1999 Wayne Gretzky Great Goodbye Game Worn New York Rangers Jersey
Brad Foote, our resident hockey expert has spent countless hours further researching the authenticity of this jersey. Distinctive characteristics of this jersey have been successfully and irrefutably PHOTO-MATCHED:1) CBC Sports television footage of the April 18th, 1999 Rangers vs. Penguins match at MSG showing Wayne wearing this exact uniform earlier in the day for media interviews and later as he walks down the ramp and onto the ice for the pre-game skate and warm-up immediately prior to game time.2) Clear photograph (taken April 17th) of this exact uniform, hanging on display in Wayne?s locker stall along side the rest of his game-worn equipment. Published in the April 28th, 1999 Sports Illustrated "Wayne Gretzky, A Tribute" issue, (p.93).3) Photograph taken of Wayne wearing this jersey as he waves good-bye to his Canadian hockey fans immediately following his final game in Canada, at Ottawa, on April 15th, 1999. From the book "Wayne Gretzky, the Great Goodbye", (inside cover photo).
Wayne Gretzky is the greatest player the game of hockey has ever seen. On April 18th, 1999, following a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, he waved his final farewell during an eight-minute standing ovation from the fans at Madison Square Garden. The Great One was hanging up the skates ending an astonishing 21-year career. This is one of four jerseys he wore that night. This Broadway blue uniform of New York Rangers proudly displays the surname of Wayne Gretzky in letters individually applied across the back shoulders. The instantly recognizable number "99" sits square on the back and again high on each sleeve. Drop shadow letters spelling out "RANGERS" runs diagonally across the chest. The collar is tagged by Starter and displays a custom "GRETZKY" size tag. The team set tag in the hem features the embroidered logo of the New York Rangers and reads "Game Jersey, Set 2, 1998-99 Season". The shirt has double Starter and NHL logos embroidered into the outside tail; a single strip of Velcro sewn inside and the fight strap has been cut out (customary on Wayne’s gamers). Additional customizations include shortened and widened sleeves and a bell-cut body. The shirt shows obvious game use with at least a dozen small pulls, slash marks, burns and one slight unrepaired rip. The numbers are puckered from multiple washings. This historic uniform was worn on April 18th, 1999 by Wayne during his Final Farewell game in front of a sold-out MSG crowd, for the pre-game skate and warm-up. Prior to this, it was issued to Gretzky and worn for seven games leading up to the end of the 1998-99 season. It was when Wayne came off the ice following the warm-up, he approached Rangers equipment manager Mike Folga, took off this sweater and donned one of the three other uniforms he would wear that night. Wayne handed this jersey to Folga and added "Give this to your son, Mike. It’ll be worth something someday". He then signed the back numbers with a neat, bold and legible "Wayne Gretzky, 99, 4/18/99". Most importantly, this information has been acknowledged by the Gretzky camp as being fact. The additional jerseys worn by Wayne in his last game are truly spoken for as they currently reside in permanent collections including those of his father, Walter, and the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Detailed Letter of Authenticity signed by former New York Rangers equipment manager Mike Folga.