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.

Chicago white sox 2007 Game Used Worn Jersey Javier Vazquez
Chicago white sox 2007 Game Used Worn Jersey Javier Vazquez
$199.99
Time Remaining: 40m
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Atlanta braves 2009 Game Used Worn Jersey Javier Vazquez team issued
Atlanta braves 2009 Game Used Worn Jersey Javier Vazquez team issued
$199.99
Time Remaining: 43m
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Chicago Cubs 2006 Game Used Worn Jersey Kerry wood auto team issued shows use
Chicago Cubs 2006 Game Used Worn Jersey Kerry wood auto team issued shows use
$549.99
Time Remaining: 57m
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1996 KEN GRIFFEY JR SEATTLE MARINERS ROAD GAME USED WORN JERSEY GREY FLANNEL COA
1996 KEN GRIFFEY JR SEATTLE MARINERS ROAD GAME USED WORN JERSEY GREY FLANNEL COA
$2,995.00
Time Remaining: 57m
Mario Lemieux game worn hockey jersey-3 LOA,s
Mario Lemieux game worn hockey jersey-3 LOA,s
$7,500.00
Time Remaining: 58m
CHICAGO WHITE SOX AL LEVINE GAME WORN 1997 ROAD BUTTON-DOWN MLB JERSEY
CHICAGO WHITE SOX AL LEVINE GAME WORN 1997 ROAD BUTTON-DOWN MLB JERSEY
$260.00
Time Remaining: 1h
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2009 Game Used Worn Jersey Alfonso Soriano #42 JR Chicago Cubs New York Yankees
2009 Game Used Worn Jersey Alfonso Soriano #42 JR Chicago Cubs New York Yankees
$999.99
Time Remaining: 1h 1m
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CHICAGO WHITE SOX JEFF SCHWARZ GAME WORN 1994 WHITE PINSTRIPE MLB JERSEY
CHICAGO WHITE SOX JEFF SCHWARZ GAME WORN 1994 WHITE PINSTRIPE MLB JERSEY
$350.00
Time Remaining: 1h 3m
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Jon Lester 2011 Boston Red Sox Game Used Worn Jersey team issued
Jon Lester 2011 Boston Red Sox Game Used Worn Jersey team issued
$399.99
Time Remaining: 1h 7m
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NHL TAMPA BAY LIGHTENING GAME WORN HOCKEY JERSEY
NHL TAMPA BAY LIGHTENING GAME WORN HOCKEY JERSEY
$99.00
Time Remaining: 1h 8m
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NHL TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS BILLY SWEATT GAME WORN TRAINING CAMP HOCKEY  JERSEY
NHL TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS BILLY SWEATT GAME WORN TRAINING CAMP HOCKEY JERSEY
$199.00
Time Remaining: 1h 8m
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NHL FLORIDA PANTHERS DENNIS SHVIDKI GAME SIGNED WORN PRACTICE  HOCKEY JERSEY
NHL FLORIDA PANTHERS DENNIS SHVIDKI GAME SIGNED WORN PRACTICE HOCKEY JERSEY
$149.00
Time Remaining: 1h 8m
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