Mastro Auctions will conduct its second live sale of 2008–this one at the new Sports Museum of America will feature vintage baseball and football memorabilia.
Mastro Auctions has announced that it will conduct a Live Sports Auction at The Sports Museum of America—the new home of the Heisman Trophy—in New York City on Monday, December 8.
The event will consist of two sections: the first will focus on “Legends of the Gridiron,” and take place on the morning of December 8. The second session, “Legends of the Diamond” will occur in the afternoon on the same day. Combined, the auctions will include hundreds of pieces of baseball and football memorabilia.
The marquee item of the auction is the Heisman trophy awarded to USC’s Charles White in 1979. The trophy was last sold for $293,750 at a Grey Flannel auction in December of 2006, but is now back on the block. It’s been in the memorabilia market for several years.
In recent years, the Downtown Athletic Club, which hands out the Heisman, has required winners to sign a document stating they will never sell the trophy, thus avoiding some of the uncomfortable stories that have emerged of former winners falling on hard times or being forced to sell because of legal issues.
“Just a few days after this amazing item is auctioned, we’ll find out in the same building who the 2008 Heisman trophy winner will be,” Allen said of the auction location. “The auction of a Heisman trophy will deliver an exciting lead-in to what is always one of football’s most anticipated moments each year.”
The record price paid for a Heisman trophy is $395,240, for the 1941 award originally given to Minnesota halfback Bruce Smith.
White’s Heisman is just a single piece in one of the largest private collections of highest-quality football memorabilia ever offered publicly. The collection is composed of more than 300 items, and is dominated by game-used jerseys and helmets worn by Hall of Fame football players, future Hall of Famers, and Heisman Trophy winners. “This is a jaw-dropping collection,” says Allen. “It’s especially fitting that we’re conducting the auction in a museum, because, truly, that’s where these timeless treasures belong.”
Other significant football items being offered in Mastro Auctions’ “Legends of the Gridiron” event include:
· Jim Brown Cleveland Browns circa 1960s game worn brown dureen jersey;
· Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 1971 game worn white dureen jersey;
· Jim Taylor Green Bay Packers circa 1966 game worn green dureen jersey;
· Ray Nitschke Green Bay Packers circa 1966 game worn green dureen jersey;
· Tom Landry New York Giants circa 1952-54 game worn red wool jersey;
· Dick Butkus 1974 NFC Pro Bowl game worn blue dureen jersey;
· Don Maynard New York Jets 1969 Super Bowl III game worn white dureen jersey;
· Joe Namath New York Jets circa 1970 game worn green dureen jersey;
· Bart Starr Green Bay Packers early 1960s game worn helmet;
· Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 1969-70 game worn signed helmet;
· Don Meredith Dallas Cowboys circa 1967 game worn white dureen jersey;
· Merlin Olsen Los Angeles Rams 1969 game worn white dureen jersey.
The baseball component will include an array of game used items, one-of-a-kind display pieces, and high-value baseball cards.
The two-part live “Legends” sports auction will represent Mastro Auctions’ second major live-format sports auction of 2008. The company conducted a Live Sports sale in August, which resulted in the highest price ever paid for a single baseball card at public auction: a 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner card sold for $1.62 million. Overall, the August live sale averaged $50,000 per lot.
Allen explains that the company’s decision to proceed with another live auction in 2008 was based on the industry’s overall support and acceptance of previous Mastro Auctions’ live events, as well as the top-quality nature of the material that will be sold in December.
“We’ve received nothing but positive feedback on every aspect of our live sales,” says Allen. “It has become clear to us—and to our bidders and consignors—that there are just some outstanding collections and individual pieces that not only warrant a live auction environment, but thrive in it. Our goal and our responsibility to our clients are to position the material we auction in the best possible platform for maximum results. The December “Legends” sale is a perfect example of this strategy.”