For the second consecutive year, the Chicago-based auction house will offer a 1994 Michael Jordan bronze maquette called “The Spirit.” That will be the headliner of the auction, which will also feature a ticket from the first game Jordan and Kobe Bryant faced one another.
Other key auction items will be a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card (PSA 3), baseballs signed by Babe Ruth and a golf flag signed by Tiger Woods that flew at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational, the first tournament he won as a PGA Tour pro.
The Jordan maquette, or model, is a replica of an original model that was unveiled at Chicago’s United Center after Jordan’s No. 23 Chicago Bulls jersey was retired in 1994. Only 123 were designed, and 55 were produced as part of a charity fundraiser for the James Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chicago.
The maquette was designed by Israeli-American artist Omri Amrany and his wife, Julie Rotblatt-Amrany. The artists married in 1987 and moved to the Chicago area from Israel in 1989. The maquette is numbered 9 of 123 (No. 9 was Jordan’s U.S. Olympic team jersey number) and is signed by Jordan and Amrany.
The sculpture stands 26 inches high and is atop a 6-inch base.
It is the second model of this Jordan maquette that has been sold by Hindman Auctions. Last year, a similar model sold for $27,500.
Another Jordan collectible is a ticket from a Dec. 17, 1996, game between the Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers at the United Center. It was the first time Jordan and Bryant had appeared on the same court together.
Bryant shared his state of mind going into the game on Geno Auriemma’s Holding Court podcast in 2017: “I was thinking in my mind, I didn’t care. I’m going to destroy this guy. I don’t care if I’m 18, I’m coming for blood,” he recalled. It didn’t quite work out that way.
Bryant played 9 minutes, 48 seconds, hitting one two-point basket and a 3-pointer to score five points for the Lakers, who fell to 18-8.
The ticket was certified as authentic by PSA, and only three other examples of a ticket from this game are known to exist, according to Hindman Auctions. Several other lots feature ticket stubs from games during the careers of both players.
Other Jordan-related items include a 1986-87 Fleer rookie card, a pair of Upper Deck Authenticated signed 2001 Nike Air Jordan XVI sneakers and other signed Jordan items, some acquired directly from Jordan at his Flight School basketball camp.
Other baseball items include a collection of 29 tickets from the 1971 All-Star Game that was played at Tiger Stadium, a contest that saw the American League sparked to victory when Reggie Jackson hit a monstrous home run that hit the transformer on the right-field roof of the stadium. Some of the tickets were signed by Jackson and fellow Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Lou Brock, Rod Carew, Steve Carlton, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Joe Torre and Carl Yastrzemski.
Also up for auction is a Babe Ruth autographed Spalding “Home Run Special” baseball along with items from the career of baseball player and coach Jimmy Wilson, dozens of other autographs and numerous lots of vintage sports cards.
Bidding in the auction begins at 10 a.m. CDT. A private preview of the auction items will be available at Hindman’s office in Chicago by appointment.
More information about the auction can be found here.