Jerseys

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© Jeff Obermeyer 2000-2009

Game-worn jerseys have always been one of my favorite collectibles.  You can’t get much closer to the game than the jersey a player actually wore in competition.  Judging by the number of hits this page gets compared to the rest of the site, I’m obviously not alone in my interest.


Prior to 1996, game-worn jerseys could only be obtained on the secondary market or, in the case of the Thunderbirds, by buying raffle tickets that were sold at each home game with the hope of winning the nightly drawing and walking out with whatever sweater they made available that night.  Beginning in 1996, however, the Thunderbirds began offering game worn jerseys for sale directly to fans, who for $300 could select their favorite player. 


The increased demand for jerseys also led to some “unique” designs, worn for one game only and then auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Prices have remained strong in Seattle over the years, with the one or two unique styles auctioned each year ranging in average price from about $400 to close to $1,000.  Even game-issued jerseys in these designs routinely sell at auction for hundreds of dollars (buyer beware - the game-issued jerseys are identical to the game-worn jerseys, so I suggest checking the rosters on the WHL website to see if the player actually appeared in the game).


Seattle jerseys from prior to 1996 are difficult to find.  Totems jerseys in particular are in high demand, and few are seen offered for sale.  Over the past 10 years or so I have seen or come across auctions for less than a dozen examples.  However, a few years ago an Ironmen jersey surfaced at an auction - so they are out there.


Below are some examples from my collection of the various jersey types and styles worn over the years.

Seattle Breakers
Seattle Totems
Seattle Thunderbirds
Seattle Thunderbirds - “Specials”



This circa 1958-63 style jersey manufactured by Athletic Supply was worn by one of the all-time Totem greats, defenseman Gordie Sinclair.  It can be attributed to Sinclair as he was with the Totems during the entire period this style was in use, and he was the only man to wear number “3”. 


The jersey shows heavy wear, most notably that the sleeves have been cut off about half way between the shoulder and elbow.  It was part of a hand-me-down to a local group of youth players and used for practice.  Fortunately the stars-and-stripes sleeve patch was retained by the recipient, and I still have it as well.




This circa 1963-66 jersey by Sand Knit was also a hand-me-down, with a group of these given to a local amateur team that had a connection who worked for the Totems.  They were intended for use as practice jerseys, and according to the previous owner that’s exactly what his teammates did with them.  Luckily the recipient of this #10 jersey opted to not wear his and kept it in a dresser drawer for the next 30+ years.


Bob Sabourin or Earl Heiskala likely wore this jersey, as both wore the #10 during this era. 




This circa 1967-75 jersey by Athletic Supply is difficult to attribute to a specific player due to the length of time the style was in service as well as the number of players who wore #2 - Larry Hale, Ken Rodgers, Dwight Carruthers, Bob Ash, Larry Cahan, Larry McNabb, or Larry McIntyre are all possible candidates. 


Based on my personal experience, this is the most “common” style of Totems jersey that comes on the market.  Of those I have seen, all except one have been green (the other was white). 

1984 Training Camp Practice Jersey

1979-81 Mike Mesic

NNOB

1983-85 Style

NNOB

Jersey by Cooper

1983-85 Craig Endean

Jersey by Cooper

1982-83 Style

Jersey by Cooper

1987-88 Darcy Simon

Jersey by Cooper

1992-93 Brendan Witt

Memorial Cup Patch

Jersey by CCM

1992-94 Tyler Quiring

Jersey by CCM

1996-97 Patrick Marleau

Jersey by CCM


**First year team sold jerseys

1994-97 Paul Ferone

Jersey by CCM

2000 Brennan Evans

St. Patrick’s Day

First Ever Jersey Auction

Jersey by Bauer

2001 Eric Benke

St. Valentine’s Day

Jersey by Bauer

2006 Scott Jackson

St. Patrick’s Day

First TBirds jersey w/tie down

Jersey by CCM

2002 Mark Lindsay

President’s Day

Jersey by Nike

2002 Marc Desloges

Halloween

Jersey by Nike
(no longer owned)

2005 Jeremy Schappert

Halloween

Jersey by K1

2000 Greg Black

70’s Night

2007 Sena Acolatse

Totems Turn Back the Clock

2008 Riku Helenius

Breakers Turn Back the Clock

2002 Steven Goertzen

25th Anniversary

Saturday Alternate

1999-2000 Oleg Saprykin

Saturday Alternate

2006-07 Kyle Pess

Saturday Alternate

2001 Nate Thompson

Halloween Warm-Up

2002 Matt Spiller

Winter Warm-Up

2008 Game Issued

Totems Turn Back the Clock

2001 Tomas Mojzis

Christmas Warm-Up

2001 Brooks Laich

Thanksgiving Warm-Up