The helmet and jersey worn by Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, the former Notre Dame student who made the most of his one chance to play football for the Fighting Irish in 1975,sold for $241,500 Saturday at the Super Bowl Auction in Houston.
There was no immediate word on who bought the two items. Ruettiger had been in Houston throughout the week, talking with media members about the auction and the items were heavily promoted by Hunt Auctions, which annually conducts the sale of hundreds of football-related memorabilia just ahead of the Super Bowl. Ruettiger’s gold helmet brought the larger bid–$126,500.
The auction, which stretched into Saturday evening, also included much of Brett Favre’s personal memorabilia collection. His 1996 Miller Lite Player of the Year trophy sold for $46,000 but his Jim Thorpe Trophy as the league’s MVP did not meet a reserve price. A game-worn jersey from the Packers’ 1996 championship season brought $23,000.
Several items associated with Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas also generated strong interest from bidders. A blue Colts circa 1967 home jersey sold for $92,000, his 1964 NFL MVP award brought $48,875 and a pair of his 1960s high-top cleats sold for $31,625. Some of the Unitas memorabilia sold Saturday originated with long-time collector Duke Hott, who obtained them directly from Unitas many years ago.
Dozens of modern era player jerseys and memorabilia sold as part of the partnership between Hunt Auctions, the NFL Players Association and NFL Auctions. A jersey worn by Tom Brady in October of 2014 rocketed to $57,500.
A portion of the proceeds from various auction items goes to assist NFL-sponsored charities.