Most players in the ABA were barely making $50,000 per year. Early Thursday morning, one of their old jerseys sold for more than that.
They weren’t around long, but the Spirits of St. Louis were one of the more memorable teams in the American Basketball Association. The team’s unique jerseys have been one of the more popular game-worn targets for collectors and one of them was the subject of a bidding war in Grey Flannel Auctions’ holiday sale.
A 1975-76 Rudy Hackett Spirits jersey sold for $50, 820, topping all other items in the auction. The jersey garnered twelve bids before the sale shut down in the wee hours. The final price reflects the company’s addition of a 20% buyer’s premium applied to all lots.
The jersey wasn’t the only ABA piece to grab the attenton of bidders. A 1971 Utah Stars championship ring brought $31,128. Another championship ring pushed past that mark when a 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series ring found a new home for $37,668.
The premier item in the auction, a Lou Gehrig jersey, did not find a buyer at the $225,000 minimum bid. Game-worn jerseys that did sell included a signed 1969 Bob Gibson Cardinals road model. It sold for $41,434, while a 1971 Willie Mays Giants jersey stopped at $31,129 and a 1973 Nolan Ryan Angels shirt sold for $31,103.
Other sales in the Gray Flannel auction included:
- 1969 Dave DeBusschere signed Knicks game-worn jersey $23,367
- 1923-25 Ty Cobb game-used bat $20,724
- Eddie Collins autographed Hall of Fame plaque $18,367
- June 18, 2009 Derek Jeter game-worn jersey $12,000
Heroes of Sport, a newcomer to the auction business, concluded its first event with dozens of vintage sports cards up for bid, led by a 1963 Topps Pete Rose graded 98 by SGC (gem mint), which sold for $26,715.
The top rated set of 1913 Fatima Team Cards vaulted to $25,806, an SGC 96 Sandy Koufax rookie card sold for $14,187, a 1954 Wilson Franks Ted Williams (SGC 84) brought $13,135 and an autographed 2003-04 Le Bron James Exquisite three-color jersey patch card (47/99) went for $10,324.