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1945-1947 Ken Keuper Green Bay Packers Game-Used Home Jersey - Earliest Known Example
Starting Bid - $2,500.00 , Sold For - $9,987.50
This museum-quality NFL jersey holds the significant distinction of being, to the best of our knowledge, the earliest known Green Bay Packers jersey in existence and can be narrowly dated to the three-year period 1945-1947, when it was worn by defensive back Ken Keuper. Graded A9.5 by MEARS. The black knit jersey is trimmed in gold along the collar and sleeves, and features full-length sleeves (with padded elbows). The number "18" is appliquéd in gold tackle twill on the front and reverse. An "O'Shea" manufacturer's label appears in the collar, and a "46" size tag is located on the crotch piece. Original and unaltered, the jersey displays moderate -to-heavy wear including a number of small holes on the front, and a vintage team repair on the reverse. The dating of this jersey, as well as its attribution to a specific player, was determined by a combined analysis of the manufacturer's tag, jersey style, and size/number (a comparison was made between the size of this jersey to the height and weight of the only two players who wore this number during its years of possible use). Based upon all three criteria, the jersey could only have been worn by defensive back Ken Keuper between the years 1945 and 1947, his only three seasons with the club. During Keuper's three years with the club he appeared in a total of thirty-eight games and recorded six interceptions. The Packers finished in third place in the Western Division each season between the years 1945 and 1947. The Green Bay Packers are the third-oldest team in the NFL and also the most successful. The Packers won a record eleven NFL Championships between the years 1922 and 1965, as well as three Super Bowls. Despite their storied history, pre-1960 Green Bay Packers jerseys are exceedingly rare and this is what we believe to be the earliest example known. It is also the fourth-oldest NFL jersey for any team listed in the MEARS census (the earliest is a circa 1933-1934 Bears jersey). This is a remarkable jersey in all respects and, given the legendary status of the franchise, one of the most significant surviving relics in NFL history. Graded A9.5 by MEARS (10 point base grade, but minus a half point for the small holes on the front). This jersey has been consigned to this auction directly from the personal collection/inventory of world-renowned bat and jersey authenticators David Bushing and/or Troy Kinunen. LOAs from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $9,987.50
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