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Earliest Known Offered Edson Pele Game-Worn & Signed 1962 Santos FC Soccer Jersey

Lot Number 1

Quantity: Bid Starts: 07/30/2012 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 1500.00  Bid Ends: 08/09/2012 23:30:00 
Bid Count: 16  Overtime: 30 Minutes
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The following is an amendment to the printed catalog.

Due to unforseen "international red tape" that just occurred at the last minute, Legends10 (Pele's Foundation) cannot be involved in the sale of the jersey and therefore, Pele cannot sign a letter on the Foundation's behalf. All other aspects of this jersey described below, are still accurate, as described.

Sporting arenas throughout the globe have produced athletes whose championship and record-setting endeavors have resulted in countless accolades and resultant iconic status. Regarding heroes of this legendary ilk, names such as “Ruth” and “Ali” readily come to mind. But even those sporting deities can’t quite compare to perhaps the most revered figure in sports history: Pele.

Worshiped by the populace and embraced even more fixedly by the government in his native Brazil, the international phenom has long been synonymous with soccer, longevity and national pride. These sentiments hold true as you behold this Santos Futebul Clube jersey worn and signed by Pele in 1962. This cream-colored dureen pullover garment possesses attributes that elevate it beyond all other sports apparel items. First and foremost, in collaboration with Pele himself, this is believed to be the earliest known Pele jersey ever publicly offered. This attestation is supported as the jersey’s vintage components, Pele’s autograph and our consignor’s story meld to bring it back to the Brazilian pitch where a young Pele had already transcended the game.

It seems most appropriate that with a given birth name of “Edson”, Pele went on to all but “invent” soccer (certainly its worldwide popularity). Debuting at the age of 16 with the Santos club in 1956, Pele was quick to guide the Brazilian national team to three World Cup titles. This prompted top flight teams such as Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventas to try and lure the centre forward to their own rosters. In an unprecedented action, however, the Brazilian government declared Pele Brazil’s “Official National Treasure,” thus preventing him from being transferred.

As Pele made a name for himself with Santos, a contemporary opponent named Luis Catharina befriended him and was presented with this invaluable prize after a match. The jersey features short sleeves whose elasticity miraculously has remained relatively strong. Within the 3-1/2”-wide V-neck collar, an “ATHLETA” label has Portuguese text content, which leads us to the specific dating of this jersey. "Usada pelos Bi-campeões mundiais" – means "used by the two times world champions". Athleta manufactured the jerseys for the Brazilian National team, who won their second World Cup in July 1962. Santos jerseys were also manufactured by Athleta, however, in 1963 Santos won their second World Championship and they added two stars above the front crest in 1963. This jersey is narrowed down to a single 12 month period from August 1962 to August 1963. The left breast is home to an “S.F.C.” crest logo patch and the back is home to Pele’s famed number “10,” which is sewn in black twill block-style numerals. On the front, Pele has inscribed (in Portuguese): “To L. Catharina = “Liuha” = from the friend Edson = Pele.” Executed a half a century ago in black marker in sizable characters, Pele’s autograph still resonates (“8-9”) strength and clarity. All original and unaltered, the jersey shows definitive wear with scattered age-induced stains.

As for Catharina, he subsequently immigrated to the United States and lived with the consignor of this priceless heirloom, which Catharina gave in appreciation. In comparing others to Pele in terms of importance to their athletic prowess and cultural importance, one needs only to cite the nicknames to provide a barometer for Pele’s status. Catchy monikers like “The Bambino” or “Greatest of All Time” may endure forever, but defining a much loftier status, names such as “O Rei Pele” (“The King Pele”) or simply “O Rei” (“The King”) have been reserved for this Brazilian hero who is without peer. Accompanying is a full photo LOA from JSA (for the autograph).

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