Sunday, December 12, 2010

Equipment Room

Equipment Room
Periodically, I'll share some tidbits on my personal stash of Giants gear and souvenirs.

In this first installment, I'll spotlight one of many jerseys I have in my closet. So for a quick historical tutorial, back in 2004, I wanted a throwback Will Clark jersey. You know the one, the classic white home jersey with the Giants name arched with the large G and S. Well, after searching online I couldn't find a new or used one anywhere. It was impossible to find. After several months I decided just to get a current road jersey, and when I purchased it from a local retailer I asked where could I get this customized. Their reply was that a shop in Illinois did all of their work and advised I call them. So I did, and they said they could customize any jersey to exact team specs, even the Giants jerseys from the 80's! So that had me thinking, if I could get a hold of a blank Giants jersey from the 80's I could have them customize it and finally get my Will Clark jersey.

At that time, there were a flood of authentic Giants jerseys made from Rawlings and Russell on EBay and I proceeded to bid and purchase them. After a year on bidding on blank jerseys, I not only had my Will Clark jersey, but I soon added others to my collection: Kevin Mitchell, Barry Bonds, and Mike Krukow.

Today the sports jerseys biz has mushroomed to a huge multi-million dollar industry. Getting a Will Clark jersey is a breeze since Mitchell & Ness added some of the 80s Giants players to their inventory, but it's still not the same. Just little things like the poly fabric they use and the size of the letters are a bit off, but close enough for the casual fan.

The pic included here is of my Mike Krukow jersey. Note this jersey was blank so I had the Krukow name stitched onto a nameplate and the plate was stitched to the jersey and then the numbers were stitched too. I also had the vendor stitch the 1989 World Series patch and the Bart Giamatti memorial band to the sleeves. I had to buy the patch on eBay and then strip the wax backing before sending it off to the vendor. One thing to note about this jersey, it too is not 100% accurate. In 1989, the Giants wore jerseys made by Rawlings, this one is made by Russell Athletic. In the early 90s, Russell Athletic won the contract to supply uniforms to all Major League teams.

1989 World Series patch on the right sleeve, Russell Athletic logo embroidered on the right sleeve.

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