I wrote a piece today on the joys of scouring thrift stores to find that one (or many) special jersey.
Thought it’d be fun to do a follow-up post with everyone’s most prized jersey - so please send us photos either by hitting us up on Twitter @thetickr, on Facebook or email me.
One of my favorite hobbies — something that I like to do once every month or so — is visiting the thrift stores in my area, spend an hour or two going through each of their second-hand clothing collection to look for sports jerseys that no longer have value to people, sometimes with reason.
You never know what you’re going to find.
Well, after awhile, you kind of do.
There’s always that Allen Iverson jersey, that’s either three sizes too big, or four sizes too small. And just when I find it in size 44, it’s not the color I’m looking for. Find the right player, and it’s the one with the wide replica sleeves. Find the right size, and you look at the lettering in the back and realize it’s not the real thing.
I just flip through the racks without much expectation of finding anything — and that one out of six times you find a David Robinson or Grant Hill with just the right fit, it’s the greatest surprise in the world.
A part of spending all this time searching for who knows what has nothing to do with consumerism at all. I mean my favorite moments are when I see a jersey like Jason Kapono Charlotte Bobcats and just smile — wishing I could trace the jersey back to its owner and understand how they came to own it in the first place.
Lately, the demand for these vintage jerseys have become a sort of fashion statement. There’s actually some meaning to finding Mark Price in the old Cleveland Cavalier design, or Chris Webber in the Golden State Warrior blue.
It always used to feel like I was exploiting a market inefficiency — these were clothing items that meant nothing to most people. Now, I have to pay a premium if I want to wear a Shareef Abdur Rahim Vancouver Grizzlies with faded lettering.
The market is catching up, but this too shall pass — there will come a day when they won’t care about Glenn Robinson or Larry Johnson anymore, and I’ll find my Robert Horry jersey without overpaying for it.
Maybe it’s a good thing I come home empty handed more often than not — it just makes me want to come back for more. Every trip is a new opportunity to find that next surprise.
And in between — I’ll just several hours a night debating whether it’s worth it to pay thirty bucks shipping online just so I can hang a Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf jersey in my closet.
photo via F as In Frank Vintage