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Extraordinary 1968-1972 Wilt Chamberlain Los Angeles Lakers Game-Used Road Jersey: MEARS A10
Reserve - $10,000. Estimate - $25,000++
Los Angeles Lakers road jersey worn by Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain during the late 1960s/early 1970s. Graded a perfect A10 by MEARS. The purple dureen jersey is lettered "Lakers" across the front and features the number "13" on the front and reverse. "Chamberlain" is lettered on the reverse directly above the number. All letters are appliquéd in gold on white tackle twill, while all numerals are appliquéd in white on gold tackle twill. A "Tiernan" label appears at the base of the front tail. Despite the absence of a size tag, analysis by MEARS, as noted in its accompanying letter, indicates that measurements of the chest (22 inches) and torso (28 inches) are most consistent with a size "44" garment, a size which compares favorably with other Chamberlain jerseys the company has examined. Chamberlain played with the Lakers for five seasons beginning in 1968. The style of the offered jersey matches that used by the Lakers during Chamberlains ' first four seasons with the club, therefore slightly narrowing its period of use. The jersey is original as issued, with no alterations, and displays heavy use throughout. Most interesting are a number of stains along the right (heaviest) and left (light) shoulder areas that appear to be blood. If so, it is indicative of the physical style of play Chamberlain endured throughout his career, as he was the focal point for each opposing team on the defensive end of the court.
Chamberlain led the Lakers to three NBA Finals and one NBA Championship between the 1968/1969 and 1971/1972 seasons. While not the scoring machine he was earlier in his career, Chamberlain was still a dominant force on the hardwood during his final years with the Lakers. "Wilt the Stilt" averaged twenty or more points per game during his first three seasons with the club and also posted league-leading totals in field goal percentage (twice) and total rebounds (four times) over that span as well. Chamberlain was not only one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game (his dominance actually forced certain rule changes) but also one of the most recognizable sports personalities of the 20th Century, making this a special jersey on many levels. Graded A10 by MEARS. This is the first Wilt Chamberlain jersey we have ever handled and it ranks as one of the finest known. Of the few we have seen at public auction, the only other Chamberlain jerseys graded A10 by MEARS were college jerseys. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest-graded Chamberlain professional jersey ever evaluated by MEARS. The extensive analysis of this very jersey is posted by MEARS on its website, which can be accessed at this link: http://www.mearsonline.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=15&cntnt01returnid=97. Chamberlain jerseys are tantamount to Babe Ruth or Jim Brown jerseys in their respective sports. This is a superb museum-quality example in all respects and one that would be an extremely significant highlight in any advanced uniform collection. LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $10,000. Estimate $25,000++.
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