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1959/60 - 1961-62 NHL Toronto Maple Leafs
# 19 Johnny Wilson & Arnie Brown Game Worn Jersey
Blue Home Wool, with felt crest and twill number
This very rare and stunning game worn jersey appears to have started it's journey with the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1959-60 Playoffs with forward Johnny Wilson and was worn briefly for two games in 1960-61 again by Johnny Wilson before being resurrected for two games at the start of the 1961-62 season by defense man, Arnie Brown.
This style of jersey with a felt crest, twill numbers on back and two eyelets per side in the tie down, appears to have first been worn in the 1959-60 NHL playoffs and into the 1960-61 NHL Season. Video of the 1959-60 Playoffs shows that the Maple Leafs wore a slightly different style jersey than what was worn in the 1959-60 Regular season. For example, Assistant Captain, Bert Olmstead is wearing a different jersey than what he was photographed wearing during a February 20th, 1960 game. That jersey was sold at Auction and was photo matched to that game. The "A" is in a different location on the sweater in the playoffs. Also the number on the back is a different style. Although difficult to get a clear image of the tie down, close up shots of goaltender Johnny Bower appear to show only two eyelets per side. As is the case with some sweaters that did not see much game use, they would be carried over into another season, which appears to be the case with this sweater which is photo matched to a publicity photo of Arnie Brown taken at the start of the 1961 season. The stitching pattern in the Maple Leaf crest and the idiosyncrasies in the lettering, match up perfectly to this jersey.
Upon reviewing all the game sheets for the 1959-60 playoffs, 1960-61 Regular Season and Playoffs and the 1961-62 Regular Season, I have noted the following players wearing # 19 for the Toronto Maple Leafs at Home in the Blue jersey
- March 23, 1960 Detroit at Toronto (Playoff) Johnny Wilson Loss 1-2
- March 26, 1960 Detroit at Toronto (Playoff) Johnny Wilson Win 4-2
- April 2, 1960 Detroit at Toronto (Playoff) Johnny Wilson Win 5-4
- April 12, 1960 Montreal at Toronto (SCF) Johnny Wilson Loss 2-5 (Wilson 1 Goal) (Maurice Richard scores the last goal of his career)
- April 14, 1960 Montreal at Toronto (SCF) Johnny Wilson Loss 0-4 (Last Game of Maurice Richard's career and last point with an Assist on a goal by his brother, Henri Richard)
- November 2, 1960 Boston at Toronto Johnny Wilson Tie 2-2
- November 5, 1960 NY Rangers at Toronto Johnny Wilson Win 7-3 (Wilson 1 Assist)
No other player wears # 19 for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the entire 1960-61 NHL Season
- October 28, 1961 NY Rangers at Toronto Arnie Brown Win 5-1
- November 1, 1961 Montreal at Toronto Arnie Brown Win 3-2
No other player wears # 19 for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the entire 1961-62 NHL Season
The Society For International Hockey Research lists Arnie Brown as having worn # 16, however my research is from the actual game sheets and indicate that Arnie Brown wore # 19. In fact, upon discovering this, I set upon to look for an image of him from that season and came across the included image of Arnie Brown in his Leafs jersey that matches up perfectly in every way to the stitching details of the crest. So he unequivocally would have worn this # 19 jersey during his two games at the start of the 1961-62 season.
The total number of games documented for this jersey totals nine. The wear on this jersey is consistent with between 5 to 10 games worth of normal wear. However, both these players were utility players and would not have seen as much ice time as the rest of the team which would make the wear a little less. This is exactly the case with this jersey. While showing nice wear in the form of heavy pilling inside and on the sleeves, a team repair on the back number 9 and stretching in the collar, the jersey remains in fantastic condition. The color is amazing and likely has remained as it was when it left the Leafs dressing room all those years ago.
This jersey will be a highlight of any Original Six Era collection.