Luckman Game-Worn Jersey Brings $50K

He wore it with pride whilie quarterbacking the Chicago Bears just after World War II. Somehow it survived until its entrance into the hobby this summer as a rare piece of football history.

It had also worked well when Sid wanted to do some painting.

1947 was an 8-4 season for the Chicago Bears. And not an especially good one for Sid Luckman. He tossed 31 interceptions during a 12-game season. But in the eyes of collectors, a piece of that season–or any other–is worth its weight in gold.

Luckman’s blue and orange Bears’ jersey from the ’47 season was just sold in an auction conducted by American Memorabilia. The final bid was $41,776. With the company’s 20% buyer’s premium, the final selling price was $50,131.

It’s believed to be the first Luckman jersey ever offered at public sale.

The rare jersey had been a gift from Luckman to the consignor’s father during the 1970s and hung in a closet for years before being listed on eBay earlier this summer. The seller, clued in to its potential value as the centerpiece of a major sports auction through dozens of e-mails he received, quickly pulled the listing and consigned it to AMI.

In the original eBay listing, the consignor relayed the story of the friendship:

Sid said "Here, give this to your kid, it’s one of my old game jerseys." There are a few white specs on the jersey and my Dad asked Sid what that was from. "I painted in it," said Luckman.

The Sid Luckman jersey wasn’t the only old Bears’ gamer sold in the auction. A late 1960s Gale Sayers model, with team repairs, brought $17,148 with the buyer’s premium.

One of Larry Bird’s final game-worn jerseys, a 1991-92 Celtics home white, brought $29,915 and included a letter from the team’s equipment manager.

A Lou Gehrig-Babe Ruth autographed baseball, graded PSA 6, sold for $16,130.