It is only fitting that Joe Cool would have some cool memorabilia on the auction block.
Joe Montana’s collection of personal memorabilia heads to auction beginning Feb. 9 in an auction hosted by Goldin.
“The Joe Montana Collection,” part of Goldin’s February Elite Auction, runs through March 1, The collection contains a photo-matched red 49ers uniform that the Hall of Fame quarterback wore in Super Bowls XIX and XXIII, and a photo-matched white jersey that he wore in Super Bowl XXIV. There also will be memorabilia from Montana’s days at Notre Dame.
Tom Brady may be the GOAT now, but during the 1980s that title belonged to Montana, who led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl victories and was the MVP in three of them. He tied Terry Bradshaw for the most Super Bowl wins, a mark that stood until Brady came along. Brady has seven Super Bowl rings in 10 appearances.
Montana, 66, wore the same red Super Bowl jersey in victories against the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals. The latter game featured Montana leading the 49ers on a 92-yard, game-winning drive that began at the San Francisco 8-yard line with 3:10 to play. Montana hit John Taylor for the game-winning score, a 10-yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds to play, to complete a 20-16 comeback victory.
That uniform has a starting bid of $250,000. The white jersey will open at $100,000.
Other items for sale include a framed, game-used full uniform worn by Montana in his final NFL game — a 27-17 AFC wild-card game loss by Montana’s Kansas City Chiefs to the Dolphins on Dec. 31, 1994.
There is also the final home game uniform Montana wore as a member of the 49ers on Dec. 28, 1992. Montana relieved Steve Young in the second half at Candlestick Park against the Detroit Lions and threw two touchdowns to seal a 24-6 victory and a 14-2 regular-season record.
Montana has another memorabilia item from that game — the football he threw for his last touchdown pass as a member of the 49ers. It was an 8-yard pass to Amp Lee in the fourth quarter, and the football is inscribed with the date, Montana’s autograph and a note that verifies that it was his last TD pass with the Niners. The starting bid is $1,000.
The John Mackey Award, given to the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable player, is also on the block. Montana won the statue for his performance in Super Bowl XXIV, when he completed 22 of 29 passes for 297 yards and a game-record five touchdown passes in a 55-10 win against the Denver Broncos. Montana completed 13 consecutive passes at one point and also rushed for 15 yards.
It was a foregone conclusion that Montana would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Part of the collection up for bid at the Goldin auction is the induction jacket Montana wore when he entered pro football’s shrine in Canton, Ohio, on July 29, 2000. Montana, who threw for 40,551 yards and 273 touchdowns during his career, was inducted along with Howie Long, Ronnie Lott, Dave Wilcox and Dan Rooney.
Another trophy from the Montana collection is from his inclusion on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team, which was selected in 1994. Montana was one of five active players chosen and joined Johnny Unitas, Sammy Baugh and Otto Graham at the quarterback position.
There is also a relic from Montana’s days at Notre Dame. A helmet from the Jan. 1, 1979, Cotton Bowl in Dallas, when Montana rallied the Fighting Irish to a 35-34 victory against Houston in a game dubbed the “Chicken Soup” game, is also part of the collection. With Notre Dame trailing 34-12 midway through the fourth quarter, Montana threw three touchdown passes, including a game-tying 8-yarder to a diving Kris Haines as time ran out. The extra-point conversion gave the Irish the improbable victory.
Montana, who was suffering from hypothermia — he had to leave the game and was fortified in the locker room with chicken bouillon — played in brutal conditions that included 22-degree conditions at kickoff and an 18 mph wind out of the north that made it feel like minus 6 degrees.
Perhaps the vat of chicken soup would have been a good memorabilia item.
“My Notre Dame helmet,” Montana wrote on the helmet, along with his signature. “Go Irish!”
A game-used home jersey Montana wore from his days at Ringgold High School in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, during the 1970s rounds out the collection. After taking over the starting job as a junior, Montana completed more than 50% of his passes and accounted for 3,062 yards of total offense.
During his senior year, Montana was named the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League’s top quarterback and offensive player MVP in the organization’s Big Ten Conference.
Here’s a fun lead about Montana as a high school player, courtesy of The Pittsburgh Press in September 1973:
“The name Joe Montana conjures up images of a guy wearing one of those fancy cowboy shirts covered with rhinestones or fringe, a 10-gallon hat, square-toed boots and the rest of the paraphernalia befitting a wild west show. You know, something like Buffalo Bill or Wild Bill Hickok image.”
It makes sense. During his career, Montana put on a great show and was quite a gunslinger.
All of the items in the Goldin auction come with a letter of authenticity from Montana.
“I have been fortunate to have some incredible moments in my career, but these weren’t just individual moments. They were moments celebrated with an entire fanbase of people,” Montana said in a statement released through Goldin. “I have amassed a lot of memorabilia over the course of my career, and I am excited to share these parts of my collection for fans to enjoy and continue to relive the memories.”
A portion of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Four Rings Montana Family Foundation, which supports local children’s charities.
“There’s a whole generation of kids and adults out there who only ever wanted to be one quarterback when they suited up to play football — Joe Montana,” Ken Goldin, the founder and executive chairman of Goldin, said in a statement. “The Comeback Kid epitomized being cool under pressure and for 16 incredible seasons was the face of the NFL. The Joe Montana Collection tells the story of an incredible football life and any serious football fan will be blown away by what we have to offer.”