A University of Texas alumnus placed the winning bid on Ricky Williams’ 1998 Heisman Trophy earlier this month. Heritage Auctions says the $504,000 price paid by the unidentified Longhorns aficionado set a record for Heisman, thanks to a significant amount of publicity ahead of the auction.
“Many participants for this piece were new to the hobby and had learned of the offering from our national media campaign,” stated Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions for the Dallas-based company.
The trophy was consigned by collector Brian Hobbs, who bought it from Williams in 2014. Heritage first unveiled the 45-pound award at the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention.
The trophy sold on the first night of a two-session auction that also included Williams’ 1998 Doak Walter Award, which sold for $49,200. The second half of the sale was postponed for a week after a malware attack on the company’s website. In all, the auction of over 1,100 items netted $2.9 million.
The second-highest price achieved in the event likewise shattered the standing record for a bobblehead by $30,000 when an oversized New York Yankees promotional nodder manufactured in the early 1960s claimed a $90,000 result.
Championship rings, one of the hottest subgenres in the sports collectibles marketplace, continued their meteoric pricing ascent in the two-day event, the most noteworthy result being $69,000 for Pittsburgh Steelers safety Tyrone Carter’s 2005 Super Bowl XL model. Five rings offered in the sale each commanded five-figure prices.
Other highlights Included:
- $38,400: 1915 Boston Red Sox Pitching Staff with Rookie Babe Ruth Original News Photograph, PSA/DNA Type 1
- $28,800: 1923 Green Bay Packers Stock Certificate, one of the most significant early Green Bay Packers artifacts to surface on the hobby
- $27,600: Signed 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle #253, PSA/DNA Authentic Auto 8
- $18,000: circa 1919 “Shoeless Joe” Jackson Original News Photograph, PSA/DNA Type 1
- $16,200: circa 1920 Reach Sporting Goods Sign