Hopping on a bus to apply for a job with a new pro basketball franchise in Milwaukee more than 40 years ago looks like it is going to pay some big future dividends for Patrick McBride.
A teenager who inherited the job as equipment manager when his boss passed away, McBride saw his Bucks win the 1970-71 NBA Championship. Three years later, still working for the team, he asked General Manager Wayne Embry if he could keep some of the club's older game worn gear that had been sitting in storage. Embry said yes and McBride grabbed a Lew Alcindor jersey from that year as well as one worn by Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson. After holding on to those items and several others all this time and watching them unexpectedly grow into valuable pieces of sports history, McBride is now ready to sell. He's consigned them to Heritage Auctions' Platinum Night event in New York.
The Alcindor jersey alone is expected to bring a price that is deep into six figures.
McBride attests in his letter of provenance that the home white #33 jersey was last worn in the NBA Finals when the Bucks swept the Eastern Conference Champion Baltimore Bullets in four games. McBride says each player used two home and two road jerseys per season, and that he personally delivered the other home white Alcindor and Robertson to the Basketball Hall of Fame at the conclusion of the season.
The Alcindor jersey carries an A10 rating from MEARS. The Robertson jersey, with a pre-sale estimate of $50,000+, is rated A9.5.
MEARS plans to be among what will likely be a determined group of bidders when the items go on the block February 23. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has more on the McBride consignments and why the Alcindor jersey will likely bring a lot of interest.