A Jesse Owens Olympic Gold Medal from his historic performance in the 1936 Olympics sold for $1,466,574 early Sunday, the highest price ever paid for a piece of Olympic memorabilia, in SCP Auctions’ fall auction. The record price surpassed that of a silver cup won by the winner of the first modern-day Olympic marathon in 1896 that sold for $865,000 in April 2012 and the highest price paid for a U.S. Olympic item - the "Miracle on Ice" jersey worn by team captain Mike Eruzione - that sold for $657,250 via Heritage Auctions this past February.
Other top lots included Jackie Robinson’s game-used bats from his historic 1949 National League Most Valuable Player season and the 1955 World Series that sold for $183,500 and $128,617, respectively; and a Jackie Robinson single-signed baseball attracted a record sum of $104,765.
“We are honored to have handled what we consider to be among the most inspiring sports artifacts ever offered at auction,” said SCP Auction Vice President Dan Imler. “The worldwide attention garnered by the auction of Jesse Owens 1936 Gold Medal and the extraordinary auction result proves that Owens’ triumphant legacy continues to endure.”
Ron Burkle, billionaire investor and co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, purchased the medal. Burkle, also owner of William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize for Literature, has plans for an educational tour of the historic pieces in the future.
The family of Owens' friend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson consigned the medal to SCP.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the medal will be donated to the Jesse Owens Foundation.
MLB great Goose Gossage’s collection of personal memorabilia garnered more than $365,000 including $66,734 for his 1978 New York Yankees World Series Champions Ring and $41,372 for his 2008 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ring.
Other highlights of the auction include:
- Elvin Hayes’ Personal NBA 50 Greatest Players Autographed Lithograph – $68,368
- 1960’s Wilt Chamberlain Los Angeles Lakers Game-Worn Road Jersey - $60,667
- 4/30/78 Muhammad Ali vs. Jimmy Young Fight-Worn Robe – $60,667
- 2004 New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX Championship Ring – $55,152
- c. 1928 Willie Foster Chicago American Giants Negro League Game-Worn Jersey - $55,152
- Warren Moon’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Ring - $42,955
- Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino’s grand slam home run ball from the 2013 ALCS - $18,840
Full auction results are available at www.scpauctions.com.