A photo from Michael Jordan’s first NBA game just set a record for the most expensive photo of the Hall of Famer ever sold.
Goldin Auctions says it brokered the private sale of the PSA Type 1 image for $175,000.
The 8×10 photograph by Don Bierman of the Chicago Sun-Times features Jordan driving past Frank Johnson of the Washington Bullets during his pro debut at Chicago Stadium on Oct. 26, 1984. Jordan posted 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists in a 109-93 win that night.
The image shows the future six-time NBA Champion driving to the hoop in iconic Jordan fashion with his tongue out and wearing his earliest Nike sneakers.
The record price did not surprise Henry Yee, Principal Authenticator of PSA Photo Authentication Services.
“True original Type I photos are still extremely undervalued when compared to other segments of the hobby,“ Yee remarked. “Compare that to a six-figure Jordan debut ticket stub in which all 13,000 fans in the building received one.”
The black-and-white image of the 21-year-old Jordan originated long before digital photography. The back of the photo carries a Sun-Times stamp, a caption cut from the newspaper on the day it appeared and numerous editorial markings.
“It was simply used for its practical purpose in the newsroom to tell a story,” Yee explained.
Khyber Oser, Director of Vintage Memorabilia and Photography at Goldin called Jordan Type 1 photos “one of the hottest sectors on the auction block today.”
Another photo from Jordan’s debut sold for over $141,000 at Lelands earlier this month.
“Only three Type I examples from MJ’s debut game have ever surfaced publicly—and this is the best one by far. I’m excited to see what such a landmark sale means for all Type 1 photo collectors, whether you collect Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali or Babe Ruth.”