Where It All Began…
I’ve been obsessed with jerseys for as long as I can remember. I recall the first jersey I received; it was a red Calgary Flames jersey from my mom for Christmas in 1988. I was hooked.
My grandparents would always buy me a present when I passed a grade, and after grade 4, they bought me my first customized jersey; a white Detroit Red Wings Yzerman jersey. They didn’t have any pre-customized jerseys at Jersey City, so they were going to have to send it away. Or, the store owner said, they could do iron-on numbers and I could have the jersey today! In hindsight, I would’ve sent it away, but there was no way I was leaving that place without my jersey. The customization wasn’t accurate, because well, it was just red iron-on numbers and letters that the guy happened to have in the store. I didn’t have the same eye for customization as I do now, but regardless, I loved that jersey. Eventually, I had it signed by the entire 1992-93 Red Wings down at the Saddledome. The signature on the captain ‘C’? Stevie Y!
That same summer, I came up with a (unapproved) plan that I could clean my family’s homes to earn money to buy more jerseys. I recall I made a list of jerseys that I would buy once I earned the money. Among them, a Chicago Blackhawks Roenick, a Minnesota North Stars Modano, a St. Louis Blues Hull and a Boston Bruins Neely. Nobody wanted to pay me that kind of money for what would’ve probably been a mediocre (at best) cleaning job!
When I was 14, I’d play Sport Select (illegally – thanks mom!), putting $5 every week on NFL games. One week, I won a big one. 9 games on Point Spread, and I nailed them all. $600 winner! The first thing I bought was something I’d seen at a local sports store; an authentic on-ice Yzerman Red Wings jersey. I’d never seen one before in person. I was amazed at the difference in quality from the replicas that I owned. It had to be mine, and once I had the money, it was. $200 later.
But I was always on the lookout for jerseys. No trip to the mall was complete without a stop at Jersey City, just to see what might be hanging in there. Anything new? Anything old? Anything on sale??? Not much has changed for me now. Except that the internet is an endless parade of jersey sales, news and information.
I now own twelve (!!!) Steve Yzerman jerseys, including a few All-Star and Team Canada jerseys, and thirteen Red Wings jerseys overall. If you’re thinking that has to be the largest single team collection I’ve got, my sixteen Flames jerseys say ‘hello’! Excessive? Sure. Am I an idiot? No doubt about it. But I love ’em.
That passion for jerseys I had as a kid has only grown. North Star Jerseys was built on something that started a long time ago for me, and while I feel almost stupid for not pursuing this sooner, I’m glad to finally be able to share this passion with everyone. Whether it be on your rec league team’s jerseys, or an NHL jersey you’ve wanted customized for a long time, I’m your huckleberry!