Wayne Gretzky’s last Edmonton Oilers jersey — worn when he won his final Stanley Cup and complete with champagne stains –is on the market for the first time. The jersey is a highlight of Grey Flannel Auctions summer auction, which opened this week. Bidding has already surpassed $400,000.
Grey Flannel’s Michael Russek called the 1988 jersey “the end of an era” and said the jersey “has the potential to be the most valuable hockey jersey ever.”
Gretzky wore the jersey being auctioned when hoisting the Stanley Cup after sweeping the Boston Bruins in four games in what would ultimately be his final game as an Edmonton Oiler. During Game 4 at the Boston Garden, with 3:23 remaining in the second period, moments after the Oilers tied the score at 3-3, the electricity at Boston Garden went out. After much deliberation, it was decided the game would not be finished that night. The contest was replayed from the start in Edmonton two days later. The Oilers defeated the Bruins 6-3 to complete the sweep and win their fourth Stanley Cup in five seasons.
Gretzky won the Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player during the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 12 goals and 31 assists for 43 points. Just 12 weeks later, the Oilers traded Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings.
The jersey, which is being offered publicly for the first time, is covered in champagne stains from the championship celebration, stick and puck marks, loose threads and multiple repairs to the sleeves. It carries letters of authenticity from MeiGray and Photo-Match.com.
Another item in the auction with a connection to sports history is a New York Knicks warmup jacket from Willis Reed’s famous appearance in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals.
The Knicks were expected to be without their superstar in game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Reed had torn a muscle in his right thigh in game 5 and missed game 6. In one of the most memorable moments in NBA History, Reed unexpectedly hobbled onto the floor against the Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The crowd at Madison Square Garden erupted in unison and it is still regarded as one of the greatest moments in MSG history. Reed hit two jump shots in the opening minutes to boost his teammates’ confidence and helped the Knicks capture their first NBA championship.
The jacket was worn prior to the game, when Reed was on the bench and is photo-matched to his post-game interview with ABC sportscaster Howard Cosell.
According to the auction house, the jacket “originally emanated from a car dealership employee who made a trade with a Madison Square Garden employee who likely traded a car for the jacket.”
A 1917 White Sox jersey once worn by star pitcher Eddie Cicotte, who participated in the gambling-tainted 1919 World Series, is also among the top items.
Consigned by his family, the jersey features the American flag patch applied by teams to honor the military during World War I.
Bidding has surpassed $33,000 thus far.
Barry Bonds’ first home run ball, from a June 4, 1986 game in Atlanta and later gifted to his financial advisor in the 1980s, is also on the block.
Bonds homered off Craig McMurtry of the Braves in the fifth inning of the contest at Fulton County Stadium. He had made his MLB debut five days earlier.
The inscribed ball represents the first of his record-setting 762 career homers.
A dual-signed Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig baseball graded PSA/DNA 7.5, carries a current high bid of over $23,000 and comes with a vintage newspaper article detailing the ball was signed for a member of theconsignor’s family.. There’s also a high grade single-signed Ruth ball in the auction.
A pair of Bobby Orr pieces have attracted some of the top bids early on including a 1974-75 Bruins road jersey and a copy of his 1966-67 Topps rookie card graded 10 by Beckett.
Auction bidding will close on Sunday, June 5 on Grey Flannel’s website.