The first ever “photo-matched” Dream Team jersey, worn by Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, is expected to fetch the top price in SCP Auctions’ 2019 Summer Premier Auction, which kicked off Wednesday. In addition, 36 lots from the personal collection of legendary New York Knicks coach Red Holzman are featured in the sale, adding another Hall of Famer to SCP’s long list of notable estate collections as the Southern California auctioneer celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Five lots had already surpassed the $20,000 mark in the opening hours of the sale.
The blue Olympic jersey donned by Johnson dates to the gathering of what many consider the greatest sports team ever assembled. The ’92 “Dream Team” destroyed each Olympic opponent in Barcelona by an average of 44 points in taking gold. Johnson had announced an immediate retirement from the NBA just months earlier due to HIV, but made a triumphant return at the ’92 All-Star Game and ’92 Olympics under much controversy. His #15 jersey has been professionally photo-matched to the quarterfinal game against Puerto Rico but may have also been worn in multiple games during the Olympic tournament. No other Dream Team player’s jersey on record has been conclusively photo-matched. Early estimates are $150,000 and up but bidding had already pushed past $33,000 as of Wednesday evening.
The 1969 Ernie Banks jersey comes directly from the collection of longtime Chicago Cubs executive and former GM “Salty” Saltwell. The gray road flannel was worn by “Mr. Cub” during his 14th and final All-Star season. It’s been photomatched and graded A10 by MEARS. The last three Banks gamers sold by SCP Auctions averaged $150,000 and the ’69 jersey was at over $44,000 within 24 hours of the auction launch.
The ’68 Willie Mays Giants home jersey carries his autograph on the front and is graded MEARS A9.5 with further documentation from the team’s memorabilia expert. It also has six-figure potential. according to auction officials.
Holzman coached the New York Knicks to their first and only two NBA titles in the early 1970s, cementing his legacy in the Big Apple. He passed away in 1998 and now the family has decided to part with his prized memorabilia. Most significant is his 1970 World Championship ring, the only player-level ring from the Knicks’ first title team ever to be offered. Holzman’s Hall of Fame induction ring, nets used in the 1970 and ’73 Finals clinchers, his 1970 NBA Coach of the Year trophy and vintage items from his 1940s and ‘50s playing days are also among the listings.
Top trading card lots include three 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle cards in varying PSA grades and a rare SGC graded 1894 Mayo Cut Plug N302 football near set. A PSA Gem Mint 10 Rickey Henderson rookie, a T206 Sherry “Magie” (one of the hobby’s most famous error cards), a 1915 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb PSA VG-EX+ 4.5, and two 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth cards in PSA EX 5 round out the key singles. Complete and near complete sets, from 1951 Parkhurst and ‘53 Topps Baseball to ‘65 Topps Football and ‘86 Fleer Basketball are also on the block.
Several significant original photographs, letters and contracts also up for bid including two iconic Dodgers and Yankees photos: Jackie Robinson in front of the Brooklyn clubhouse moments after Branch Rickey made the groundbreaking decision to call him up to the majors and shatter the color barrier in 1947 (bidding already $41K+); and Babe Ruth hugging Lou Gehrig after the “Luckiest Man” speech in 1939. A never-before-seen, early 1930s “Original Celtics” team-signed photo offers basketball collectors the chance to bid on some early hoops history.
Other historic documents include a 1889 handwritten letter by Harry Wright that helped bring spring training to Florida and one by umpire Bill Klem in 1910 that led to the installation of foul poles down the lines. Mickey Mantle’s 1957 Yankees original player contract is offered as is Vin Scully’s very first contract (also signed by Rickey) that began his unprecedented 67-year run as the Dodgers’ play-by-play man.
- 1959 Don Drysdale LA Dodgers (WS Season) Game Worn Home Jersey (MEARS A10): $50K+
- 1966 Don Drysdale Dodgers Game Worn Home Jersey (MEARS A10): $40K+
- 1957 Mickey Mantle Signed Player Contract (Mantle Estate): $40K+
- 1936 Winter Olympics Hockey Gold Medal – Jimmy Foster, GBR Goaltender: $35K+
- 1/12/1991 Jerry Rice 49ers Playoff Game Worn & Photomatched Jersey: $25K+
You can check out the entire auction here.