The Green Jacket presented to the winner of the first-ever Masters Tournament in 1934 has been located and is up for bid, appropriately enough, at Green Jacket Auctions. Bidding began on Wednesday for the Jacket, presented to Horton Smith 15 years after he was victorious at Augusta. As of Sunday night, it had already surpassed $60,000 with 12 days remaining.
Nearly every Masters Champion’s Green Jacket had been accounted for except the one presented to Smith when Augusta National Golf Club decided to make it a tradition in 1949.
Smith, who also won at Augusta in 1936, died in 1963. According to the auction company, the bulk of his estate, including the one Green Jacket he was given, passed to his brother Ren Smith, whose second wife inherited the jacket, which she later left to her two sons. They had kept it in a closet for years but have decided to sell it in hopes that it winds up on display in a museum or in a private collection. Early bidding would indicate the Jacket will sell for well into six figures.
The Green Jacket wasn’t always a sports icon. Augusta didn’t even start handing them out until Sam Snead won in 1949, but then retroactively awarded them to the nine former tournament champions from 1934-38. Those Jackets are referred to as the “Original 10″ and the auction house says it’s the only one of those to ever be offered for public auction.
The Horton Smith jacket is a two-button, single-breasted Size 43L and has his name on a tag inside along with the 1949 date. It’s believed to have been manufactured by Brooks Uniform Co.
Click here to see Horton Smith items on eBay.