HOW MUCH FOR TOMMY LASORDA'S PRE-SLIMFAST JERSEY?: An award-winning TV spot of the '70s showed Mean Joe Greene tossing his jersey to a kid who offered him a Coke. Now there's a store for sports fans who've always wished they could be that boy.
That ad aired in an era before game-worn NFL attire--and other gear worn by famous jocks--became high-priced collectors' items. At Super Stars, a shop in Aspen, Colo., specializing in "the esoteric and the unusual" ((303) 920-9898), you can buy a jersey worn by Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway for $1,200, a helmet signed by members of the Washington Redskins for $950 or, for bargain hunters, a signed L.A. Raiders helmet for $750.
Other football jerseys in the store include those worn by godlike running backs O. J. Simpson and Gayle Sayers at $3,500 each. The highest-priced item is an artifact of our national pastime, a 1938 jersey that New York Yankee slugger Lou Gehrig wore during road games. Super Stars owner Mark Friedland says he bought it at auction for $220,000--and he's entertaining offers.
"No players sell to us directly," Friedland says. "We get stuff from a variety of sources: auctions, charities. A lot of athletes give these things to charities. We make contributions to get them." Super Stars co-manager Arnold Wright adds, "We've got some connections with different teams."
Have hotshot ballplayers, because of the high value of their uniforms, taken to wearing brand-new duds at every at-bat, fast break or quarterback sneak?
"No," says Friedland. "You have to put it in perspective. These guys we're talking about are making well over $1 million a year. They don't care about a $1,000 jersey. It's not going to affect their lives."
MATERIAL GIRL GARDENING: Trend forecasters have been telling us that gardening is the socially correct hobby for the down 'n' dirty '90s. For refugees from the '80s who want to hop on the bandwagon but can't let go of the glitz, I. Magnin is selling fancy fully lined rubber gardening gloves (pictured, above). Those adorned with fake pearls are $50; with polka-dot cuffs, $45.