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1973-74 Gary Kurt WHA New York Golden Blades Game Worn Jersey - Original Name on Back - Photo Match
Lot #6

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1973-74 Gary Kurt WHA New York Golden Blades Game Worn Jersey - Original Name on Back - Photo Match
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1973-74 Gary Kurt WHA New York Golden Blades Game Worn Jersey - Original Name on Back - Photo Match
Lot #6

This home white dureen gamer by Cosby was worn by Goaltender Gary Kurt during the 1973-74 WHA season. Kurt made his NHL debut with the California Golden Seals in 1971-72 and then became an original member of the WHA’s New York franchise, beginning his career in 1972-73 with the New York Raiders. During that inaugural WHA season, amidst ownership default and assumption by the league, this Goalie partook in 36 games between the pipes for the Raiders. The following season was another tumultuous one for the team and players. They had been rebranded the New York Golden Blades and were under new ownership while still playing in the high rent district at Madison Square Garden. Ownership again defaulted and the league again assumed stewardship, this time just 24 games into the season. At that point the New York Golden Blades became a footnote in history as the franchise was relocated to Cherry Hill, NJ and were rebranded the Jersey Knights. Kurt would later go on to join the Phoenix Roadrunner for their inaugural season in the league, 1974-75, and he remained their man between the pipes for all three of their WHA seasons before retiring after the 1976-77 campaign.

This exceedingly rare example escaped the fate of nearly every New York Golden Blades game worn jersey. When the franchise abruptly left New York and were rebranded the Jersey Knights, all of the team’s jerseys that remained in the locker room were sold to Verona Sports in New Jersey as the Knights decided to go for a new look and reached back into franchise history by repurposing the first year New York Raiders jerseys. The Golden Blades sweaters had their player names removed from the backs and the Cosby tags taken from the collars and replaced with a Verona Sports tag. The jerseys were then used locally over a number of years.

The New York Golden Blades existed for just 20 games at the outset of the 1973-74 WHA season. This all-original specimen is one of a scant few known to exist. Sewn into the collar of this gamer is the Cosby and size 50 tagging. The game wear on this hand measured size 52 sweater consists of stick and puck marks, crossbar paint transfer, exterior pilling at the sleeves, inner pilling and a couple of team-patched repairs. With the benefit of having Gary Kurt’s New York Raiders gamer up for bid in this same auction, we were able to compare the two rarities side by side and were quite frankly impressed at the similar wear patterns as well as both measuring out to a size 52, which is rather large and certainly unique for the era. Shown above are a couple of beautiful photo matches of Kurt wearing this exact jersey during the 1973-74 WHA season. Kurt played in 20 total games for the franchise during the 1973-74 season, wearing this sweater while representing the Golden Blades in front of the hometown fans at Madison Square Garden.

The rarity and desirability of an original New York Golden Blades game worn jersey cannot be understated. To our knowledge, perhaps a handful are known to exist, with this being just the third that we’ve had the pleasure to handle. We also believe this to be the only New York Golden Blades Goalie jersey in the hobby in its original state. This incredible example had sat in private hands, unbeknownst to the hobby for the past 46 years. A Tremendous fresh to the hobby photo matched offering of a true WHA rarity, choice!