Best Sports Collectibles I Own: One True Treasure

Best sports treasure I own…

Perhaps like you, this is a tough choice as sports have played an integral part of my life and development and over the years I have had the opportunity to collect lots of treasures.

Pondering my catalog of “goodies” and reflecting on how they were obtained I selected my 1984 Summer Olympic Technical Staff Jacket. Its significance and treasure represents one of those moments where “you are glad you acted on instinct” as the 1984 Summer Olympics will forever be etched in history as one of the most successfully operated Games.

Of the 50,000+ volunteers and staff responsible for organizing the Games, I was fortunate to be part of the permanent staff. A unique feature of the Olympic movement is each host selects uniforms based on what represents the spirit of the people involved. The 1984 Summer Olympic uniform theme was called Festive Federalism and based on staff assignment themed uniforms were provided. My actual uniform designation was Management staff and that consisted of a powder blue blazer. Some today wonder how I received a blazer designed for Technical staff (not referees but those on the field of play designed to insure technical aspects were followed)?

One interesting phenomenon of the 1984 Summer Olympics was the trading of various pins. It became an obsession and people from all walks of life used pin trading as a way to communicate and meet people who you otherwise would not have met. That spirit captured the city of Los Angeles and as the Games winded down, “trading” became common.

It was during the historic closing ceremony in a packed Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as athletes united on the field for the last time started swamping mementos with one another. The wave spread to the thousands of staff who were also present and any memento or item of value also “traded.” The good news is part of the uniform allotment was more than one item, so in my case I had two Blue Jackets and a technical staffer approached me requesting a trade. Of course, it just so happened we were about the same size and the rest is history as that is how I became the owner of one of my best sports treasures.

The jacket also features a very unique “Sam The Olympic Eagle” gold lapel pin secretly given to me by Russell Justice.


The Thomas Collection – 1984 Summer Olympic Technical Staff Jacket.

The Thomas Collection – Sam The Olympic Eagle Gold Lapel Pin

1984 Olympic Recap

Olympic Memorabilia

Olympic Pin Trading History