Sunday, January 03, 2010

(1) Comments

The Mystery of the #56 Tug McGraw jersey

 I saw this Tug McGraw jersey listed from Mitchell & Ness and it confused me.  I only know Tug to wear #45 and the numbers looked big.  I posted it, and it seems to bug you guys too.

I tried checking out the MLB style guide and the online version didn't help me enough to decide.  That 30 looks a tad smaller than the 30 to me, but maybe I'm comparing apples to oranges since clearly one jersey is gray and one isn't.

Head on over to Baseball Almanac's 1965 Mets roster and you see Tug listed as #45.

Frank was bothered by all this so he emailed Mitchell & Ness.  A nice man named Jerry V wrote back and says it is a Spring Training jersey.

I went to the Google News Archives.   Here's a story from spring 1965 about promising pitcher Frank McGraw.   No pic though.

Did a search on Uni Watch and found nothing, but I've emailed this article to Paul Lukas, I bet he solves the case.

Paul from Paul's Random Stuff sent over this link which is from a recent auction that sold Galen Cisco's 1964-65 game worn jersey.  The numbers on the Tug version still look low to me, and a tad big, no?  (thanks Paul!!!)

I'm stumped.   There's really three questions here:

1.  Did the Mets wear numbers that big?
2.  Did Tug wear #56 ever?
3.  Why would they pick the combination of Tug/1965/and a number he's not known for?

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1 Response to "The Mystery of the #56 Tug McGraw jersey"
jon said :
January 3, 2010 at 11:23 PM
Hi, I'd be happy to help. I get the same question at mbtn often and addressed it at least once before here:

1. I'm not sure but the numbers look okay to me.

2. Yes, in spring training but McGraw wore 45 once the season began. Often, materials published in the spring (such as yearbooks) would contain a published roster including numbers players did not wear, and/or photos from spring training.

3. I don't know this for sure I suspect Mitchell & Ness relied on inaccurate information they found on the Internet but did not verify. A certain website covering mtes uni numbers (cough) may have been the first to make this mistake. This was back when I was still separating numbers *listed* from the numbers that were actually worn. That would have been back before I re-did the site in 2003, not sure how old the jersey is. Maybe I should feel a little guilty for this but had someone asked me at the time I'd have strongly recommended they double check, especially if they were going to be creating a $275 jersey off it.

Anyway, hope this helps. Any other questions about Mets uni numbers please visit my site.
Jon @

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