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1961 Jim Otto Game-Worn Jersey Oakland Raiders Signed

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Rated 5 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating

Winning Bid: $16,500.00

Winning Bid: $16,500.00

Auction ends: 2018-06-09 20:00
Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Total price with Buyers Premium: $19,800.00

Bids count: 9

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Back in the day, the American Football League (AFL) was a powerhouse that certainly changed the engine of playing football. They essentially took the NFL gound and pound philosophy away by opening up the playbook and adding dimension to the field. This concept sounds familiar to how the modern day game is played but perhaps it is a mere flashback.

In the AFL inaugural year (1960), The city of Oakland was awarded the eighth franchise and the Raiders were born. This was after the Los Angeles Chargers owner demanded a second team was added on the West Coast or else he would forfeit his franchise. Also during that time, when the Minneapolis contingent reneged to accept an NFL franchise, the Raiders inherited Minneapolis’ draft picks. The team was based out of Oakland, but they played their home games at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.

The Raiders chose Jim Otto in the draft as their stalwart franchise man. He signed and became a Raider in perpetuity with 15 HOF seasons served starting 223 consecutive games over his time in the Bay area, second of all time at center position.

Interestingly, Otto was issued jersey number “50” for the AFL’s inaugural season, 1960, but switched to his familiar “00” the next season (1961). After his rookie season, Otto continued to have a non-stop work ethic in mind and worked diligently to build his body weight up to 256 pounds for punishing his opponents. Although Otto worked hard, the team fell flat in 1961 with a last place finish in the AFL West.

This accounting is important because it leads the presentation of this exceptional durene game-used jersey of Otto from that brutal 1961 season.The design is simple with his iconic jersey number identified as “00” on the front, back and shoulders via sewn on numerals in shadowed black/yellow gold tackle twill. 

Of note, the black portion of the numeral identifiers were filled in with black felt tip pen. Sort of a “bush fix” to save money and time by the team’s tailor in response to the continuous fading and bludgeoning. The front features a distinct manufacturer’s tag in Wilson from the time period – [size 48] with wash instructions on the crotch piece. There is also a handwritten 48 for an easy size identifier along the waistline. 

The AFL was an innovator in the application of player’s names to jerseys and the trend started with the inaugural season of 1960. His name on this one is simply, “OTTO” sewn on a nameplate.

Present in the design of the durene material, the sleeves have three distinct yellow/black highlight stripes. There’s also a circular area sewn-in for extra material on the elbows for protection.

Overall, the jersey shows tremendous wear. This type of wear is typical for a vintage game jersey that shows a whole season of use in fields disguised as mud bogs. The use is very-very heavy, with 10+ massive team repairs abound, identifier thread fraying and consistent soiling from one side to the other. This jersey is a great reflection on real football when players were durable warriors. It also reflects the teams belief in recycling (i.e. cost consciousness) as most likely it suffered a significant degree of practice use.

The jersey was sourced direct from Jim Otto, and it was autographed an authenticated by the man himself in silver felt tip, “My First 00 Jersey.”   This  Otto jersey is a rare survivor from the early days of the Oakland Raiders.

The letter from Jim Otto reads:

My football career with the Oakland Raiders spanned from 1960-1974. This was my personal jersey that I wore with the AFL Raiders. This is my first jersey with my numbers “00” on the back. Numbers “00” were the numbers I wore throughout my career with the Raiders, except for my Rookie year. This is my white game worn Raiders jersey that I have had in my personal possession since the 1960’s.

Authentication: JSA Full Letter, 100% Authentic Team & Provenance Letter

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