Items from a pair of Chicago sports icons headline the final auction of 2023 at Hindman.
One offered entry to a history making NBA debut. The other put an exclamation point on a memorable NFL career.
Mike Ditka’s Hall of Fame jacket
“Iron” Mike Ditka holds not only a unique place in Chicago Bears history by coaching the Monsters of the Midway to their first and only Super Bowl title but also as a game-changing player. In 1988, Ditka became the first tight end elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Beginning with the 1961 season where he would win Rookie of the Year honors, Ditka was selected All-NFL for four straight seasons from through 1964 and finished his 12-year career with 427 receptions for 5,812 yards and 43 touchdowns. It was those numbers that earned him the elite gold jacket presented to members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The label on Ditka’s size 52L Hall of Fame jacket reads “CUSTOM TAILORED FOR MIKE DITKA CLASS OF 1988 142”. The jacket’s front has a shield with the Hall of Fame logo and the designation “PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME ENSHRINEE”.
The jacket comes with Ditka’s personal passes/tickets and itinerary for the 2014 ceremonies in Canton as well as a Sharpie marker tucked in the inside pocket, one which undoubtedly saw considerable use from Ditka signing autographs.
Other items from Ditka’s personal collection are also part of the auction.
Debut of the GOAT
Also getting long looks from bidders is a box office ticket stub from Michael Jordan’s NBA regular season debut on October 26, 1984.
Even the most optimistic Bulls fan, if there was such a thing in 1984, couldn’t have imagined that they were there to bear witness to the beginning of arguably the most important career in sports history.
The original owner had nothing to do on that fateful Friday night in October 39 years ago when he and his best friend, who would later become his step brother after both of their parents widowed, decided to drive to Chicago Stadium and bought two $11.50 tickets to see if MJ was worthy of the third pick in the draft.
Only 12 stubs from that night have been certified by PSA and only five of those 12 examples have been graded higher than the stub offered in this auction, which is expected to sell for between $10,000 and $20,000.
Numerous other tickets from Jordan’s career and multiple autographed items are included elsewhere in the auction.
Cards and Photos
Other notable lots from the sale include:
- A selection of T201 Mecca Double Folders including Cobb, Mathewson, Johnson, Lajoie and other Hall of Famers, both in singles and as a group
- Post-War baseball cards including a 1951 Bowman Willie Mays rookie card, a 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle,Mays and Jackie Robinson, a 1954 Hank Aaron rookie SGC 5.5, an SGC 6 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie, an SGC 7.5 1956 Topps Mantle, 1957 Topps Clemente SGC 7.5 and a ’57 Brooks Robinson rookie card SGC 7.5
- 1950s and ‘60s football cards including key rookies
- 1935 Babe Ruth PSA Type One Photograph of Ruth signing autographs for young fans
- 1912 Honus Wagner PSA Type One news photo
Bidding is available now on Hindman’s website and also via Live Auctioneers with lots beginning to close on December 12.