How to Tell If an MLB Jersey Is The Real Deal
| Matt G
It’s easier than ever to get your hands on sports merchandise these days, whether it’s MLB jerseys or NBA shorts, everything a sports fan could ever want is just a few clicks and Google searches away. But is the merchandise you’re spending your hard-earned money on the real deal?
The fact of the matter is there’s a lot of fakes, knock-offs, and replicas out there and to the untrained eye, fake merchandise can sometimes pass for the genuine article. Here’s five things you should check for or ask about before you throw your dime away on a fake MLB jersey.
- Official MLB Logo
Your first point of call is to check for the official Major League Baseball logo of authenticity. This can typically be found sewn into the garment (not a sticker placed on top) on the neckline of the jersey or sometimes on the front of the jersey near the bottom hem. It should have the iconic blue and red MLB logo of a baseball player silhouette with the words “Authentic Collection”.
An official MLB logo isn’t enough to tell if the jersey you just bought or are thinking of buying is the real deal. After all, some replica makers can be pretty crafty. Another one of the biggest tells of a fake MLB jersey is the material from which it’s made. Beware of cheap-looking and feeling polyester double knit. An official MLB jersey will be made from quality cool base performance material.
- Front Team Logo
MLB logo check out? Good. Material seem fine? Great. Now let’s turn our eyes to that team logo on the front. This is the centrepiece of the jersey and official MLB merchandise will ensure it looks up to scratch. Official MLB merch will have sewn-on tackle twill logos with professional stitching that is evenly spaced and carefully crafted. Fake jerseys will have printed logos or sewn-on logos that have uneven or improper stitching.
- Stitching & Sewing
Next, take a look at the stitching and sewing elsewhere on the garment, particularly around the hem and neckline, as well as other logos and patches, such as the player name (if it comes with a player name, teams like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees do not feature player names on their jerseys, unless it’s a fake), and player number.
Look out for cheap or poor quality stitching. Genuine MLB merchandise will bear thick contrasting stitching around the aforementioned areas that immediately stands out and can instantly differentiate a real jersey from a fake or a replica.
- Price Tag
Finally, take a good look at the price tag on that jersey. Does the price point seem too good to be true? Because if it does, we have some bad news for you: it is. Quality merchandise comes at a quality price point, so if you think you’ve found yourself a bargain, you’ve probably just found a knock-off that’s not even worth the number on the price tag.
In some cases, you may find genuine MLB merchandise that comes at a more reasonable USD$50 - 100 price point, but this is usually a replica jersey and not the real deal that players wear. In other cases, the price of a jersey may come down if a player changes teams or the team changes their logo or colours, but you’re still looking at a price point in the triple digits.