MEARS Auction #148, Ends Saturday, April 3rd, 2021, 10:00 PM CST W/30-Minute Rule In Effect
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/4/2021


On October 26th, 1984, Michael Jordan made his Chicago Stadium NBA debut versus the Washington Bullets. Greatness was forged that day, as the world saw the introduction of the greatest basketball player to have ever ran the hardwood court.

For our current event, MEARS Auctions is proud to offer this historic rookie season shirt. Fresh to the hobby, this shirt originated from a witless fan who carelessly discarded this iconic treasure. The story of its voyage from Michael’s rookie back to its last home, a vintage clothing store, was unrecorded.

A thoughtless gesture has spawned one of the hobby’s greatest finds. The expert staff of MEARS has painstakingly evaluated this shirt and found that its physical traits including its mesh body shell, tagging, size, lettering, numbering, applique, positioning, and game wear warrants it a perfect MEARS A10 grade. Its characteristics are supported by other examples that have entered the hobby, use of on hand references housed in the MEARS research center, and found positive comparisons to images of 1984 video and still photography. Our findings:

The body shell is full white mesh with square tail. “BULLS”, and “23” (front/reverse) are applied with red with black trimmed applique. JORDAN appears on reverse in red applique. The shirt compares favorably with respect to style to 1984 video images and still photography.

Tagging (Rawlings, 1984-1985 era): The style of the Rawlings tag dates to the 1984-1985 era, courtesy of Official MEARS Tagging Database. MEARS was able to physically compare the offered 1984-1985 shirt to two other examples having tagging which is consistent. One was offered via Heritage Auctions; the 2nd was physically compared to a period on hand example courtesy of the MEARS Museum. MEARS found that the manner the tagged was stitched, font color, size, and style, and text/consistency of the tag’s fabric compared favorably to the other examined same year tags.

Size (44): Documented examples of Michael Jordan shirts from the 1984-1985 season verify 44 was correct for Jordan for his rookie season. Examination of the shirt confirms it is consistent with a period size on hand exemplar we used for the purpose of comparison.

Note: Jordan was known to have a custom tapered/tailored tail on his early Bulls shirts. When comparing this shirt to a period on hand Rawlings product of the same size, (44), the fact this shirt is tailored at the bottom can be seen when laying the Jordan shirt over the exemplar.

Ribbing: The are and neck ribbing is original and consistent with the on hand exemplar used for comparison.

Game Wear: Shirt shoes solid moderate game wear. Rawlings tag has visible puckering, especially in the area where it is attached to the collar. Visible fabric and wear to the applique.

Grade (MEARS A10): Based on the 5 categories used for evaluation by MEARS, it was determined the shirt is consistent with respect to style, manufacture, sizing, and game wear and was awarded a perfect MEARS A10 grade.

When the shirt was compared to video and still photos, it compared quite favorably with respect to positioning of the numbers in conjunction with the “BULLS” on front. The positioning of the BULLS is also consistent with respect to period images.

One of the finest Michael Jordan shirts to have been offered to the hobby, and its historical significance cannot be understated. A prime example worthy of the finest collection. LOA Troy R Kinunen, MEARS
Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $23
Final prices include buyers premium.: $103,207
Number Bids: 31
Auction closed on Sunday, April 4, 2021.
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