1974-1975 Willie Sojourner New York Nets ABA Home Jersey

Sold For: $2,963

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1327

Item Year: 1974

Category: Football/Basketball/Hockey/Boxing/Other Sports

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New York Nets ABA jersey worn by center Willie Sojourner during the 1974-1975 season. The white polyester jersey, which incorporates an American flag design (complete with three white stars embroidered down the side of the front), is lettered "Nets" across the front and features the number "40" on both the front and reverse. The name "Sojourner" is lettered on the reverse directly above the number. All letters and numerals are appliqu├ęd in red tackle twill. A "Rawlings 44" label and an adjacent, blank, strip tag appear on the interior rear tail. Willie "Rainbow" Sojourner's name will forever be linked with that of Julius Erving, and not just because they were close friends (Sojourner was the best man at Erving's wedding and is credited with coining his famous nickname: "Dr. J."). Sojourner was part of the trade that brought Erving from the Virginia Squires to the Nets on August 1, 1973. In exchange for Sojourner and Erving, the Nets parted with George Carter, the rights to Kermit Washington, and $800,000. Tangible evidence of that historic deal is apparent on the offered jersey in the form of a vintage, team-executed name and number change on the reverse. Both the outlines of the name "Carter" and the original number "40" are still visible on the reverse. (The number change was necessitated by the difference in the size of each player's name.) Aside from those two changes, the garment is all original, with no other alterations. Moderate wear is displayed throughout, including a number of small, light scattered stains on both the front and reverse. Vintage ABA jerseys have always been highly prized by collectors. The fact that this piece also indirectly relates to Julius Erving's arrival in New York only adds to its appeal. LOA from Dave Bushing and Dan Knoll (as experts for Global Authentication). Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $2,963

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