The first five jerseys in our rankings can be found here. Here are numbers 6-2. Number one will appear in tomorrow’s updates. Enjoy.
6. Shawn Kemp, Sonics forest green-brick red reversible, 1995-1997, #40. I want to be very specific here: this is the reversible jersey we’re talking about, not the standard one-sided Champion edition. Champion unveiled reversible jerseys in 1996 with road colors on one side and home colors on the other. If you were in elementary or middle school during this time, chances are you were really, really excited about the prospect of getting two jerseys for the price of one.
The Kemp reversible jersey was the item to have if you were a young Sonics fan. Gary Payton was still considered the Robin to Kemp’s Batman at the time, and the ratio of Kemp-to-Payton replica jerseys was at least 3-to-1, if not more. Sporting a Kemp reversible to school pretty much made you the coolest kid in class for about a week.
After just a couple years, Champion abandoned the reversible jersey idea, making these gems all the more rare. The best place to get your hands on one of these items today is probably a college student’s garage sale. I couldn’t even find a picture online.
5. Jim Bouton, Pilots powder blue-and-yellow, 1969, #56. How many authors can say they have their own baseball jersey? For Bouton, renowned scribe of Ball Four and former Major League pitcher, the likelihood of people remembering him as a Seattle Pilot isn’t nearly as good as people remembering his revolutionary memoir. Bouton didn’t even take the mound for the Pilots for the entirety of their one season of existence; he was traded at midseason to the Houston Astros. And in his short stint with the short-lived Seattle ballclub, Bouton filled the role of an R.A. Dickey, spending time in the minors, coming out of the bullpen, and making spot starts when necessary.
Bouton, however, focused the majority of the controversial Ball Four on his 1969 encounter with Seattle, making him a memorable figure in the city’s sports lore. I guess that gave the jersey gods good enough reason to put Bouton’s namesake on a Pilots jersey and sell it for $200. Currently, you can find this jersey online on a number of reputable websites.
4. Mouhamed Sene, Sonics green-and-gold, 2006-2008, #18. Honestly, how many of you knew Sene wore jersey number 18 when he was here? They don’t put digits on the back of warm-up jerseys or street clothes unfortunately, so how often did we really get to see Sene donning 18? I’ll admit that I had no idea until I saw this picture. Sene was the benefactor of the first-round pick rule regarding jerseys, meaning because he was the unfortunate first-round selection of the Sonics in 2006 (the year Brandon Roy was drafted, keep in mind), he got to have his jersey replicated and sold in retail stores around Seattle. The only store I ever saw his jersey in was “Just Sports” at both the Northgate and Alderwood Malls, which I’m guessing is where this picture was taken.
If you happened to own a Sene jersey, I’d like to hear from you, because I can’t imagine any self-respecting Sonics fan laying down money for the uni of the worst draft pick ever. As of a few months ago, you could still buy these jerseys on sale at the local Just Sports locations around the Puget Sound.
3. Washington Huskies basketball, purple-and-gold, 2003-2006, #3. Technically, as is the case with all college jerseys, #3 is only licensed to the University of Washington and doesn’t actually represent any one player. But in reality, we all know that #3 belongs to one man and one man only: Brandon Roy.
After January 22, 2009, no Husky basketball player will ever wear number three again, as B-Roy will be on hand for the retiring of his jersey. Meaning any UW replica jersey with #3 on it will automatically become a relic.
If you happen to own one of the original #3 jerseys made by Nike, consider yourself lucky. A decade from now, Brandon Roy fans around the world will be clamoring for that hard-to-find garment. If you don’t own a #3 jersey, you may still be able to get your hands on one at an affordable price. Local J.C. Penney stores at Bellevue Square Mall, Northgate Mall, Alderwood Mall, and Southcenter Mall still have the occasional Roy jersey in stock, and usually at 25% off or more. So if you don’t have a B-Roy jersey make sure you get one now. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t love Brandon Roy?
2. Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners home white-royal-yellow, 1989-1992, #24. If you’re in your mid-20’s like I am, chances are this is the M’s logo you grew up cherishing as a kid. From 1987 until 1992, the Mariners sported the yellow “S” on their caps with the royal blue “MARINERS” across the chest. For four seasons, Junior was a part of this short-lived uni trend, making his throwback M’s jersey one of the most sought after in today’s market.
Seizing a golden opportunity, jersey manufacturer Mitchell and Ness reproduced an authentic-looking version of Griffey’s rookie uniform a few years back, which they’ve since sold out of. The Griffey jerseys retailed anywhere between $175 and $300, depending on where you looked, and if you’re able to still find one today, chances are you’ll pay much more than that. By comparison, the jersey Griffey wore as a Mariner from 1993 to 1999 can be had for as little as $50.
There’s no doubt about it. This is one of the greatest jerseys in Seattle history. Only one other uniform can compete with Griffey’s, and we’ll reveal it tomorrow as our number one most awesome Seattle sports jersey.