Once called "the rock of Miami's defense" by Hurricanes' head coach Howard Schnellenberger, Tony Fitzpartick was selected by the expansion Houston Gamblers in the 7th round (128th overall) of the 1984 USFL Draft. He would become an instant contributor by starting all 18 games and recording 13.5 sacks in 1984. He added an impressive 55.5 tackles and a fumble recovery while being voted second team All-USFL by the league writers and broadcasters in his rookie season. Fitzpatrick's statistics for the 1985 season are not so easy to come by but he did record 4 sacks on the season. After the USFL folded, Fitzpatrick headed north in 1986 and signed with the Ottawa Rough Riders, where he joined fellow Gamblers defensive lineman Lloyd Lewis. Fitzpatrick would only suit up for the Rough Riders in 3 games in 1986 and registered 2 sacks. Fitzpatrick closed out his pro career with the Houston Oilers in 1987 where he suffered a shoulder injury prior to making his regular season debut. Since his career ended, he worked for many years as an assistant coach at the University of Houston and was a regular on sports radio in Houston.
Fitzpatrick wore this Russell size 50 light mesh jersey for road games during his tenure with the Gamblers. It has spandex side panels along with holes under the arms that could be used to tighten the sleeves if desired. The jersey shows some modifications with a crotch strap that has been cut off and sleeves that have been shortened and hemmed. Lighter game wear is evident with a few spots showing impact evidence.