Saturday, January 11, 2014

Game Worn 1988 Montreal Expos road jersey

This jersey showed up on ebay about a year ago.  The starting price was more than I could justify, and for seven, long, stressful days I tried to come up with excuses to justify the asking price, while futilely hoping that staring at the listing hard enough would prevent other people from bidding.  There's a whole culture of "game-worn" collector's out there and a mid-80's Expos jersey from an All-Star is something they would prize.  There just aren't many of these and they aren't making any more of them.

Sanity and luck prevailed.  No one else bid and I managed not to pay a price that would have transformed my little collecting habit from a harmless (perhaps eccentric) quirk, to a full on problem.  Like going from too much coffee in the morning to 3 day meth binges.  Immediately after the listing ended (I literally sat refreshing the page as the final seconds counted down) I contacted the seller with an offer.  One much, much lower than the previous asking price.  They got back to me by email with a refusal.  No counter.  So I took the risk of sending a second, only slightly larger offer along with a link to this blog, and an explanation of my collection. It was basically a really pathetic "feel sorry for me" story about how badly I wanted the jersey.  My fear was, that by showing my hand, the seller may very well raise the price.  He didn't.  He came back with a price that basically split the difference.  Still far more than I should be spending, but after some research, a more than fair price for a game-worn Expos jersey from the 1980's.  My collection had a new center piece.

Above, is a picture of how this jersey has looked since last March.  Hanging in my closet encased in plastic.  Eventually, I have every intention of framing it.  But the  high-end framing I want to have done for it cost nearly as much as the jersey did.  At some point I'll get around to it.  But this purchase more or less blew up any discretionary budget I had for my collecting purposes last year (and likely this year, and perhaps 2015 as well).  So framing will have to wait.  Which gives me more time to debate whether to display the front or the back.  My impulse is to go with the less common method of displaying the front.  My thinking is, the number is there, I love the logo, and it could show some of the unique tagging.  I'd love feed back or suggestions.

My other, more immediate concern, was it's authenticity.  I know a little bit about baseball cards, but when it comes to this game worn stuff, I don't what to look for.  So I took to what I understand to be a reputable web-forum on the subject, and posted some pics.  A few self-proclaimed experts chimed in that it looked legit, so I feel okay about  it.  I mean, what's my incentive to look too hard?  It's not like I'm ever going to re-sell it.  It's either legit and ending up framed on a wall, or an over-priced, used throwback jersey that I'll wear.  If you have doubts as to it's authenticity, but don't know for certain, please keep it to yourself, or I'll tell your children Santa Clause isn't real.  If you know for certain, as in, you're the one that made it to sell as a fake, I guess I want to know.  Then again, if you can vouch for it's authenticity feel free to let me know.

The front, out of it's plastic.

The back.  Which common practice dictates should be displayed in a frame.

1988 tagging.

If you have any other information on this jersey, such as, how many jersey's players typically went through in a season back in 1988, or literally anything else, I'd love to hear about it.  Please contact me.  Thank you.


  1. Great pick-up! I can't even imagine owning a game-used jersey of my favorite player. That's awesome!

  2. The number on the front makes framing the front side very appealing.

  3. I agree with Jeff, and your reasoning in the post. I think front-side-forward is the way to go.

  4. If you are feeling real frisky, I would suggest a reversible frame to display both sides. That or one you can easily open and move if you feel like changing it.

    Oh, and wouldn't it be more likely to see that particular jersey on 1989 cards since it is a 1988 jersey?

    1. Going with an '89 was my first thought too. But most the '89 cards feature the red B.P. Jersey, indicating they were taken during spring training. And I can't remember if these sets came out much before April. So I went with '88 on the premise that they may have been taken during '88 Spring Training.