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Lot # 1488 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1977 Pele New York Cosmos Home Jersey

Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $6,463

New York Cosmos home jersey worn by the incomparable Pele during his final professional season. Graded A10 by MEARS. This is an exceptional jersey in all respects and one that is further distinguished by its impeccable provenance. This jersey originates directly from Charles Serednesky Jr., who was the former vice-president of the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League, and it is accompanied by a one-page letter, directly from Serednesky, written and signed by him, detailing its history. In full: "The Pele game-worn jersey that you had acquired from me was worn by Pele while playing for the New York Cosmos in the late 1970's. At the time I was a Vice-President of the competing Tampa Bay Rowdies and I acquired the jersey from the New York Cosmos equipment manager." Although Serednesky can only recall that he obtained the jersey in the late 1970s, MEARS has determined, based upon the collar style, that this jersey dates specifically to 1977, which was Pele's final season with the club. The white cotton jersey features the Cosmos team logo on the left breast and the number "10" on the right breast, right sleeve, and reverse. "Pele" is lettered on the reverse above the number. The team logo has been appliquéd by means of a silk-screen process, all other letters and numerals have been appliquéd in forest-green tackle twill. An "Umbro" label appears in the collar. The jersey is all original, with no alterations, and displays moderate-to-heavy wear, including a few small light stains and three tiny holes (two on the left shoulder and one on the reverse).

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known by his nickname of "Pele," is considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time. As a member of Brazil's national team from 1957 to 1971, Pele became the only player in history to be a member of three World Cup Championship teams. Pele excelled in all aspects of the game and is still the all-time scorer for the Brazil national team. In 1975 Pele left Brazil and joined the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League. At the time, the Cosmos were the most financially stable team in the league and more than able to afford the aging superstar. Pele's arrival with the Cosmos in 1975 is credited with helping to popularize the sport of soccer in America. Not only did Pele raise the average sports fan's awareness of soccer, but his presence on the club's roster helped boost attendance for the struggling league. During his three years with the Cosmos the team routinely drew over 40,000 fans a game, which was a huge increase over the 15,000 league-average attendance figure. In 1977 Pele bid his final farewell to the sport by leading the Cosmos to the League Championship. Today, Pele is considered a national hero in Brazil and has been officially named the football ambassador of the world by FIFA (Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association). He was also named the Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. Graded A10 by MEARS. Because MEARS evaluates so few soccer jerseys, it has yet to provide a census, or population report, as it does for jerseys of other major sports. This is a very rare jersey and is the only Pele jersey REA has ever offered. (As a point of reference, this very jersey appeared as Lot 1445 in Robert Edward Auctions' May 2009 sale, where it realized a final sales price of $7,050; it has been consigned to this auction directly by that winning bidder. We have seen very few authentic examples of Pele Cosmos jerseys ever offered. This particular Pele jersey is perfect in all respects, and the facts that it can not only be dated to his final season but is accompanied by a strong and documented provenance make it one of the most ideal and desirable examples in existence. LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $6,463

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