Posted by: puckdrawn | March 23, 2009

Hockey Jersey Collector – spyboy1

jerseys_screenshotIn the Jersey Collections section here at PuckDrawn, spyboy1 is one of those with a great hockey jersey collection. I’m a new hockey jersey collector and on the message boards that I frequent, you will see spyboy1 (Jeff), offering up lots of insight into the world of jersey collecting. He says his collection is not the biggest, but it is still VERY impressive. Here’s my Q&A with Jeff.

PuckDrawn (PD): Jeff, your jersey collection is, what i would call, ENORMOUS! Do you think you have the worlds largest hockey collection? I can’t imagine there’s anyone with a larger collection.

Jeff: I know people who not only have more jerseys than me, but theirs are all game worn. Where they get the cash and space I have no idea.

PD: How do you display your collection? Are they all hanging or stored in bins?

Jeff: I have them all on hangers on a pair of garment racks. The racks sell for about $50 each at Target and are really heavy duty. I’ve often thought of hanging a pair of 5′ wooden poles from my ceiling in the TV room on chains and then running the pole through the sleeves of a pair of jerseys so I could hang the sweaters on the wall depending on what game was on, like the Olympics or Stanley Cup Finals. Being married, I think that idea might be a non-starter…

PD: When did you start collecting?

Jeff: I started by getting a North Stars jersey from the team souvenir stand at the old Met Stadium. Then I added a Minnesota Gophers jersey that I asked for at Christmas. The thing that really got me going was when I got a bit older and some Soviet teams came over to play in some exhibition games against the University of Minnesota and the North Stars. I got to see Moscow Dynamo play the Gophers. I stopped by to say hello to a girl I knew who worked at the t-shirt stand. She had some Soviet pins and small banners, which I thought was really cool. She told me that the players came by before the game and traded them to her for Gopher t-shirts and pucks. Then she told me she even had a jersey, but she couldn’t sell (to cover the cost of the stuff she gave them in exchange) it quick enough because it stunk so bad! I nearly flipped at the thought that I missed out on a Russian hockey jersey. After the game I hung out at her stand hoping they would come back after the game. Sure enough, a player did come back to try to trade more, and with sign language and a few basic words, I managed to communicate to him that I was interested in jerseys. He went back to the locker room and I got a home and away Moscow Dynamo jersey and a stick in exchange for a pair of sweatshirts and a stocking cap, which I paid my friend for. After that, I prowled the arenas every time a Soviet or Czechoslovakian team came to town and always got at least one jersey, and sometimes as many as five. From there I just started to find jerseys on sale at the Let’s Play Hockey Expo in St. Paul every year in conjunction with the Minnesota State High School Tournament. Shortly after that, ebay was born and suddenly I had access to way, way too many options one could never expect to find in a retail store locally.

PD: Do you remember the first jersey you owned and do you still have it?

Jeff: I sold the North Stars jersey. It was a home white that was customized without a name and the wrong font for the number. I still have the Gophers jersey from when I was a skinny teenager, but no longer fit into it, but have replaced it with the same style in an adult size.

PD: In total, how many hockey jerseys do you own?

Jeff: My collection is currently at 427.

I have approximately 75 authentics, 42 of those are game worn and 350 replicas.

I’ve got 33 NHL All-Star jerseys, 200 NHL team jerseys, 20 minor league jerseys from the IHL and AHL, 130 International jerseys from 18 different countries and 30 college jerseys.

The other thing that sets my collection apart is that I patch every jersey I possibly can. 300 of mine have at least one additional patch of some sort on it. I really like how they tell a story of a championship team, anniversary season, memorial to a past player or unique tournament or event.

Of the remaining jerseys, 40 of those have a “C”, “A” or Russian Captain’s “K” on it. Of the remainder that don’t have a patch nearly half of them are game worn that I won’t alter in any way.

PD: What do you consider the best/worst jersey is of all time in the NHL? Do you own any one of them?

Jeff: Since I’m partial to black and yellow, my idea of the best jersey of all time is a 1970-1990 era Boston Bruins black road jersey. I’ve got 3 of those. Also the 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins black road jersey with the 3 patches on it is another all time favorite.

The worst NHL jersey of all time has got to be the Anaheim Might Ducks Wild Wing alternate from 95-96. There was no dignity in that horrid thing. I’ve got one of those in what I call my “Curious, Weird and Ugly” collection, along with a few other choice styles.

PD: What is your all-time favorite jersey in your collection?

Jeff: After all this time, my favorite jersey is still my 1990-91 Soviet Red Army game worn CCM made jersey with the name on the back in Cyrillic. To me it is an icon of an era.

PD: Have you created your own custom jersey with your own design?

ottawa_fantasy_jerseyJeff: I’ve done a few custom jerseys. I made an alternate Ottawa Senators jersey with their 1920’s barberpole style with modern logos and numbers that I thought turned out really nice.

I also made a fantasy alternate third jersey for the Hartford Whalers 1992-93 set. They wore blue on the road and white at home. I found a green blank with a tie-neck and sliver trim (neither of which were ever used with their original green jerseys) and put the modern logo on the front and the retro Pucky the Whale patches on the shoulders. I get a lot of positive comments on that one.
hartford_fantasy_jersey
PD: Which jersey would you say is the most coveted in your collection?

Jeff: Coveted by me? Either my Red Army jersey or my 1996 Team USA World Cup of Hockey jerseys.

Coveted by others? My Martin Brodeur New Jersey Devils red and green rookie jersey when he wore #29 gets probably the most comments. The Wild Wing, the Los Angeles Kings “Burger King” alternate and Tampa Bay Lightning “Sea Sickness” alternate are ones I get offers for more than any others. People love the ugly alternates. Take my advice and grab yourself a Dallas Stars “Mooterus” while you can. It’s the Islanders “Fishsticks” jersey of the future. 10 years from now, everyone will want one. If it’s got a derogatory nickname, you know it’s a future classic.

PD: Any cool stories regarding any of your jerseys?

Jeff: Trading with the Soviets was probably the most unique. After several years of looking I was able to acquire a Nike Kazakhstan National Team jersey on ebay from a seller in… Australia! To this day I still shake my head at that one.

PD: Where do you go looking for your jerseys? eBay seems to have a lot of fake crap on there. Where would someone new go to start their collection of older jerseys?

Jeff: Despite the exponential rise of knockoffs on ebay, it’s still the world’s biggest garage sale. Just try sorting through the clutter of fakes and football jerseys on some place like Craigslist, and coming home to ebay, and it’s search function, doesn’t seem quite so bad in comparison.

Thanks Jeff! Go check out his collection HERE.

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Responses

  1. Nice Johnny, this is a great feature!

  2. Thanks Link!

  3. Sick, sick, sick. I dream of having a fraction of that many jerseys one day.


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