November 30th, 2011 Holiday Catalog Auction (#32)
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Gale Sayers burst upon the pro football scene in 1965 with the kind of an impact that the sport had not felt in many years. Quiet, unassuming, and always ready to compliment a teammate for a key block, Sayers continued to sizzle in 1967 and well into the 1968 season. Then, in the ninth game, Sayers suffered a knee injury that required immediate surgery. After a tortuous rehabilitation program, Gale came back in 1969 in a most spectacular manner, winding up with his second 1,000-yard rushing season and universal Comeback of the Year honors. But injuries continued to take their toll and, just before the 1972 season, Gale finally had to call it quits. In his relatively short career, he compiled a record that can never be forgotten. His totals show 9,435 combined net yards, 4,956 yards rushing, and 336 points scored. At the time of his retirement he was the NFL's all-time leader in kickoff returns. He won All-NFL honors five straight years and was named Offensive Player of the Game in three of the four Pro Bowls in which he played. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1977. This jersey is accompanied by a photo of Sayers in what appears to be this jersey in an unrepaired state. In the photo, taken 9/15/68 during the Bears home opener vs. the Redsskins and pictures the ivy outfield walls of Wrigley Field in the background, there is a large unrepaired hole on the left sleeve just above the player number “40”. Currently on this shirt is a large team repair on the exact spot. On the left front tail of this navy blue dureen home jersey is the “Wilson” manufacturer’s tag with wash instructions and jersey size “46”. Player number “40” appears on the front, back and on both sleeves in white on orange tackle twill. The shirt had long sleeves which were shortened and rehemmed by the team seamstress to Sayers specifications. There are several large team repairs throughout the shirt. The jersey shows heavy game-use and other than what is mentioned appears to have no further alterations of any kind. It is accompanied by an additional LOA graded A10 as well as an apparent photomatch. One of the finest Sayers, extant.
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