Spring Premier Auction 2013
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
In the history of the NFL, nobody packed more statistics, accolades and highlight footage into a decidedly
short time in the arena than did Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers. Sayers burst upon the pro
football scene in 1965 with the kind of an impact that the sport had not felt in many years. Quiet and
unassuming with immeasurable talent and toughness to match, Sayers continued to revolutionize the
running back position in 1967 and well into the 1968 season. Then, in the ninth game of the 1968 season,
Sayers suffered a knee injury that required immediate surgery. After a tortuous rehabilitation program,
Gale came back in 1969 in a most spectacular manner, winding up with his second 1,000-yard rushing
season and universal Comeback of the Year honors. But injuries continued to take their toll and, just before
the 1972 season, Gale finally had to call it quits. In his relatively short career, he compiled a record that
can never be forgotten.
His totals show 9,435 combined net yards, 4,956 yards rushing, and 336 points scored. At the time of his
retirement he was the NFL’s all-time leader in kickoff returns. He won All-NFL honors five straight years
and was named Offensive Player of the Game in three of the four Pro Bowls in which he played. The Pro
Football Hall of Fame enshrined him in 1977. In a photo, taken 9/15/68 during the Bears home opener vs.
the Redskins, Sayers can be seen wearing a jersey with a large hole on the left sleeve just above the player
number “40”. The offered jersey, believed to be the same as that in the photo, presently shows a large
vintage team repair on the exact spot. On the left front tail of this navy blue dureen Bears home jersey is
the “Wilson” manufacturer’s tag with wash instructions and jersey size “46”. Player number “40” appears
on the front, back and on both sleeves in white on orange tackle twill. The shirt had long sleeves, which
were shortened and re-hemmed by the Bears seamstress to Sayers specifications. There are several large
team repairs throughout the shirt. The jersey shows heavy game-use and shows no non-team administered
alterations of any kind. Graded A10 by MEARS this museum quality football artifact is one of the finest
Sayers jerseys extant.
LOA from MEARS (A10).