Ryne Sandberg made his Major League debut with the Philadelphia Phillies on September 2, 1981 and appeared in only thirteen games for the club. The Phillies originally projected Sandberg as a third baseman at the time; however, the team realized that he had little chance of unseating future Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt. With that in mind, the Phillies traded Sandberg, along with shortstop Larry Bowa, to Chicago that winter for Ivan Dejesus. It would, of course, be one of the most regrettable trades in Phillies history, as Sandberg quickly blossomed into a perennial All-Star second baseman, eventually finishing his career in 1997 with Hall of Fame credentials. Offered is a spectacular Philadelphia Phillies road jersey worn by Ryan Sandberg during his short time with that club in September of 1981. This jersey, however, was originally manufactured for a player who did not make the 1981 opening day roster. Sandberg was called up to the Phillies from the team’s triple-A minor league affiliate late in the 1981 season. At that time this unissued but fully adorned jersey was stripped of its original nameplate and replaced with a "Sandberg" nameplate. Following the 1981 season the jersey was then sent to the Phillies minor league system, whereupon a "PHILLIES" nameplate was applied over the existing "Sandberg" nameplate (a common practice with regard to the team's uniforms from past seasons. It has since been removed, exposing Sandberg’s nameplate). This jersey was later obtained (along with a number of others dating from approximately the same time period) by respected veteran Phillies collector Howard Wolf from a source directly within the Phillies organization. The player's name, for which the jersey was originally made, located on a strip tag in the collar, was removed some time after having been sent to the minors; however, due to the impression left in the collar, the strip tag appears to have remained during the period in which Sandberg wore it. The powder blue knit jersey has the logo "P" on the left chest with "37" on the right chest and reverse. "Sandberg" is lettered on the reverse above the number. All letters and numbers are in maroon with white trim. A "Wilson 42" label appears on the left front tail with "81 2" stitched in black on a blue strip tag directly below. The jersey is signed by Sandberg ("9") in blue marker along the reverse, directly above the number. Aside from the mentioned changes, the jersey is original and unaltered, exhibiting moderate game wear typical of a shirt having been worn only at the end of the season and very minimally (if at all) down in the minors. Sandberg was one of the top players in the National League during the 1980s-90s. He won the National League MVP Award in 1984, while hitting .314 with 19 home runs and 84 RBI and leading the Cubs to their first postseason appearance since 1945. This jersey has all the proper tagging and is consistent with all known examples of Phillies jerseys from the period, making it the only known Sandberg Phillies road jersey offered for public sale. The jersey comes with a Letter of Authenticity from Dan Knoll, and the signature comes with a LOA from James Spence Authentications.
Included are two pieces of provenance including a letter from Howard Wolf and a LOA from GAI (Dan Knoll)