See also : Olympic Games Sport equipment Sport document Sport rewards and medals T206 Wagner Topps Mantle Baseball Sport uniform Babe Ruth Basketball Jordan Sport II Origins of sports Textiles Garment Central and South Americas Autograph
Chronology : 1909 1920 1952 1998 2000
1891 Ball and Basket for Indoor Sport
2010 SOLD 4.3 M$ including premium
By design, it is not a rough sport. The idea of the inventor, the Canadian James Naismith, was to occupy without risk of injury the sportsmen in winter, when weather conditions do not allow to play baseball or football.
The elevated position of the baskets gives a specific interest to this sport that does not invite to physical contact. One can argue whether similar sports existed before basketball and inspired Naismit. No matter: the basketball based on his thirteen rules has become one of the most popular sports due to the simplicity of its required equipment.
Naismith had typed these thirteen rules, in two sheets that he modified by hand writing and signed. His family, who had kept this precious document, sells it at Sotheby's in New York on December 10 for the benefit of a Canadian foundation that spreads the ideals of sportsmanship of the inventor. The photo of these pages is shared by Artdaily.
It is clear that this lot is highly important in the history of sport. The auction house devoted a separate catalog to it, and expects $ 2M.
POST SALE COMMENT
The invention of basketball is really a major act of modern history, one of those advances that have impacted the lives and behavior of millions of people. The document was sold for $ 4.3 million including premium.
I invite you to play the video shared on the web by Sotheby's :
1892 Faster, Stronger, Higher
2019 SOLD for $ 8.8M including premium
With a remarkable open-mindedness, Coubertin compares the progress of sport in several countries. In England, the country of the fair play, football is a team sport practiced in colleges, including Rugby, and the establishment of official rules allows competitions. In Sweden the mental benefit of gymnastics is officially recognized. In the United States, sport opens the way to the practice of collective recreation. He does not like the use of sport for military training in Germany but recognizes its heroic character.
The time is also favorable for meetings of thematic clubs in England and France. They will support the development of the Coubertin project. In 1891 he promulgates a motto : citius, fortius, altius (later modified in its sequence). Coubertin is setting the example : on March 20, 1892 he is the referee in the final of the first French rugby championship.
Taking as a pretext the fifth anniversary of a running club, a conference is organized at the Sorbonne on November 25, 1892, with three speakers. Bourdon and Jusserand tell the history of the sport. Coubertin, entrusted for dealing with modern sport, concludes his speech by proposing the reestablishment of the Olympic Games.
In this seminal address, Coubertin's vision is universal. The most developed nations will help the others. It is a matter of practicing sports in common between athletes of all nations with a search for the individual excellence, but not yet of international competition or rewards.
The autograph draft of this Coubertin thesis, largely modified by the author in the preparation phase, is estimated $ 700K for sale by Sotheby's in New York on December 18, lot 173.
Very remarkably, despite necessarily different visions of his international interlocutors, it is Coubertin himself who will concretize his concept. A January 1894 autograph document defining the stadium and sports passed at Goldin Auctions on October 29, 2016. In June 1894, Pierre de Coubertin creates the International Olympic Committee.
#AuctionUpdate Moments ago in our #NYC salesroom, the original Olympic Games manifesto soared to $8.8 million, more than 8.5x its $1 million high estimate following a 12-minute bidding battle. The manifesto outlines Pierre de Coubertin's vision for reviving the ancient games. pic.twitter.com/xoR4uAzs2t— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) December 18, 2019
1909 T206 Wagner
2021 SOLD for $ 6.6M by Robert Edward
The advertising back identifies a brand of tobacco that can be Piedmont, Sweet Caporal or 14 other varieties of cigarettes and tobacco then offered by this company. The cards were inserted in the packs.
The views are not numbered but on the back the cumulative number of the announced subjects allows to establish a chronology of the impressions : 150 subjects then 350 and 460, then 'Large Assortment' for the last runs.
The Honus Wagner card was printed in the first year but the player rejected the proposal from a delegate of the ATC. He was probably not hostile to tobacco. The hypothesis that he would have expected for a better retribution is plausible. Wagner was one of the best baseball players of all time, whose prestige almost equaled Ty Cobb.
The T206 Wagner is only known with the advertising back variants for the two most common tobacco brands of the American Tobacco Company, Sweet Caporal and Piedmont, the former being known in two tobacco plant identifications, 25 and 30. All copies indicate the series at 150 subjects which is the original edition from 1909 before it was extended. The withdrawal of the Wagner card at the time the original release is obvious but not documented at that step.
A T206 Wagner with a Sweet Caporal Cigarettes back was sold for $ 1.23M on April 19, 2012 by Goodwin. It was illustrated in the pre sale release by Sports Collectors Daily. Graded VG 3 by SGC, it is one of the finest T206 Wagner in existence. Cumulating the SGC and PSA populations, there are seven Very Good cards plus four ranking higher.
It was sold for $ 6.6M on August 15, 2021 by Robert Edward, lot 1. It is illustrated in the pre sale release by Sports Collector Daily. Its SGC holder has been changed some time after the 2012 auction.
It's Wagner Wallpaper Wednesday and our Summer Auction is heating up! Bidding ends this Sunday August 15th! Head over to https://t.co/XI1djwlZVL@REAOnline #wallpaperwednesdays #honuswagnercard #t206cards #baseballcards #thehobby #Auction #tangibleassets #cardcollector pic.twitter.com/ww2qpKIydr— RobertEdwardAuctions (@REAOnline) August 11, 2021
1920 Babe Ruth Road Jersey
2012 SOLD for $ 4.4M by SCP
The players used two jerseys, a home jersey for the games on their field and a road jersey for trips. A jersey could be used throughout one season or more, which further increases their rarity.
Compared to the next period, documents allowing photo-matching are scarce. The experts thus pay the greatest attention to the details of making which allow an identification of the year or a range of years, rather than on the shears in the textile or on misalignments in the inscriptions.
On May 19, 2012, SCP Auctions sold for $ 4.4M a game worn jersey of Babe Ruth. A photo of the champion made in March 1920 shows him with a jersey identical as this example.
This road jersey had been exhibited for many years at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore. Its New York Yankees front marking is dated circa 1920. The maker was Spalding.
In very good condition, it retains its original identification with the name of Ruth.
BABE RUTH BIRTHDAY: Today on January 6 1895 the greatest player to play the game of Baseball was born. Here is the best piece of Ruthian memorabilia sold by @SCPAuctions for $4,415,658 World record for a piece of sports memorabilia #Baberuth @baseballhall @Yankees @MLB #MLB pic.twitter.com/Z5BL5bA2DF— SCP Auctions (@SCPAuctions) February 6, 2018
1928-1929 Babe Ruth Road Jersey
2019 SOLD for $ 5.6M by Hunt
The 'Yankees' mark on the front side enables to date the garment between 1927 and 1930. A label inside the collar is marked 'Ruth'. A number 3 has been erased at some point while leaving some traces.
The photos of Babe Ruth in 1927 show another placement of the buttons. The photo-matching orients rather towards 1928 or 1929. It is in 1929 that the Yankees began to sew a number on the jerseys to facilitate the identification of the players by the public. Ruth had received the number 3.
UPDATE: Babe Ruth NY Yankees Jersey added to Ruth Collection Live Auction at @yankeestadium. Professional model Yankees Road Jersey Worn by the #Bambino dates to the 1928-30 era with Potential to Set World Record Pricing in Excess of $4,000,000! @NewYorkYankees #SultanofSwat @MLB pic.twitter.com/0dx9NChNR4— Hunt Auctions (@HuntAuctions) April 23, 2019
1952 Topps Mantle
2022 SOLD for $ 12.6M by Heritage
The printing of the 1952 series is made in several batches including the gradual selection of additional players. Topps wanted to keep going but their extension of the 1952 series, numbers 311 to 407, was not released on suitable time. The first card of this second part, bearing the number 311, is not the earliest baseball card of Mickey Mantle but it is his first Topps card.
Mickey Mantle is that young handsome player who was iconic of the postwar American dream.
1952 had begun quite bad for him. The New York Yankees' great prospect, highlighted in early 1951 as Joe DiMaggio's designated successor, had finally made a dull season. After being downgraded to the Minor League, he returned to the Major League but suffered a severe injury to his right knee in an action with DiMaggio.
His father who was also his mentor dies on May 7, 1952 at the age of 40 of a blood disease. It was not known at the time that his illness was lead poisoning developed when mining. The young Mickey who was psychologically fragile believed in a hereditary curse. On July 8 Mickey is selected for the All-Star Game as an outfielder but left in reserve.
Mantle's omission in the first 310 players is probably due to his poor start of the season. When he becomes the first of the final 311-407, it is too late. The 1952 season is already well underway and Topps is slowing down the distribution to prepare for 1953 with suitably updated information.
The cards that remained unsold in the stock of the publisher were destroyed in mass a few years later.
An excellent participation at the beginning of October in the World Series launches the career of Mickey Mantle in a sustainable way. Although 1952 is not his rookie year, the rare Topps 1952-311 will become the most desirable of the modern baseball cards.
Owning a high grade 1952-311 card is currently recommended as a strong investment. The date of this edition is not so old and our grandfathers are feverishly searching into the shoeboxes of their youth. The population of PSA graded cards is growing significantly : 1,225 in December 2015, 1,392 in October 2016, and approaching 1,600 in 2019.
The top of the scale at PSA is occupied by 3 cards graded Gem Mint 10 and 6 graded Mint 9.
The dealer Alan Rosen was using the self attributed moniker Mr Mint for his business. Renowned for his offerings of high condition baseball cards, he sold a T206 Wagner for $ 76,000 in 1990. He edited with Doug Garr in 1991 an "Insider's Guide to Investing in Baseball Cards and Collectibles".
Mr Mint acquired in 1985 a collection of high number 1952 Topps cards in mint condition. He will say that his best # 311 Mantle from that set was in his opinion"the finest known example in the world".
Investment went fast. Mr Mint soon sold his # 311 for a reported $ 3,500. He reacquired it in 1991 for $ 40,000 and sold it to a demanding collector for $ 50,000 during the 1991 New York Post Card show.
The grading systems were in infancy. PSA was created in 1991 as the very first grading and authentication company. The happy collector treasured his # 311 for 31 years without grading it.
Now aged 76 and considering that all his friends have seen it, he consigned it to Heritage after reportedly refusing an offer for a $ 10M private deal. After a transfer in armored truck, it is now the one off # 311 Mantle graded MT+ 9.5 by SGC. This high grading rewards a perfect centering, sharp corners and beautiful colors. The SGC label designates it as the "finest known example".
It was sold for $ 12.6M by Heritage on August 27, 2022, lot 53014. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
Three other # 311 have been graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA. Heritage comments that "graded standards have changed over the decades" and that the Rosen find would arguably win against them.
1976 Muhammad Ali WBC Championship Belt
2022 SOLD for $ 6.2M by Heritage
After being allowed to resume his gloves, Ali must face three great champions. Joe Frazier has reunified the world heavyweight title in 1970 and lost it in January 1973 to George Foreman. Ali lost to Frazier in 1971 and early in 1973 successively against Foreman and Ken Norton.
A rematch was won by Ali against Norton in September 1973 and against Frazier in January 1974. Ali becomes credible for the highest level but Foreman, physically formidable, seems unbeatable. At that point appears Don King, a boxing promoter who undertakes to organize the heavyweight championship between George Foreman, the defending champion, and Muhammad Ali, the challenger.
There is no limit to the ambitious Don King. Each of the fighters require $ 5M: King find that money by appealing the Président and future Maréchal Mobutu with the idea of a promotional event that will generate an international attention to Zaire. The match takes place in Kinshasa on October 30, 1974 and remains in the history of boxing as the Rumble in the Jungle.
Foreman is more muscular but Ali's strategy is clever. He spread before the fight some false information about the boxing style he was choosing to use. Foreman hits hard and fast but his weak point is endurance. Once on the ring Ali exhausts Foreman by an unexpected mobility. He becomes world heavyweight champion for WBC and WBA by a knockout in the 8th round.
The WBC first awarded belts in 1976. Two WBC belts of Muhammad Ali are known. He wore one of them in that year the day when he defended his WBA and WBC titles against Richard Dunn. He lost both titles to Leon Spinks in 1978.
A WBC heavyweight championship belt of Muhammad Ali was sold by Heritage for $ 360K on September 10, 2016, lot 50040, and for $ 6.2M on July 23, 2022, lot 54337.
Cassius Clay's 1960 Olympic gold medal was scrapped by him after a racial incident. The WBA belt is not located.
1986 Diego Maradona Shirt
2022 SOLD for £ 7.1M by Sotheby's
Maradona scored within four minutes at the beginning of the second half two goals that were to become legendary for opposite reasons.
He opened the score with a goal helped by his hand. At that time when no video support was available for the referees, the point was declared as valid in an atmosphere of triumph supported by Maradona's spectacular celebration. Fully aware of his mischief, Maradona commented in the post game press conference that he made the goal “un poco con la cabeza de Maradona y otro poco con la mano de Dios".
The decisive goal of the match was scored by Maradona four minutes after the Hand of God. This one is a great demonstration of Maradona's superior dribbling skills as he had been able to pass four defenders in a run of half the length of the pitch. It will referred in 2002 as The Goal of the Century and described as the greatest individual goal of all time. The image of Diego celebrating that feat is shared by Wikimedia.
A later English goal put the final score to 2-1.
Steve Hodge had been involved as an English defender in both Maradona's winning actions. He managed to swap his shirt for Maradona's in the changing room. Please watch the interview shared by Goal of Steve Hodge as 'the Man with Maradona's shirt of God'.
Maradona's shirt of the Hand of God and the Goal of the Century was loaned from 2002 by Hodge to the National Football Museum in Manchester. It was then consigned by him to Sotheby's who commissioned conclusively to Resolution Photomatching the photo-matching with the quarterfinal. It was sold for £ 7.1M from a lower estimate of £ 4M on May 4, 2022, lot 1.
1998 Michael Jordan Last Dance Road Jersey
2022 SOLD for $ 10M by Sotheby's
The first game was made in Salt Lake City on June 3, in a surrounding ambience hostile to the Bulls. Utah won it by a narrow margin, despite the 33 points scored by Jordan.
The road jersey worn by Michael Jordan in that Game 1 was sold for $ 10M from a lower estimate of $ 3M by Sotheby's on September 15, 2022, lot 1. It has been photo matched in game use by MeiGray.
After Game 5 the Bulls were leading 3-2 and Utah could expect a tie as the home team in Game 6. The game was tied 83-83 with one minute left. Utah scored with 43 seconds left and Jordan brought the victory of Game 6 and the Finals to the Bulls at 87-86 with 5 seconds and a timeout left. Jordan had scored 45 points in Game 6 where he wore a similar red and black road jersey as in Game 1.
That win was also the end of an era for the Bulls plagued by tension between manager and coach. Jordan announced his retirement but made a come back as NBA player with the Washington Wizards in 2001 after the September 11 attack.
In 2020 The Last Dance raised a worldwide attention to Michael Jordan as an all sport Greatest Of All Time. This 10-part TV documentary relied on 500 hour footage of candid film of the Bulls in that highly successful 1997-1998 season, made by an entertainment crew for use in a documentary. The project had been delayed until Jordan gave his permission;
2000-2001 Tiger Woods Clubs
2022 SOLD for $ 5.2M by Golden Age
He had used the same set of clubs for these four victories. A set of eight of these Titleist irons of reference 681-T plus one pitching wedge and two sand wedges was sold for $ 5.2M by Golden Age on April 9, 2022, lot 1. They were illustrated post sale by Golf Planète. The irons are numbered from 2 to 9.
The provenance is impeccable. When Titleist presented a new set of equipment to the champion in 2001 after the Masters, the Tiger Slam equipment went to be owned by a vice-president of that brand who sold it at auction in 2010 to the 2022 consignor. Many photo-matches from the 2000-2001 season are announced, and the set fully matches a description in a period magazine including a slightly modified angle in a wedge.
The 1930 Grand Slam of Bobby Jones had been made of the Amateur Championship in Scotland, the British Open, the US Open and the US Amateur, all being won in the same calendar year.