1998 Manning Colts road jersey: not gradable

mearsmanning.jpgThe Indianapolis Colts are AFC Champions and one step from a Super Bowl victory. Marvin Harrison may be the favorite target of his quarterback, but Peyton Manning is on the receiving end of one jersey that MEARS has recently deemed “Unable to Authenticate.”

On Dec. 12, 2006, MEARS was asked to evaluate a jersey being offered as a 1998 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts road jersey. We assigned the hologram number 304926 and recorded all of the measurements, numbering, lettering, and tagging in both our permanent “Jersey Letter of Opinion” file and listed the shirt in our “Jersey Trade Index” with the designation, “Unable to Authenticate.”

It is our current policy to list all items we evaluate, even those found “Unable to Authenticate” in several areas of the www.mearsonline.com website. This is done with the intention of warning potential buyers what to look for while listing the exact reasons for the opinion, which did not allow us to issue a favorable opinion.

The jersey was issued as the road pullover style manufactured from mesh materials. Logo Athletic was the manufacturer. Although the jersey was properly tagged, its size 52 was larger than the exemplars in the MEARS database. The jersey was tagged as a 1998.

“MANNING” was sewn onto a nameplate with 3 3/4-inch lettering. Number “18” was found on the  front and back. Evaluation of the wear was inconsistent with a starting quarterback.

Examination of more than two dozen Getty Images photos reveals that the spacing between the manufacturer logo on the sleeves and the sleeve number is greater on this jersey than on jerseys in 1998 game photos, both of Manning and other Colts players. In addition, there are no size 52 exemplars for Manning from the 1998 season.

Therefore, MEARS was unable to authenticate this jersey as worn by Manning due to incorrect size (52), lack of wear, and incorrect placement of sleeve numbering in conjunction with the sleeve logo.  

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