The highest graded autographed example of the 1984-85 Star Company Michael Jordan rookie card is on the auction block. Carrying a card grade of 9 and an autograph grade of 10 from Beckett, it’s expected to sell for $100,000 or more when Heritage Auctions wraps up its current catalog sale.
Only three Star Company Jordan cards have been given a higher grade, but none of those three is autographed.
The auction also includes the only 1986-87 Fleer Jordan graded 10 by SGC and one of more than 300 PSA 10 Fleer Jordan rookies. Each is expected to also reach a six figure selling price.
Riding a wave of demand that has only grown since ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary, a trove of Jordan memorabilia, including cards, game-worn jerseys and shoes are in the auction, which is set to close over two nights, August 29 and 30.
“Michael Jordan cards and memorabilia have always been in high demand, but since the recent airing of The Last Dance the marketplace has reached a fever pitch,” Heritage Auctions Vice President Dan Imler said. “We expect that trend to continue with the incredible assortment of elite Jordan material we have up for bid.”
Jordan’s name is synonymous with prolific scoring and highlight-reel dunks, but the complete home uniform in which he established his career high with 18 rebounds could claim top lot honors among all of the Jordan material in the auction. Dating to a March 1997 overtime win over Seattle, the uniform includes a letter of authenticity from the team and has been signed by Jordan. That he also scored 32 points in victory is less noteworthy than his work on the glass in a game in which he played an exhausting 50:25 – more than any other player on either team.
The jersey is offered along with a letter from Resolution Photomatching, which analyzed the mesh holes and stitch patterns in the jersey. The Bulls were well aware of the marketability and fundraising potential Jordan game jerseys had at the time—values that have since been far surpassed in the ever-growing Jordan memorabilia market.
The letter reads, in part, “The jersey pictured above was one of multiple jerseys worn by Jordan in the game on this date, and was very likely worn from the start of the game until his substitution at 4:20 in the 3rd quarter.”
The provenance also includes a letter on team letterhead to a Chicago ticket broker, thanking him for his $50,500 donation to CharitaBulls, the Bulls’ charity foundation through which fans bid uniforms worn that season by Jordan and teammates Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. The current high bid is $150,000.
Also in the auction is a full warm-up donned by Jordan in the 1991 NBA Finals that he handed to Radio France Méditerranée journalist Lamine M. Fofana after the game. Fofana’s photos of the game and his letter of provenance accompany the warmups.
The jacket has an American flag patch over the team logo at the jacket’s heart in a show of solidarity with military personnel engaged in Operation Desert Storm. A “Bulls 25th Anniversary” patch is on the left sleeve. It’s expected to sell for over $200,000.
The auction also includes 13 pairs of Jordan shoes including a pair donned during the 1984 Olympic Trials that have been signed by Jordan and several other players.
The shoes were consigned by he son of a former team doctor at the University of Indiana, working with IU head coach Bobby Knight, who coached the Olympic team. His father and his friendship with Knight’s son, Patrick, gained the consignor access to practices and the team hotel.
A trip to the hotel pool, where Olympic players were in attendance, was followed by an elevator ride with multiple players, including Jordan, who gave his shoes to the consignor. Being the coach’s son, Patrick Knight then took the shoes on the team bus to get them autographed by multiple players, including Jordan, Magic Johnson, Chris Mullin and Wayman Tisdale.
A full tour of the MJ items in the auction is here.