Auction Action By Paul Lukas of ESPN’s Uni-Watch

Thanks Paul! To view this post and other fine uniform related discussions head over to

Our friends at Grey Flannel Auctions are running another catalog auction, which means it’s time for me to showcase some of the most interesting items they’re selling. Let’s look at some of the highlights:

Many of the most interesting items are from former NBA players and identical twins Dick and Tom Van Arsdale, including Dick’s 1967 warm-up top shown above. Is that magnificent or what? Interestingly, the block-shadowing on the chest lettering falls to the right, while the NOB shadowing falls to the left!

There’s also this amazing warm-up suit worn by Tom during an early-’60s trip to the USSR that was sponsored by The Indianapolis Star:

And here’s Tom’s late-’60s Cincinnati Royals warm-up top, with just “Van” as the NOB:

Interestingly, Tom’s 1972 All-Star jersey had a “Van Arsdale” NOB, while Dick’s jersey from a 1975 NBA/ABA tour of Japan just had “Arsdale”:

There are also lots of good non-Van Arsdale items. For example:

• I always thought crotch extensions on football jerseys — sometimes referred to as the “diaper” — were used primarily by linemen. But here’s a 1970 Joe Namath Jets jersey with the diaper. Who knew? (Some very quick photo research indicates that, sure enough, many of Broadway Joe’s gamers were diaper-equipped.)

• Nowadays, if an NBA team wears a black memorial band on its jersey’s shoulder strap, the band is just a single strip of fabric on the front of the strap. But the black band on this game-used 1999-2000 Shaq jersey clearly wraps around the strap. When did they stop doing it that way?

• Here’s something I’ve learned over the years: If you do a Google image search on “Dominique Wilkins Hawks” — because, say, you’re looking for a good photo of the team’s awesome diagonally oriented uniforms — the overwhelming majority of the photos that come up show Wilkins in the road red uni. Similarly, I’m pretty sure that all of the membership card requests we’ve had for that design over the years have been for the red version. But here’s a white Wilkins jersey up for auction, from 1988.

• Here’s something you don’t often see: an MLB All-Star ring, in this case for Catfish Hunter in 1975.

• Remember when the Knicks had that great vertically arched NOB lettering? Here are some examples from a bunch of players — Nate BowmanCazzie RussellPatrick Ewing, and Clyde.

• The PBSW Ramblers were a professional women’s softball team that played in Arizona in the 1940s. Here’s an amazing jersey and jacket that they wore (plus the lot also includes an excellent quilt):

• Here’s something we may soon be seeing a lot more of: a game-used MLB helmet — originally worn by A-Rod during a game in Japan — with an ad decal.

• Surprising to see that this 1970 Pete Rose jersey has a button right in the middle of the chest lettering. Would’ve been easy enough to skip it:

• And we wrap this one up with arguably the most interesting item of all — a 1948 Reds satin jersey:

Several MLB teams experimented with satin uniforms for night-game visibility during the 1940s, but I hadn’t been aware that the Reds were one of them. Dressed to the Nines has no indication of it. After seeing this auction listing, I poked around a bit and found this 2012 article (with no photos, alas) by noted uni collector Dave Grob, in which he makes a case for the Reds having worn satins in 1948. And then there’s this 2018 tweet:

So I checked with Todd Radom, and of course he had the goods. Check out this 1948 newspaper clipping:

Surprising that they opted to wear “Cincinnati” on the home whites!

Want to see more from the latest Grey Flannel Auctions catalog? You can click through all of the auction listings here.