A jersey worn by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the season in which he became an NBA champion for the first time sold for $675,000 to pace Heritage Auctions’ Fall Sports offering. The jersey was on the cover of the catalog and was the top selling memorabilia item in the three-day sale of sports memorabilia and cards. It’s a record for any piece of Abdul-Jabbar memorabilia.
The road green durene jersey was matched to multiple games during the 1970-71 season when Abdul-Jabbar–then known as Lew Alcindor– led the NBA in scoring, won the league’s MVP award and together with Oscar Robertson, led the Bucks to a sweep of the Baltimore Bullets for their first championship.
“Kareem was a towering figure who helped turn the Lakers into a dynasty, and this rookie jersey represents the genesis of his remarkable accomplishments,” says Chris Ivy, Heritage’s Director of Sports Auctions. “For that reason among so many others, it’s easily among the finest pieces of Abdul-Jabbar memorabilia on the planet. We expected it would set a new record, and we’re extremely proud to have been part of that history.”
While the jersey was the top selling item in the auction, cards dominated the list of lots raking in the most cash. One of the 100 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Championship Ticket autographed cards–a BGS 9/10 example–led the way at $855,000. However, the price represented a huge drop from the the $3 million+ highs of cards with the same grade that were reported sold in 2021 and ’22. Another BGS 9.5/10 example of Brady’s most expensive rookie card had sold for $1.2 million at auction earlier this year.
The fifth current finest set of 1953 Topps baseball cards on the PSA Set Registry, one that included a PSA 8 copy of Mickey Mantle’s second Topps card, soared to $444,000.
Another 1953 Topps lot unrelated to the set featured a PSA 10 Ted Lepcio, which soared to a remarkable $38,400.
The 2011 Bowman Chrome Bryce Harper 1/1 SuperFractor sold at auction for the second time in the last 12 months, netting $420,000. The price for the BGS 9.5/10 rated card was slightly less than what it achieved in 2022.
Multiple 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards were sold including an SGC 7 that realized $372,000 and an SGC 6.5 that sold for $186,000.
A 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie card graded PSA 8, went for $252,000 while a 1949 Bowman Jackie Robinson PSA 9 hit $288,000 and an autographed copy of Wilt Chamberlain’s 1961-62 Fleer rookie card brought in $276,000, more than twice its previous high mark.
The only graded example of the 1921 Shotwell Babe Ruth, a PSA 1.5, found a new home, selling for a record $192,000.
Baltimore Orioles Brooks Robinson also smashed his way into the record books over the weekend when one of only two 1968 Topps 3-D prototypes in the PSA registry realized $60,000. The only-known Carl Yastrzemski 3-D prototype from that same year, this one graded authentic by SGC, realized $21,000.
A large collection of high-grade Topps Venezuelan cards sold for strong prices, paced by a 1967 Sandy Koufax that went for $37,200.
Other highlights from that limited, rare run included a 1967 Venezuela Topps Mickey Mantle PSA NM-MT 8, which sold for $28,800; a 1968 Venezuela Topps Mickey Mantle PSA NM 7, which realized $26,400; and a 1968 Venezuela Topps Willie Mays PSA NM-MT 8 that sold for $21,000.
Among the unopened material in the auction, a 1962 Topps 1st Series Baseball wax box topped bidding at $240,000–$10,000 per pack.
Nearly two years after it first sold in an auction of items from his personal collection, Bill Russell’s last NBA championship ring from 1969 went for $444,000, over $111,000 less than the previous sale.
Other memorabilia included the telephone from Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay office, given to his assistant after the legendary Packers coach departed for Washington, which netted $60,000 and a ticket stub from Michael Jordan’s NBA debut graded PSA 2 that brought in $58,800.
All told, the three-day event netted $16.5 million in sales.
Click here for complete results from Heritage’s Nov. 16-18 Fall Sports Catalog Auction.