He is among the most photographed athletes in sports history but not every Michael Jordan image is created equal. Those can be traced to the time in which they were taken and the person who took them rise above the rest. Now, a group of 22 Jordan photos spanning nearly 20 years are among the top lots in a sports photography auction now underway.
Heritage Auctions is offering the photos in separate lots. They include a classic image taken by renowned photographer Malcolm Emmons when Jordan was still “Mike,” a jump shooting standout at North Carolina playing with a heavily taped wrist. The Type I photo with Emmons’ stamp on the back could sell for $15,000 or more by the time bidding ends on Saturday night.
Others include shots originating in the archives of Chicago newspapers and The Sporting News. One features Jordan on the court during his first regular season game at Chicago Stadium in 1984. Another dates to that same rookie season.
There’s a shot of Jordan, tongue hanging out as he throws down a huge slam dunk over Bill Laimbeer.
All of the photos have been given a Type I designation by PSA/DNA. Most are in black and white, but others dating to the Bulls’ 1990s championship era are in color. There is even one color photo from the Chicago Tribune archives of Jordan taking batting practice during his time in minor league baseball.
The entire auction includes hundreds of vintage photographs including an original Walter Johnson photo dating to the early 1910s that appears to have been the one used in the creation of his Cracker Jack baseball cards and a 1902 Cy Young Type I cabinet photo.