Tracking Down the Truth: Gretzky Kings

Auction

Grey Flannel Auctions currently has a jersey for auction, listed as a premium auction that states it is a 1989-90 game worn Wayne Gretzky jersey.  As Gretzky is one of the most desirable jerseys, they can fetch a premium in the hobby, however many experts often dispute the legitimacy of Gretzky jerseys among themselves.

Our Game Worn Radio episode that included discussion on this auction sparked some interesting topics and revealed the possibility of a different lineage that what is purported.  On the show, we discussed the 9/10 grade and what could that mean.  Between our readers, listeners and radio show panel many collectors agreed that they didn’t understand the grading system as a game worn jersey is either real or not.

Looking closer, it was discovered that photo-match.com that issued the 9/10 rating has the same mailing address at the bottom of their web pages as the grey flannel auctions pages displays on their footer.  Once of the concerns among the collectors was what seemed a conflict of interest of the auction entity issuing LOAs.  Another concern was an LOA coming from an entity called “Photo-match” but no evidence of an actual photo match.

After the show, we were contacted by an authentic jersey collector who had a Gretzky collection that he referenced selling off in the late 90’s.  Included with the message were pictures taken from an iPhone 7 of 4×6 printed photos of one of the Gretzky jerseys he had in his collection asserting that it was not game worn and was indeed an authentic jersey.

We then compared these pictures to those from the auction and discovered that all signs point to the jersey in the auction being the same jersey from the 4×6 photos.

After checking out the photos and identifying that the shirt in question is the same shirt, we reached out to one of the writers of an LOA for the jersey in the auction lot to see what that person knew about the authentication process.

Rewriting Goal Puck Tape

Some eagle-eyed collectors have recently noticed that goal pucks being sold by Fanatics all have the same hand writing, regardless of the venue.  This prompted some collectors to inquire how that could be the case.  After reaching out to some Fanatics representatives, it was discovered that after receiving the pucks, they rewrote and taped the pucks using one person’s hand writing for legibility.

This created a great conversation from collectors regarding the change or modification of the pucks after the end of the game.  Some expressed that they would like the original tape from the score box on the item and for legibility purposes, that an insert or sticker could be included with their item to keep all pieces in tact.  Others did not care about any modifications as long as the data was correct.

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Some collectors even pointed out that other distributors include printed stickers with all the necessary information with the tape around the puck completely removed.  You can see this on the picture above that has tape residue still on the puck.

What are the most common practices that you prefer or do you envision something entirely new that you think would be more pleasing?

Time and Investigation Reveal Interesting Stories

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A couple years ago, the Detroit Red Wings offered a series of Training Camp and Exhibition jerseys at their end of the year sale that had their nameplates removed.  Without knowing for sure, the team sold the jerseys without their standard LOA in an as-is environment.

After positively identifying some of these jerseys, collectors contacted the team to see if the removed nameplates were still around.  Unfortunately, they were not.  Where did they go?  After talking to a number of collectors, it was revealed that a couple years before the sale, there was a stash of nameplates from jerseys.  These would have had to have been training camp and exhibition name plates because regular season jerseys have letters stitched directly to the numbers.

Recently, a collector who also has a number of cards was able to identify that the missing nameplate for one of the jerseys ended up in cards.  It seems that at some point, the team took the pile of nameplates and send them to upper deck.  Now, the only question that remains is why the nameplates were removed in the first place.

Some collectors find enjoyment in trying to figure out the when’s and why’s of certain situations that jerseys or memorabilia end up in.  Often times, I find myself wondering which jerseys were the ones cut up into cards to know which have been removed from the hobby.  Only strong definitive investigative work can tell the tell.

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Game Worn Radio: Accusations, Internet Security, Auctions

When we started doing this radio show, we never thought it would last this long or become what it has.  Its been a ton of fun at really helps some of these collectors keep in contact with each other.

Derek tells a story about how he was accused of being a bully in the hobby after trying to help a communication issue between to parties engaged in a trade. One of the parties involved made a slight handed comment about the other person being slanderous, so Derek asked him if he was trying to create a problem with him. Long story short, someone else heard about it and began passive aggressively posting negative things directed at Derek, so he addresses this on the show.

We discuss some of the auction platforms teams have been using to list jerseys and their security. Many do not have authentication of accounts and anyone in IT or IT security understand that these are major concerns.

Finally the guys talk about the most recent ended auctions, items and values.

Audio Only:

Game Worn Expo 2020 Detroit Planning

Little-Caesars-Arena We are beginning the planning stages for our next expo to be held in Detroit during the Frozen Four in 2020 pursuant to the success of logistics.  In order to create the best success possible, we are open to suggestions to make improvements from our 2017 Chicago expo.  

If you have any contacts that would be valuable in the Detroit area to assist with securing a venue, lodging accommodations, and marketing, please let us know.  If you have thoughts and opinions on improving existing activities or planning new activities, we would love to hear those as well.