Game Used Universe debuted its new concept last year. Now, the newest player in the sports memorabilia auction field is back for an encore.
Over 200 lots of game used jerseys, hats, helmets, bats, and other items are featured in Game Used Universe’s (GUU) Spring 2008 auction which opened recently.
Specializing in game used memorabilia, GUU developed its “Next Generation Auction” format which it says "elevates the authentication process to a new standard while virtually eliminating the possibility of a non-authentic item reaching the collector."
Since inception, Game Used Universe has made it a goal to help educate sports memorabilia collectors via information and social networking found on its website. Thousands have participated in free online forums where information is exchanged on a daily basis.
“The aggregation of these collectors, and the sharing of information, has created an incredibly useful tool that has revolutionized the hobby,” said CEO Chris Cavalier.
The concept of entire community participation has also been integrated into the Game Used Universe auction process. All the items sold in Game Used Universe’s auctions are evaluated by GUU’s experts to protect collectors from suspect merchandise. Game Used Universe created a hobby first with its custom software that installs an online “thread” for each auction item within the description page. The thread creates the opportunity for dialogue between collectors about a particular item in which any question can be asked– and answered– by anyone in Game Used Universe’s massive community. The goal is to provide substantiated information for those interested in bidding on an item.
Featured in GUU’s current auction is a wide variety of game used memorabilia from every sport. Among the items included is a side-written, vault marked Lou Gehrig bat from 1931, which was manufactured to Gehrig’s specifications, approved by him, and ultimately used as the template from which to manufacture the majority of his bats for the remainder of his career. In addition to a lengthy analysis by GUU’s Mike Specht and a Letter of Authenticity from MEARS grading it an A8, the bat is also accompanied by a written description of the its history by Hillerich & Bradsby.
The GUU auction also highlights a Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls home jersey worn by Jordan during the Bulls 1997-98 Championship Season. The jersey is accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity directly from the Chicago Bulls and signed by Community Relations director Jeff Schultz.
“This type of team provenance is extremely important to collectors given the number of questionable Jordan jerseys that have surfaced on the secondary market,” explained Cavalier. “Here is the chance for a Michael Jordan collector, or any collector for that matter, to add a legitimate Jordan jersey to their collection.”
Bidding for the Jordan jersey had already topped $6600 as of early Monday.
Another game worn piece with direct ties to a team is a Cardinals’ jersey worn by St. Louis Cardinals’ superstar Albert Pujols on “Shirt Off Their Backs Day” at Busch Stadium in 2003. On that day, Pujols took this jersey off immediately following the game and handed it directly to a fan who won the right to the jersey in a fund-raiser auction. Aside from the Pujols jersey, there are also quite a few other jerseys in the GUU sale which have Steiner Sports paperwork, including a game used, signed jersey worn by New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter.
The auction also has numerous football jerseys with team or player documentation. They include an Adrian Peterson rookie jersey (signed and inscribed “Rookie Gamer” by Peterson himself), jerseys of Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb (with letters directly from the players), Clinton Portis and a number of other Vikings and Redskins jerseys. The auction also features a Jerry Rice jersey from 1985-86, consigned by an individual who worked for the 49ers during the mid-1980s.
From the Ted Williams era of the old Washington Senators comes what GUU describes as the “The Frank Howard Collection” which includes a 1970 signed, game used Howard Washington Senators jersey, two game used bats, awards from Louisville Slugger (1970 Home Run Champion) and the Washington Senators Home Plate Club (1968 MVP), and Howard’s 1971 game worn signed Washington Senators batting helmet.
Over 30 game used bats are represented in the auction. In addition to the Gehrig bat mentioned above, Hall of Fame lumber from Jim Bottomley, Billy Williams, and Willie Stargell are available. Other game used bats include pieces used by crossover superstar Michael Jordan, Mets’ star David Wright, Ron Cey, Dave Kingman, and Jose Canseco.
GUU believes its auction offers enough variety that collectors of all budget levels can participate.
“Sure, the superstar items are incredible and get a lot of the attention, but trying to find a legitimate Doug Camilli bat is just as important to a collector trying to complete a 1963 World Champion Dodgers collection,“ Cavalier explained. GUU has the Camilli bat in its current sale.
Along with the jerseys, bats, and hats– the so-called ‘staples’ of the game used memorabilia collecting hobby– are several other unique pieces including a Silver Slugger Award from Jack Clark, a Super Bowl XIX watch given to a SF 49ers’ employee, locker room chairs used by Pujols and Pedro Martinez, and a New York Jets single locker from Shea Stadium, featuring a Joe Namath autograph.
Autographed items from the 2007 Boston Red Sox championship team are offered as well as game used bases signed by Derek Jeter, Joe Torre and Troy Tulowitzki. Hockey collectors will find a Patrick Roy game used jersey with a letter of authenticity from Meigray Group, which handles a large amount of game worn gear under its contracts with various pro leagues.
The auction is now live at gameuseduniverse.com. Bidding concludes May 8.