Grey Flannel Auction Opens

Charles White\'s 1979 Heisman trophy is on the auction block

Just a couple of months after it’s 1st ever Basketball Hall of Fame event, Grey Flannel Auctions is rolling out catalogs for a new sale of sports memorabilia…this one featuring a former USC tailback’s Heisman Trophy.


Charles White’s 1979 Heisman Trophy is back on the block. The former USC tailback’s award grabs center stage at the December 6 Holiday Auction by Grey Flannel Auctions. The trophy initially was presented to White but later entered the memorabilia market. It sold initially several years ago for $184,000. Grey Flannel has set the minimum bid at $250,000 this time.

Bruce Smith\'s 1941 Heisman trophy In recent years, prices for the handful of Heismans that have come to market have topped that mark. The most recent Heisman to sell was originally awarded to former Minnesota running back Bruce Smith in 1941. It sold for more than $426,000.

“The Heisman is not only a symbol of the best college football player of a particular year, it is an incredible work of art,” said Richard Russek, president and CEO of Grey Flannel Auctions. “Charles White was clearly an amazing, exciting runner, just one in an impressive, decades-long line of USC running backs, from Mike Garrett to Reggie Bush.”

In recent years, the Downtown Athletic Club, which hands out the Heisman, has required winners to sign a document stating they will never sell the trophy, thus avoiding some of the uncomfortable stories that have emerged of former winners falling on hard times or being forced to sell because of legal issues.

Another football lot expected to attract attention is a complete graded run of Super Bowl tickets. The 39-ticket collection, going into its 40th anniversary game, carries a minimum bid of $25,000.

The baseball inventory in the Grey Flannel sale includes a game-used Pirates hat worn by Roberto Clemente, with a letter of authenticity from the Clemente family along with a road flannel jersey by former New York Giants manager Leo Durocher.

Other notable items include:

  • Ted Williams 1950s game-worn jersey
  • Program from 1923 Yankee Stadium Opening Day
  • 1969 Mets World Series ring
  • Game jerseys: Tom Seaver, Michael Jordan, Don Meredith, Y.A. Tittle, Gayle Sayers, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Wayne Gretzky, Joe Namath, Eddie Mathews
  • John Unitas autographed, game-used San Diego Chargers helmet
  • 1952 Topps set with some cards graded