Tips for Collecting Jerseys

by John Felderman

game-worn-college-jerseysCollecting sports memorabilia is a source of joy for many game enthusiasts, and sports jerseys are among the most popular memorabilia collected by enthusiasts around the world.

Why is sports jersey collecting so popular? One reason is that the jersey is intimately connected to the player who wore it. We can see and feel the association and get closer to the player and the game.

A sports jersey uniquely identifies a player's team. It usually has the team nickname or city on the front and the player's number or name on the back. The market for game-worn jersyes is huge; however it is also plagued by a lot of fakes being sold as originals.

While buying a new jersey closely inspect for use and alterations. Use and wear are different. Use occurs when a player uses it. Wear occurs when a jersey is laundered or handled often. If an original jersey has been used by someone else you could negotiate a lower price. Look for signs of use on the inside such as sweat stains as well as the outside of the jersey. It is sometimes helpful to turn a jersey inside out to see if wear or restorations have been done.

Sometimes fraudsters put team numbers later on to an old jersey to mimic an original worn by a superstar. In this case the jersey would be practically worthless. Check if the numbers and letters on a jersey have been applied with the same material at the same time. They should show consistent wear all over and should have faded evenly. Also touch the fabric to ascertain if all the numbers are from the same material.

A very effective method to determine the authenticity of a jersey is to compare it with other known, authentic samples and photos. Photo matching is possible by finding photos of the player in uniform and making a comparison to the jersey. Go step by step, look at the numbers, estimate the length, look for any other small detail, and look at the fabric. Become a jersey Sherlock Holmes!

It is not easy to find out if a jersey is original or not. The best way to procure a game worn jersey is to buy from a reputable source and research as much as possible.

2012 Brandon Weeden Cleveland Browns Photo Matched Rookie Jersey Game Worn Used
2012 Brandon Weeden Cleveland Browns Photo Matched Rookie Jersey Game Worn Used
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Vintage Oregon Ducks Basketball Game Used Nike Shooting Jersey Worn by #20 Lewis
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Manny Machado Game Used Home Alternative Jersey, Worn 2012, Baysox, Orioles, COA
Manny Machado Game Used Home Alternative Jersey, Worn 2012, Baysox, Orioles, COA
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Manny Machado Game Used Jersey, Autographed, Worn 2012, Baysox, Orioles, w/ COA
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Terrell Suggs Game Used Jersey Baltimore Ravens Worn 2012 Super Bowl Season RARE
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Joe Flacco Game Worn Jersey Used 10/12/14 NFL RECORD 5TD in 16:03 Ravens COA:NFL
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Authentic GW Chicago White Sox Game Worn 80's Baseball Jersey~Daryl Boston
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carolina mudcats erik gonzalez Game Worn Jersey,White (2012-2015) - #10; Size 48
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Nautyn McKay-Loescher (Alabama) #57 2003 Game Used/Worn JERSEY (Size XL)
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SMU MUSTANGS #77 1990s' Game Used/Worn JERSEY (Size 50)
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CARLOS LEE (Houston Astros) #45 Game Used/Worn Home Pinstripes Pants
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CARLOS LEE (Houston Astros) #45 Game Used/Worn Road Pants
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