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Jesse Owens Medal, Jackie Robinson Bats Heat Up as Bidding Winds Down

The bidding on Olympic athlete Jesse Owens’ 1936 Gold Medal and items from a major collection of Jackie Robinson memorabilia is heating up as SCP Auctions’ final catalog event of 2013 heads for Saturday’s finish.

The bid for Owens’ 1936 Olympic gold medal jumped to $336,387 Wednesday and is expected to set a record for Olympic memorabilia, possibly reaching $1 million.

Jesse Owens 1936 Gold  Medal  Amidst all of the political turmoil in Germany presided over by Adolph Hitler, Owens captured four gold medals (the 100 Jesse Owensmeter, the long jump, the 200 meter and the 400-meter relay) and broke two Olympic records.  Unidentifiable to a specific event, it is the only documented example among the four originals awarded to Owens.  He gifted the medal as a token of gratitude and friendship to the legendary dancer and movie star Bill “Bojangles” Robinson after Robinson helped Owens find work in the entertainment field in the years following his Olympic triumph.  The medal is being sold by the estate of Robinson’s late widow, Elaine Plaines-Robinson.  The whereabouts of Owens’ other three medals aren’t known.

The sale of the medal has gotten international attention, including a segment on Australian radio.

Other top bids come from the private collection of Jackie Robinson memorabilia, including several prominent items that were formerly displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.  Robinson’s 1955 World Series game-used bat sits at $66,550, his 1949 game-used bat at $64,850 and the single finest condition example of a Robinson-signed baseball at $25,286.

Jackie Robinson 1955 World Series bat

 

Lucas’ basketball gold medal from the 1960 Olympics jumped to $73,205 on Wednesday.

The top 10 bids thus far in the auction include:

  • · Jesse Owens’ 1936 Olympic Gold Medal  – current high bid $336,387
  • · Jerry Lucas’ 1960 USA Basketball Olympic Gold Medal – current high bid $73,205
  • · Jackie Robinson 1955 World Series Game-Used Bat – current high bid $66,550
  • · Jackie Robinson 1949 H&B Game-Used Bat – current high bid $64,850
  • · 2004 New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX Championship Ring – current high bid $41,781
  • · Goose Gossage’s 1978 New York Yankees World Series Champions Ring – current high bid $31,390
  • · 4/30/78 Muhammad Ali vs. Jimmy Young Fight-Worn Robe – current high bid $28,536
  • · Jackie Robinson Single-Signed OAL (Cronin) Baseball – current high bid $25,286
  • · Elvin Hayes’ Personal NBA 50 Greatest Players Autographed Lithograph – current high bid $24,159
  • · C. 1927 Willie Foster Chicago American Giants Negro League Game Worn Jersey – current high bid $23,582

Other notable items at auction include Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino’s grand slam home run ball from the 2013 ALCS ($6,050) and items from the personal collections of Goose Gossage and NFL great Warren Moon.  Each of the more than 2,300 items is featured in the SCP Auctions’ website at www.SCPAuctions.com. 

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].