Jersey Number: 700

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Rob Fascia: “The unique thing about this jersey is the cubs actually only wore this one time. That was in a game in San Diego and they never wore it again.”

Super fan Rob Fascia has been collecting sports memorabilia for most of life, including authentic jerseys.

Rob: “First Jersey I ever got was an authentic Cubs blue pullover road jersey… ’84 and ’89 when they went to the playoffs that would’ve been the jersey they wore on the road… And the guy did the customization incorrectly. So I was comparing it to magazine pictures, etcetera and realizing how wrong it was.”

Jersey Number: 700

That eye for detail, led to a hobby that persists to this day. And while the Naperville native’s sports souvenir stockpile is impressive, his collection of jerseys, is jaw dropping.

“I’m just approaching jersey number 700. I’ve got about 675-680, I’ve got a couple coming in.”

A number like that doesn’t happen over night, but once the pastime picked up, the passion, and the collection, kept growing, with a goal in sight.

“My goal as I’ve established it over time, is to collect all the jerseys, from hockey and baseball specifically, from the time I was born until current day. That’s my goal, is to have every jersey that a team wore by that point.”

Of course with years of collecting comes years of insight. From knowing how to spot an authentic jersey…

“This is a stadium series, authentic jersey, very rare to find. Again, you can tell because the ‘C’ patches are chain stitched and sewn in, the logo is chain stitched and sewn in. If this was a replica, none of that would be chain stitched.”

To learning the history of trends and designs throughout different sports, leagues, and divisions.

“What really screams 80’s is the San Diego Padres, the Taco Bell type jerseys right? The orange yellow and brown.”

“This is unfortunately the jersey I don’t like to bring out too often, because this is the jersey that was worn in ’84 when they took out the Cubs in the last three games so, I try not to look at this jersey too much.”

While many jerseys represent a favorite team or a bygone era, there are a select few that hold meaning in a more personal way.

“Scott Schoeneweis who made his career as a starter and reliever pitcher on the 2002 Angels world series team, he and I grew up together. I got married in April in the year 2000, and what he brought out was his rookie game jersey, signed by all the 2000 Angels. So that was something that was very special to me.”

A collection for Fascia of both sports, and personal history.

“To me the coolest thing would be, is if a hundred years from now, one of the hall of fames or one of the teams was looking for an old time jersey and couldn’t find it, but yet it was sitting in my closet, and you could provide that team with something that meant something to them.”

Reporting for Sports Story Sunday, I’m Ryan Skryd.