Green Bay Packers great Jerry Kramer is putting 60 items from his personal collection, including his Super Bowl I ring and jersey and 1965 NFL Championship ring up for auction.
Kramer, who turns 80 next Saturday, has consigned the collection to Heritage Auctions, which will offer them in February. Having made a good living in business after his career ended in the late 1960s, Kramer isn’t desperate for cash. He says he’s using the money to create a fund to pay for the college education of his five grandchildren.
And they should be able to go to school wherever they like.
Kramer’s Super Bowl I ring could set a record for the highest price ever paid for any Super Bowl ring. Only two others from that historic game 50 years ago have been offered for sale. Steve Wright’s ring brought $73,409 in 2011 and a ring belonging to Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke sold privately for an undisclosed amount. The highest priced Super Bowl ring ever sold belonged to New York Giants Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, whose Super Bowl XXV ring went for $230,401 in 2012. Kramer’s ring could surpass that figure.
Kramer, an important member of the great Packers teams of the 1960s, says he stored many of the items from his career inside a trunk at his Idaho home and after discussion with his family, decided the time was right to sell. He’s keeping some things, such as his 1961 NFL title ring and the one he earned for Super Bowl II, the last time he was coached by Vince Lombardi. Family members also own items from his playing days, which encompass Lombardi’s entire tenure in Green Bay.
Kramer lost his Super Bowl I ring years ago, leaving it in a restroom aboard an airplane. It resurfaced at Mastro Auctions in 2006 but word quickly spread. The listing was canceled and the ring was returned to Kramer.
Among the other items he’s consigned are two more 1960s era game-worn Packers jerseys, game-worn items from his college career at Idaho, a personal letter from Jackie Robinson, another from Vince Lombardi, chastising him for comments made on NBC’s Today Show, a 1960s Pro Bowl helmet and a 1962 Packers team signed championship football.
A popular speaker and prolific writer in addition to his business work, Kramer has written a few books about his NFL experiences including the critically acclaimed Instant Replay.