Mitchell & Ness, arguably the most notable purveyor of authentic throwback sports apparel, recently aggregated all their 2014 jersey sales and did us the favor of conveying that information onto a map of the United States, showcasing the most popular throwback jersey for each and every state.
To the surprise of few, Michigan throwback sales are dominated by a certain running back who used to wear number 20 for the Detroit Lions (sorry, Billy Sims). Mitchell & Ness’ 1993 Barry Sanders Honolulu blue replica took home lead honors for the home state, edging out a slew of other tempting nominees including:
- 1968 Al Kaline (home and road)
- 1961 Gordie Howe (road red)
- 1989 Joe Dumars (road blue)
- 1999 Grant Hill (road teal)
- 1995 Sparky Anderson (BP navy)
While Barry Sanders seized Michigan sales, other state winners ranged from being just as highly predictable (Karl Malone’s ’97 jersey took the title in Utah) to being downright random and borderline bizarre, as is the case with Pennsylvania native, Florida State alumnus, and Oakland Raiders legend Fred Biletnikoff holding down the fort for the entire state of North Dakota (our working theory: one person made an order from Mitchell & Ness in 2014, and he may or may not be directly related to Biletnikoff himself).
Elsewhere, Kobe Bryant’s 1997 rookie Lakers jersey took home lead honors in seven different states: Oregon, Nevada, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee, and Delaware. Barry Sanders (who also strangely took District of Columbia honors), Vince Carter, Ozzie Smith, Joe Namath, and Larry Bird all clocked in with two states to their name.
For a full breakdown of each player representing each state, check out Mitchell & Ness’ official page HERE.