Summer Premier Auction 2019

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If “Greatest Wide Receiver in Football History” were put to a vote, Jerry Rice would win unanimously. Heck, statistically speaking, one can make the case he was the greatest football player ever. The San Francisco 49ers recognized his talent at little Mississippi Valley State, trading up to take him with the 16th pick in the 1985 draft. Over the next 16 years he rewarded the Niner faithful with three Super Bowls. When he finally retired after 20 seasons, Rice held an unfathomable 38 NFL records. He remains the all-time leader in touchdowns (208) and TD catches (197), receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and yards from scrimmage (23,540). No athlete worked harder to perfect his craft than Jerry and he continues to stay in incredible shape, still dedicated to his legendary training run up “The Hill” near his Bay Area home.

In 1990, the 49ers looked to become the first team in the Super Bowl era to three-peat. Catching 100 balls for 1,502 yards, Rice put together another incredible season as San Francisco finished with the NFL’s best record at 14-2. The Niners hosted the Divisional Playoff round against Washington on January 12, 1991 at “The Stick” and cruised to a 28-10 victory over the Skins. In the 2nd quarter, Joe Montana hit his favorite target for a 10-yard TD strike to give the Red and Gold a lead they would not relinquish. Rice had 6 receptions for 68 yards and that lone score in the game.

This offered Jerry Rice game-worn jersey has been professionally photo-matched to the 1/12/91 playoff game and significant TD catch. Who could have known that Montana-to-Rice touchdown connection would be the last time (playoffs or regular season) the two would hook up in their storied careers? The 12 playoff touchdowns by the duo through the air remain an NFL record. It would also be the last playoff win the two football icons celebrated as teammates. The 49ers lost to the Giants the following week in the 1990 NFC Championship, during which Montana suffered an elbow injury that eventually lead to his departure to Kansas City.

The red home 49ers jersey has been tailored to Rice’s specifications with elastic sleeves and a custom-hemmed front shirttail (crotch flap removed). It shows a ton of wear, with heavy pilling of the shoulders and rear neck, fraying of the letters and numbers, dirt staining on the lower back, contact marks throughout and a total of ten team repairs. Manufactured by Wilson, the tagging has been removed per player preference. According to the included MEARS letter, the size and measurements are appropriate. All letters and numbers come in white tackle twill. Rice’s iconic number “80” is sewn on the front, back and each sleeve of the nylon mesh jersey. His last name “RICE” is sewn across a red nameplate on the upper back. Rice has autographed the back with “#80” inscribed in bold black marker.

Ultimately, it was a curved mark on the right shoulder (Getty 5379500) and a frayed thread on the back ‘0’ (Getty 281742) that made the photo-match conclusive. A 2002 listing of this same jersey states it was also worn in the ’90 NFC Title (1/20/91) and came with a team letter from the equipment manager. We are unable to confirm this due to the limited number of available images of Rice from that game.

This is arguably the finest Jerry Rice gamer to hit the auction block, representing an important NFL playoff record set by the legendary Montana-Rice connection that has only been equaled by one other duo: Brady and Gronk. Includes LOA from Resolution Photomatching with side-by-side graphic details of the match. Also comes with an old 2005 from MEARS, who for some reason marked it down to a grade of A8 due to it being customized to Rice's player specifications. Full LOA from PSA/DNA for the autograph.

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