The gloves that Muhammad Ali wore in 1971 in his first of three heavyweight championship fights with Joe Frazier –hyped as “The Fight of the Century” – will join Babe Ruth’s 702nd career Home Run baseball in Heritage Auctions’ July 31 Platinum Night Sports Auction in Cleveland.
The hammer will fall at Cleveland’s House of Blues in what, for Heritage Sports Auctions, is traditionally the most heavily attended live auction of the year. The auction coincides with the National Sports Collectors Convention.
“Our ‘Platinum Nights’ have become the hobby’s showcase for elite sports collectibles,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage. “Again here, in Cleveland this time, the very best pieces are being offered and we expect high-end collectors will respond enthusiastically.”
Fresh on the heels of a $836,500 result for the gloves Ali wore to claim the Heavyweight title from a terrifying Sonny Liston in 1964, the gloves that Ali wore in the first edition of his famous trilogy of bouts with Frazier, have provenance derived from the personal collection of Ali’s legendary trainer Angelo Dundee.
Online bidding is underway with the gloves currently sitting at $125,000.
Ruth’s 702nd career home run baseball, struck at Chicago’s Comiskey Park on July 23, 1934 – the same day notorious fugitive John Dillinger was gunned down just a few miles away – will also be up for grabs. It is the highest numbered home run baseball from the Babe in private hands and, according to Heritage, is accompanied by decades of newspaper articles attesting to its provenance. The ball sold for $264,500 at the Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum Auction in 2010.
A considerably more somber occasion in Yankees history is commemorated, as well, with the offering of what the auction house says is the only known ticket stub from Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” farewell at Yankee Stadium that is autographed by the dying legend. A Yankees cap from the mid-1930's and a bat used by Gehrig during his final full season of 1938 will likewise cross the auction block in Cleveland. Perhaps most noteworthy is the 1924 rookie contract that finalized Gehrig’s permanent Yankees status after two years with the team’s Hartford farm club.
Game worn uniforms from Hall of Fame legends from all four major American sports could change hands at the auction, with highlights including a Larry Bird rookie full uniform from 1979, a minor league jersey worn by Willie Mays just before his 1951 call-up to the New York Giants, jerseys attributed to Joe Namath, Joe Montana and Dan Marino, and a Mark Messier jersey from the 1993-94 New York Rangers Stanley Cup Championship season.
Other highlights of this auction include:
- 1923-24 Ty Cobb Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9.5.
- Circa 1954 Joe DiMaggio Handwritten Signed Love Note to Marilyn Monroe
- 1972 Buck Leonard Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ring
- 1963-64 Pete Rose Game Worn Cincinnati Reds Jersey
- 1997-98 Michael Jordan Record-Setting $33 Million Chicago Bulls Player's Contract
- 1971-73 Bill Walton UCLA Bruins Game Worn Jersey, MEARS A9
- 1909-11 T206 Sovereign Ty Cobb Bat on Shoulder PSA NM-MT 8
- 1910 E98 "Set of 30" Ty Cobb (Black Swamp Find) PSA Mint 9
The complete auction list is here.