research, we conclude this jersey was used during the 1968-69 seasons due to the following examination of the Jets schedule and games played by Namath:

1968: November 24, 1968 (style match)

1969: 9-14-69 vs. Buffalo (style match)

1970 Road Games Namath Appeared In

September 21st, 1970: Wore their home jersey

September 27, 1970: Wore long sleeves

October 4, 1970: Wore long sleeves

Therefore, there was no photo documentation found of Joe Namath wearing this style in 1970.

1971 Games Namath Appeared in (he only appeared in 4 games that season)

November 28th, 1971: Wore home jersey

December 4th, 1971: Wore home jersey

December 12th, 1971: Wore home jersey

December 4th, 1971: Wore home jersey

Therefore, there was no photo documentation found of Joe Namath wearing this style in 1971.

1972 Road Games Namath Appeared In

(3) Games examined. By 1972, the available images depicted Namath wearing jerseys with no stripes and short sleeves. An early season photo showed Namath wearing a long sleeve jersey, but no available images depicted him wearing this style of jersey.

Therefore, there was no photo documentation found of Joe Namath wearing this style in 1972.

Sizing approximate 48: Although no size tag is present, the 24” chest measurement is consistent with a size 48 jersey, which is the documented size of Joe Namath jerseys during the era.

Provenance: Although our consignor wasn’t able to provide a letter of provenance, he stated his source was a member of the Jets organization. Per his recollection and to our knowledge, this jersey has never been offered publicly and has been in a private collection since the late 1960s. The Jets employee only recently offered the jersey to our consignor.

Game Wear: Jersey exhibits heavy, optimal game wear evenly distributed throughout the entire body shell of the uniform. Although there are no team repairs, the numbering and lettering show heavy puckering and abrasions. The entire body shell signs of heavy soiling.

Final Grade: MEARS A9. After review of the 5 categories utilized by MEARS for grading, 10 base points were assigned due to the fact the jersey was consistent with respect to lettering, numbering, size, style, and optimal game wear. Minus 1 point was deducted due to the fact the manufactures tag was removed when the tail was customized by removing the crotch piece. Evidence of the cutting of the crotch piece can be found on the back of the tail where the hemmed portion of the tail has been sheared. It was obvious a crotch piece was present due to the remaining 6 buttons on the front, so the removal of this piece would have removed the factory supplied manufactures tag.

In summary, this is the finest Joe Namath jersey to enter the hobby in the past decade. With the rising prices of super star pieces, this 1968-69 Joe Namath New York Jets game worn road jersey represents a strong value in today’s current market. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS (61O0216)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $19,103
Number Bids:25
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