A year after it began selling the collection of basketball great Bill Russell, items from the career of another Boston Celtics icon are up for sale. Hunt Auctions is offering the personal collection of Tom Heinsohn in its December Premier Live Online Auction. The auction, which opened over the weekend, also includes two more Russell game jerseys, a Bob Cousy jersey and a collection of dozens of Michael Jordan autographs on Sports Illustrated magazines.
Known as “Mr. Celtic,” Heinsohn was a standout at nearby Holy Cross before joining the NBA in 1956. Heinsohn actually won the league’s Rookie of the Year over Russell during their first professional season. He played for the Celtics from 1956-1965 and later became the Celts’ coach, a role he held from 1969-1978. Later he became a broadcaster, a role he held for 30 more years. During his associated with the team, Heinsohn participated in 17 Celtics championship seasons and 21 NBA Finals.
Among the items from the consignment are Heinsohn’s1957, 1974 and 1976 NBA championship rings earned as a player and coach and a 2008 championship ring from his time as a broadcaster. His Naismith Hall of Fame ring and trophy and his 1964-65 championship trophy will also be part of the sale.
Heinsohn died of kidney failure in 2020 at age 86.
“We are so very pleased to be able to share a portion of the memorabilia pieces from our father’s iconic career within the game of basketball,” Heinsohn’s sons David and Paul Heinsohn stated in a news release. “It is the hope of our family that these items will be enjoyed by those very fans he loved so dearly and perhaps spark a favorite memory or moment related to his legendary career on the parquet floor and behind the microphone.”
Also among the headliners in the auction is an archive of Michael Jordan related items originating from the collection of Henry Kay Jewelers. The Chicago based family owned/operated company is the one of the oldest jewelry retail/wholesale firm of its type in the country having been established in 1919.
In the 1990s, the company produced a commemorative wristwatch to be given away to the selected radio guest for the postgame show after each of the Chicago Bulls games throughout Jordan’s career. Through that process, company president Howard Kaplan became acquainted with Jordan with whom he developed a working relationship. Throughout the years Henry Kay produced various objects for Jordan including commemorative rings and other jewelry items.
The collection is being offered for the first time publicly and includes a signed pair of professional model Jordan sneakers (est. $15,000-$25,000) and a nearly complete run of 45 Jordan signed Sports Illustrated magazines (est. $50,00-$100,000).
Several additional private collections of memorabilia and cards will be offered in the December auction, highlighted by a 1958 Russell Celtics jersey (est. $500,000-$750,000), Russell’s 1963-64 NBA All-Star jersey (est. $250,000 -$500,000) and a 1960s era Cousy jersey. Each of the three shirts are being presented to the collecting public for the first time with the Cousy jersey and the 1963-64 Russell All-Star jersey originating in the William McSweeny “Go Up For Glory” Collection. McSweeny was given the two items during the time period which he was writing the book with Russell.
The 1958 Russell jersey has been assigned several possible and likely photo matches by Resolution Photomatch. The jersey was obtained in the early 1960s by a Boston area man and is one of the earliest Russell jerseys to have been offered.
Other featured items in the auction include:
- 1995-96 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey (Est. $25,000-$50,000)
- 1996-97 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey (Est. $25,000-$50,000)
- 2001-02 Shaquille O’Neal L.A. Lakers jersey (MeiGray) (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
- Charles Barkley 1992 “Dream Team” USA Olympic jersey (Est. $25,000-$50,000)
- 1995 Michael Jordan autographed sneakers (Est. $25,000-$50,000)
- 1909-11 T-206 Ty Cobb green portrait (SGC 4 VG-EX) (Est. $10,000-$20,000)
- 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 (PSA 2 GD) (Est. $50,000-$75,000)
- 1909-11 T-206 Ty Cobb red portrait (PSA 4 VG-EX) (Est. $15,000-$25,000)
- 1951 Bowman Willie Mays #305 (PSA 8 NM-MT) (Est. $75,000-$150,000)
- 1954 Topps Hank Aaron #128 (PSA 8 NM-MT) (Est. $40,000-$60,000)
The first 700 lots will close on Monday December 12 via live online auction bidding with the remaining 650 lots ending on Tuesday December 13 via online only format. Bidding is open now at HuntAuctions.com.