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Questions regarding replica Gretzky liberty blue jerseys...


zackmak

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I've pretty much given up on getting a Starter authentic or Starter replica from the 1998-99 Gretzky year (I simply can't find any, and when I do, they are way overpriced for me).

So I'm turning to replicas from another company. I do have some questions, though, for all those experts on this forum, if I may.

From what I understand, there are 4 companies that made Starter blue replica jerseys after 1998-99:

CCM

Koho

Pro Player

Reebok

My questions are

1. Which jersey matches the best with the authentic Starter? I know that the Starter was a mesh, and the 'other company' replicas are polyester, so that's fine. Particularly crest size on the front - I hear some have it larger/smaller than the original. Also, for shade of blue that matches the best with the on-ice version. I see some pretty dark jerseys libertys for purchase.

2. What should the neck tag on the inside of each of these look like, and say? Eg. Will CCM say 'made in Canada'? and have an 'ice rink CCM patch'?

3. Which of these above brands have fakes from China made of them? Anything I should look for particularly?

4. Am I correct in thinking that, while the above 4 brands made a liberty blue jersey, they were never pre-made with Gretzky on them for retail sale, through a 'Vintage Collection' banner, or such (just like you see for the Oilers 'Vintage Collection' Gretzky jerseys)?

5. If they never came pre-stitched with Gretzky on them, then what company would you suggest I could send the jersey to for stitching? I understand they were not with nameplates, and the letters were more thin than thick.

Thanks for any help! Any info would be greatly appreciated!

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You say you're looking for a blue (navy) liberty Rangers Gretzky jersey, but you want one from 1998-99? That doesn't make sense, the Rangers didn't wear the navy liberty jersey in Gretzky's last year, 1998-99, they wore the white liberty.

Rangers35.png

The white liberty jerseys are difficult to find as authentics. Sometimes might even seem rare to find as a replica.

However, if you are actually just looking for a Starter navy liberty as worn from 1996-1998, I wouldn't give up so easily. Just be patient as those do pop up on eBay semi-regularly in authentics and will be worth the wait compared to a replica.

As for buying the jersey already customized as Gretzky, I'd say get a blank and send it to Gerry Cosby's.

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Assuming you're looking for a '96-'98 blue Liberty, there always seems to be quite a few Starters (especially replicas) that are available on eBay; they shouldn't be that hard to find. Do you mind if I ask what size you're looking for, and what price range (for both authentic and replica)? Perhaps I might be able to help you.

Regarding some of the questions you asked:

Reebok did not make any Liberty replicas- CCM made them during the time when Reebok made the authentics.

Starter made some precustomized Gretzkys- the lettering is just so-so, with the biggest problem being that the letters are too small, and are stitched too closely together. But fontwise, I've seen a lot worse. There are double Starter and Eastern Conference logos on the hem.

ProPlayer replicas have their standard white and red neck tag, Kohos have their standard white/yellow replica tag. CCM made Liberties during a 10 year period, so the tags vary depending on date of manufacture. The earliest ones from the mid-to-late 90's have the ice rink tag, the ones in the late 90's have the dark blue CCM tag, and the ones after 2000 have the standard gray/white/dark blue "Official Licensed Jersey" neck tag. Many of the post-2000's CCM's were made in Indonesia, not necessarily in Canada.

I don't know if this makes a difference to you, but if you get a Koho or a post-2000 CCM, these do not have brand logos on the hem; they are under the back collar. For some reason that would bother me if I were to letter a post-2000 Liberty with a player who only used Starters- but that's just me. Plus the red color on the sleeves of the post-2000 jerseys is a significantly lighter shade than on the Starters.

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It looks like a legit team-issued jersey to me. There are a few strange things about this jersey though. The Rangers obviously didn't use blue Liberties in 1998-99, and the Gretzky/Rangers 1998-99 Season patch looks rather suspect, so this jersey, although most likely team-issued, could not possibly have been game-issued. But interestingly, except for the arm numbers, the letters and back numbers look basically identical to the white 3-layer Liberty font used that year, except of course for the different twill colors. Just like the blue Liberty fonts of the 2 previous seasons (96-98), the white Liberty font was unique and did not look like any other season's Liberty font. It looks like someone somehow got the team customizer to letter a blue jersey using the white jersey font, tried to make it look like a 1998-99 by adding that Gretzky/Rangers patch, but it just ended up being a huge foul. A waste of a nice jersey, and someone paid an awful lot for it.

Edited by LAK74
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He purchased that jersey from another eBayer for under $200 and relisted it himself two weeks later. That's how he rolls.

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Yes, I meant to say 96-98 seasons. Thanks for clearing up with your reply, akteon.

I don't know, but I'm finding whenever I check ebay, every Starter jersey I click on (or even the other branded liberty ones), the numbering or lettering is always off from what it is supposed to look like. Here are a few examples of problem jerseys I just shared with a friend off of these forums:

Currently, on ebay I see sleeve numbering with no hole in the '9's
Grey colour instead of white as a border to the letters and numbers
Thicker lettering when it's supposed to be thin
Thick borders around numbers and small holes in the numbers
The '9's on the sleeve are stitched at the wrong angle compared to the on-ice versions

And I can't find a non-ebay online retailer either. They are all selling Oilers and Kings, or the standard NY Rangers Gretzky jersey.

Does anyone have ebay links (or other) to a proper blue Gretzky liberty. Preferably replica, of any brand? I can't believe it is this difficult!

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So - I understand the desire for it to be perfect, but if you're buying a replica -- you're already buying something that is different than the actual on-ice worn jersey.

The liberty jersey used different fonts over the years, so there is not necessarily 1 right customization.

Personally, if I was buying a replica - I would just try to find one that looks nice and "good enough" to one of the original jersey customizations and be happy.

But - if you want perfection, you'll have to be patient and wait. Since Liberty jerseys are not made anymore, you will need to take a wait and see approach and be ready to buy when one becomes available on eBay.

Another option - buy a blank and get it customized. Gerry Cosby was the original customizer for the Liberty jersey although I was told they lost the font for these particular jerseys in a computer crash, so even they may not be able to customize it perfectly.

This one is a good example of an authentic blank that you could get customized ... IIRC, someone on Reddit (/r/hockeyjerseys) or IceJerseys is selling this, so you might be able to buy it from the seller directly instead of eBay and save some money.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Authentic-New-York-Rangers-Liberty-Alternate-NHL-Starter-Hockey-Jersey-Size-52-/252089189152?hash=item3ab1afc320

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