Andy Leff was one of the true pioneers of hockey collecting at a time when baseball was the only game in town. Now, the first installment of Leff’s fabled collection – one of the single finest hockey collections ever put together – is being offered at auction.
Leff’s collection, being sold through Heritage Auctions, includes important game-used pieces and awards representing some of the greatest names in hockey history.
“My father was a big memorabilia collector, mainly baseball, and he put together a collection of baseball bats that spanned all decades and focused on Hall of Fame players,” Leff, a Philadelphia native explained. “This got me intrigued and I started talking to other collectors and branching out a bit as I found that not many people at the time were putting together a stick collection like this.”
What began as a personal challenge to acquire a game used stick from every Hall of Fame player quickly expanded to include jerseys, pucks, trophies, and any other significant article of hockey memorabilia that crossed his path. Slowly, one piece at a time, Leff assembled one of the premier hockey collections in private hands.
“I started picking up some trophies, awards, rings, then jerseys, then special milestone pucks, equipment and pictures,” said Leff. “It’s nice to have a niche in collecting, as many people do, but I wanted to put together an all-around collection that showcased the entire history of the sport, not just a subset of it. To me, putting together something that encompassed everything about the sport was really unique and allows you to display your items in many different ways to show off the rich history of the game.”
Among the items at auction are a late 1960s gordie Howe game-worn Red Wings jersey with a current high bid of $32,000; a 1952-53 Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup championship bowl presented to Maurice Richard (pre-sale estimate of $20,000+), Patrick Roy’s 500th Victory game-worn Colorado Avalanche goalie pads ($10,000+); a 1973 Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup Championship Ring Presented to Yvan Cournoyer, a 1964-65 Mini Stanley Cup Championship Trophy presented to Henri Richard; Stan Mikita’s 1963-64 Art Ross trophy plaque and Maurice Richard’s 400th goal presentational trophy from 1954.
The auction concludes later this week.