MEARS Auction #174, Ends Saturday, April 1st, 2023, 10:00 PM CST W/30-Minute Rule In Effect
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/2/2023

1985-1986 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Home Jersey – Rare 2nd Year Style – “First Example Examined by MEARS” (MEARS A10)

The 1985-1986 season for Michael Jordan was a sad one. Three games into the season Mike had broken his foot against the Golden State Warriors. The Chicago Bulls did win that game 115-105, but now Michael was out for 64 games. Michael was voted to play in the 1985-1986 All-Star game, but his injury kept him from playing. When MJ came back mid-March the Bulls had only won 30 games out of the 64 played, but amazingly they held onto a playoff spot. With only 18 games played in regular season, Mike averaged 22.7 points, 2.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Chicago Bulls had to play the Boston Celtics, and this was not going to be a easy game for MJ and the team. Game one took place on April 17th, 1986 at Boston. That game resulted in a loss, 123-104, with MJ scoring 49 points. Game two was a game to remember for MJ, in which 63 points, which is an all-time high for a playoff game, but that game ended in a loss 135-131. After the game, Larry Bird said “I think he’s God disguised as Michael Jordan. No question he had control of the game. He had to have one of the greatest feelings you can ever have. And, as hard as it might be to believe, it’s actually fun playing against a guy like that”. Game three Michael scored 19 points ending the Chicago Bulls playoff for the 1985-1986 season.

This was the only time Michael Jordan would miss significant playing time due to injury. Jordan recommitted himself to the game, increased his workouts and weight training, and would continue to hone himself into a future 6x Champion.

Style: Jersey is issued as the home white mesh pull over. The neck and arm openings are trimmed with red/black/white/black/red ribbing. The NBA logo is absent on the left upper chest which did not become league mandated until the 1986 season. The team name “BULLS”, “23” front/reverse, and “JORDAN” is applied directly on the reverse of the jersey in block letter red applique.

Supplier (Rawlings): The style of the Rawlings tag dates to the 1985-1986 season (courtesy of the MEARS Tagging Database). Rawlings was the correct supplier of 1985-1986 Chicago Bulls jerseys. The history of the Chicago Bulls jerseys during the era was:

1984-85 (Rawlings)

1985-96 (Rawlings) 2nd style tag, consistent with documented 1985 supplied shirts

1986-87 (Sand Knit) No Year Tag

1987-88 (Sand Knit)

1988-89 (Sand Knit)

1989-90 (Sand Knit)

1990-91 (Champion) No Year Tag

1991-92 (Champion)

1992-93 (Champion)

1993-94 (Champion)

1994-95 (Champion)

1995-96 (Champion)

1996-97 (Champion)

1997-98 (Nike)

Size 44: Embroidered on the Rawlings manufacturers tag is the size 44. Actual chest measurement verifies that the jersey does indeed match the tagged size. Jordan was verified as wearing size 44 during the 1984–1990-time frame.

Jordan Sizing

1984-85: 42, 44

1985-86: 44

1986-87: 44

1987-88: 44

1987-88: 42 (Promotional Use Only)

1988-89: 44

1988-89: 42 (Promotional Use Only)

1989-90: 44

1990-91: 44, 46

1991-92: 46

1992-93: 46

1993-94: DNP

1994-95: 46

1995-1996: 46

1996-97: 46

1997-98: 48,50

Game Wear: For the 1985-1986 season, Michael Jordan appeared in 8 home games, a few exhibition games, and 1 home playoff game. It is our professional opinion, that this shirt was worn, and has use appropriate for a shirt worn for so few games.

The shirt entered the hobby and was sold by another auction house as Lot #15. They described the wear as, “Jersey shows yellowing to the body presumably from sweat, light stressors to the fabric seams and softness from laundering.”

An additional authenticator (hard copy was not supplied to us, but MEARS reviewed the opinion which was dated December 10th, 2020) stated, “Jersey shows little to no evidence of laundering or wear… If worn, it was only for a single game. Jersey is all original with no alterations.”

It is the professional opinion of MEARS that after careful examination and review this shirt was the correct style which would have been issued to be worn by Jordan, and that the shirt shows light wear, with yellowing, with stress to the fabric, and visible puckering of the label (result of wear and/or laundering). To determine a single game only degree of wear, as stated by the 2nd opinion, was not supported by our evaluation and we could not determine (nor could anyone) the number of games the shirt was worn but more than one was most likely.

Supplemental Tagging: Interior tag reads, “Rawlings, Adult 44, Made in USA, For care see reverse”. Reverse of tag has laundering instructions and 100% Nylon printed in red lettering on white tag.

Final Grade (MEARS A10): The shirt is consistent with all of the manufacturing, sizing, provenance, and the appropriate degree of wear expected to be found for the number of games this shirt would have been issued for Jordan to wear for the injury plagued 1985-1986 season. (72V0064) LOA Troy Kinunen / MEARS
1985-1986 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Home Game Worn Jersey – Rare 2nd Year Style – “First Example Examined by MEARS” (MEARS A10)*
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $43,200
Number Bids:38
Competitive in-house shipping is not available for this lot.
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