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> 2005 MLB Jersey Tagging Update

November 22, 2005

> The Pujols Primer - Version 2.0

September 14, 2005

> Rob Steinmetz

August 06, 2005

Rob Steinmetz

The Pujols Primer - Version 2.0 September 14, 2005

Friends,

To kick off my little corner of the "game used universe," I thought I would take a few minutes to update the information on Albert Pujols game used equipment that was published this summer in Sports Collectors Digest.  For those who read the article, some of this information will be a repeat - but I hope others find it beneficial.  If you have specific questions, feel free to contact me directly through my website (www.authenticgamers.com).   

Rob Steinmetz

The Pujols Primer - Version 2.0
Updated September 8, 2005

It's no secret that Albert Pujols is considered by many to be the best young player in the game today. The first player in Major League history to hit .300 with 30 home runs, 100 runs scored and 100 RBI in each of his first four seasons, Pujols is on pace to do the same in his 5th season - and he's still only 25 years old! As Pujols' performance on the field has flourished, his popularity in the hobby has also gained momentum. Having handled a great deal of Pujols' game used memorabilia since 2001, I felt as though publishing a "Pujols Primer" would be beneficial for game used memorabilia collectors.

Before we dive into his memorabilia, I want to share some exciting news about Pujols' newly formed charity, the Pujols Family Foundation (PFF). The PFF was founded this year with the sole purpose of reflecting the love and compassion for children in the hearts of Albert and his wife Deidre. The PFF, an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, will adopt at least three charities annually that reflect their mission of Faith, Family and Others. In 2005, the PFF will support the Orfanato Ninos De Christo orphanage in the Dominican Republic; promote awareness, provide hope and meet tangible needs for families and children who live with Down Syndrome; and provide extraordinary experiences for people with disabilities and life threatening illnesses.

One way collectors can support the PFF is through an upcoming memorabilia store that will be found at the PFF's website, located online at www.pujolsfamilyfoundation.org. This store will carry a wide variety of Pujols memorabilia, including game used memorabilia with air-tight documentation from Albert himself! Collectors can also be on the lookout for upcoming authentication services - details will be announced on the PFF website in the near future. All proceeds from the sale of Albert's game used memorabilia will benefit the aforementioned causes that have been adopted by the PFF. For more information, contact Todd Perry, Executive Director and VP of the Pujols Family Foundation, at todd@pujolsfamilyfoundation.org.

Now for the "dirt" on Pujols memorabilia. Genuine Albert Pujols game used equipment is among the most difficult to obtain in the hobby. Because Pujols has never signed an exclusive deal for the sale of his memorabilia, authentic examples of his jerseys, bats, gloves, and other equipment are quite scarce. The purpose of this article is to provide collectors with an overview of what Albert has or has not used during his Major League career. Let's start with jerseys:

GAME WORN JERSEYS

2001: Cardinals jerseys were manufactured by Rawlings. Jerseys were tagged on the inside of the tail with a Rawlings tag, a size flag tag, and a year/set flag tag. No special patches were worn on these jerseys, until after 9/11 when the American flag patch was added to the back of the neck. Pujols wore a size 46 for a short time in April of 2001, and then switched to a size 48. Beware of properly tagged 2001's with loose embroidery on the front "birds and bat" logo. For a photo reference of what the stitching on the front of Cardinals jerseys SHOULD look like, please refer to The Sporting News' recent hardcover book entitled Cardinal Nation.

2002: Cardinals jerseys were manufactured by Rawlings (for the last time). Jerseys were tagged on the inside of the tail with a Rawlings tag, a size flag tag, and a year/set flag tag. The year/set flag tag on 2002 jerseys are made of a paper fiber material instead of the nylon material used in 2001. From April through late June no special patches were worn on the jerseys. After the death of Darryl Kile and Jack Buck, special patches were added to each sleeve. Pujols wore a size 48 for the entire 2002 season. Beware of properly tagged 2002's with retail Buck & Kile patches and/or incorrect size numbers on the back and front. Please note that the Cardinals did wear only the Buck memorial patch for a very short period of time in 2002, although no examples with just one patch have ever surfaced in the hobby.

2003: Cardinals jerseys were manufactured by Majestic for the first time ever. Jerseys were tagged on the outside of the tail with a Majestic tag and a size flag tag. A very limited number of jerseys have surfaced with a year flag tag, but these are extremely rare. No special patches were worn on 2003 Cardinals jerseys. Pujols wore a size 48 for the entire 2003 season. Pay special attention to the interior wash tag on 2003 Pujols jerseys. While some were worn with a "6200" coded wash tag, a majority should have a "0062" coded wash tag. Beware of most 2003 Pujols jerseys - unless you have a trained eye, game used jerseys are virtually identical to retail jerseys.

2004: Cardinals jerseys were manufactured by Majestic. Jerseys were tagged on the outside of the tail with a Majestic tag and a size flag tag. A very limited number of jerseys have surfaced with a year flag tag, but these are extremely scarce. No special patches were worn on 2004 Cardinals jerseys. Pujols wore a size 48 for most of the 2004 season, switching to a size 50 late in the year (and throughout the postseason). Pay special attention to the interior wash tag on 2004 Pujols jerseys. While some were worn with a "6200" coded wash tag, a majority should have a "0062" coded wash tag. Beware of most 2004 Pujols jerseys - unless you have a trained eye, game used jerseys are virtually identical to retail jerseys.

2005: Like all MLB teams, Cardinals jerseys are being manufactured by Majestic. A very limited number of jerseys have surfaced with a year flag tag, but these are extremely scarce. The Cardinals are wearing a special Busch Memorial Stadium Final Season patch on the sleeve of both home and road jerseys. Albert has only worn size 50 jerseys in 2005, all of which reportedly have the pro-coded "0062" interior wash tag. The material on 2005 game used jerseys is unmistakably pro quality - very soft and heavyweight compared to their retail counterparts. It has also been reported that some of Albert's 2005 jerseys have custom straight hemmed tails, while others have the more traditional rounded tails. To date, I have seen one home jersey with a straight tail and two road jerseys with normal rounded tails.

GAME USED BATS

For the most current information on Albert Pujols game used bats, visit Jeff Scott's website at www.birdbats.com. Jeff has compiled the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on Pujols bats known to man. Jeff recently added some of Pujols' Louisville Slugger order records for your reference. Thanks to Jeff for this fantastic and reliable resource!

GAME USED GLOVES:

2001: Pujols split his time almost evenly between 3B, 1B, and OF during his rookie campaign. As a result, a few different glove types exist. Pujols used only black Nike gloves in 2001, with his name embroidered in yellow on the thumb of each glove. Beware of Nike gloves that show excessive use and have strange initials hand-written on the inside or outside of the glove. It is known that Pujols gifted many unused Nike gloves to relatives in the Dominican Republic, who used the gloves and later sold them in the United States as Albert's gamers.

2002: Pujols played primarily OF in 2002, but also spent some time at 3B and 1B (and even a few innings at SS!). As a result, a few different glove types exist. Pujols used both black and dark tan Nike gloves in 2001, with his name embroidered in yellow on the thumb of each glove. Beware of Nike gloves that show excessive use and have strange initials hand-written on the inside or outside of the glove. It is known that Pujols gifted many unused Nike gloves to relatives in the Dominican Republic, who used the gloves and later sold them in the United States as Albert's gamers.

2003: Pujols did not play 3B in 2003, but spent time in both the OF and at 1B. Pujols used only Nike gloves in 2003, but there were subtle changes this season. All black and black and red (two-toned) gloves were used in 2003, with RED embroidery on the thumb of each glove. Beware of Nike gloves that show excessive use and have strange initials hand-written on the inside or outside of the glove - and also be aware of 2003 gloves that are not broken in or show artificial game use.

2004 and 2005: When Albert made the switch to playing full-time 1B, he also switched to Rawlings gloves. Pujols' 1B gloves are embroidered with his children's names on the thumb in red (A.J. Pujols and Isabella Pujols). The first glove Rawlings made for Pujols was tan with red lacing, but later models were black and red or dark brown. Only one game used Rawlings Pujols 1B glove has been seen in the hobby to date.

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