Tennis Identity

Tennis on eBay, Volume 3

fila_borg2When you check through eBay for vintage tennis items, make sure of a couple of things. One, make sure it’s an authentic item. And two, make sure it’s not a reissue. Many Italian companies, like Fila, Ellesse, Tacchini, and others are reissuing their classic Borg, Becker, Vilas, and McEnroe lines.

Point one, authenticity. Do your homework before laying down the big bucks. This shirt is a fake. Not. Even. Close. The starting price of a buck should tell you something, too.

This Borg shirt (below) is the real thing. Notice the differences in the logos and tags. And the starting price of $600, too.

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Then there are the reissues. This is just about what the classic Borg jacket looked like, but this is a reissue. If it were a vintage jacket, you’d see the large F Box/Bj logo on the chest. And the price would have a couple of zeros on the end. (Here’s a reissue with the double logo box, but the Bj is replaced with “FILA.”

Other items this week:

• From 1989, Jimmy Connors- #1 on the Singles chart. A Converse promo item. Note the Slazenger JC clothing line.

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• More Converse- Chrissie wore ’em for most if not all of her pro career- here’s a canvas pair.

• She was always a Wilson pro, too. She plays with it- she wins with it.

• Now this is one great looking racquet- a Lendl model from Mizuno.


• Yes, Virginia. At one time, Prince did make a wood/graphite composite. Called the “Woodie,” it was a fantastic frame.

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• Had a pair of these. The Reebok Pump Court Victory II worn by Michael Chang. As I recall- they were quite heavy. Looked cool, though. Image is everything. Wait- that’s Andre and Nike. We’ll get to him in a sec.

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• John McEnroe was the first big tennis star Nike signed back in the 1980s, after his deal with Tacchini ended. They initially started him with a checkerboard motif, as you can see on these shorts. Wait, did someone say “checkerboard?”


• The other big name guy to endorse Nike in the 1980s did pretty well for himself. Andre Agassi wore these denim shorts for his signature look.

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