There once was a time when Yale was a national football powerhouse and now one of the two Heisman trophies presented to Bulldog players—in back-to-back seasons, no less—is on the auction block. The family of 1937 winner Clint Frank has consigned his award to Heritage Auctions, where it’s likely to sell for $400,000 or more. It’s the headline item in the Heritage Fall Sports Memorabilia Catalog Auction.
Frank was the third winner of what’s now considered one of sports’ most important individual honors, following Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago and Yale’s Larry Kelley.
Like many of the college players of his era, Frank opted to enter the business world rather than sign a pro football contract after graduation. He worked in advertising after World War II service, eventually establishing a well-known advertising agency in Chicago. Frank was the founder of the Brain Research Foundation at the University of Chicago and the Eye Research Institute in Boston. He died in 1992 at age 76.
As of early Sunday, the high bid on the trophy stood at $168,000 with the buyer’s premium.
Also expected to bring $400,000 or more in the auction is a 1947 game-worn Joe DiMaggio World Series jersey, photomatched to Game 5. The signed road flannel stood at $156,000 on Sunday.
“For football and baseball collectors respectively, it doesn’t get much bigger than this,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports auctions at Heritage about the company’s top two items “Each of these pieces may very well set a new world record.”
The auction is heavy on jerseys once worn by football greats including those from Johnny Unitas (est. $60,000-up), Dick Butkus (est. $40,000-up), Fred Biletnikoff (est. $15,000-up), Joe Namath(est. $20,000-up) and Eric Dickerson (est. $10,000-up).
Autograph collectors will find Roberto Clemente’s signed contract from the Pittsburgh Pirates 1960 World Championship season (est. $20,000-up), a rare handwritten letter from Christy Mathewson (est. $15,000-up), and a one-of-a-kind 1934 Exhibit card bearing the signatures of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey and Lefty Gomez (est. $50,000-up).
Other highlights Include:
- 1995 Michael Jordan Silver Air Jordan ISneaker Created for his 32nd Birthday (est. $50,000-up)
- 2005 Afleet Alex Belmont Stakes Winner’s Trophy Presented to Jockey Jeremy Rose(est. $40,000-up)
- Scottie Pippen Game Worn and Signed Chicago Bulls Uniform– photo matched to 12 games and career high points game in 1996-97 (est. $30,000-up)
- Circa 1930 New York Yankees Partial Team Signed Baseball(est. $20,000-up)
- 1910 Philadelphia Athletics World Series Championship Trophy Presented to Catcher Pat Donahue(est. $20,000-up)
- 1941 Bobby Jones Match Worn Masters Tournament Player Badge(est. $20,000-up)
- 1906 Chicago Champions Gold Medallion Presented to Joe Tinker(est. $15,000-up)
- 1920 New York Yankees Team Signed Baseball from Muddy Ruel’s House, the only known example to exist (est. $20,000-up)
The auction is now open for bidding and will close in Extended Bidding format at 10 p.m. Central time Oct. 18 at HA.com/Sports.