Perils of Game Used: Sharks are out to deceive!

I will stop short of indicting all game-used dealers of wrong doing - but, collectors need to be aware: Sharks swim in these waters!  

What's all this noise?  Well, see,  I woke up this morning to a tweet from a collecting newbie asking for advice on a "game-used" jersey he is considering buying. The tweet included a photo of the available garment: A 1977 Steve Carlton road jersey.  After a quick examination I could confidently advise him against plunking down a few thousand dollars for the jersey.

Here are a few of the problems:

1. White zipper.  The Phillies always used metal zippers.

2. Tail tagging.  

  • Wilson tag used dates to the 1980s.
  • Carlton wore a size 46 jersey during this period of his career

3. Collar tagging

  • 1977 jerseys contained a silk collar lining with the embroidered name tag attached over it.
Photos of the authentic Carlton jersey are from

Photos of the authentic Carlton jersey are from

Tips for researching on your own:

  • Use old cards or Google image searches to help find pictures of uniforms used in a given period.
  • Subscribe to game-used forums such as "Game Used Universe" to discuss with experts.
  • Refer to final results on online auction sites to find other comparable examples.
  • Keep in mind, if the price is too good to be probably is!