Fresh off its successful Great American Trading Card Auction in which they sold the most expensive trading card ever, Goldin Auctions opened its annual October Legends Auction on October 10, featuring an eclectic mix of rare and unique sports, history, pop-culture and entertainment memorabilia. Among the highlights of the 1,500-lot auction are: the 1894 original proposal for the first modern Olympic Games; John F. Kennedy’s personal rocking chair from Air Force One; Howard Hughes’ love letters; the glove and cleats worn by Bill Buckner in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series; Wilt Chamberlain’s 1960-61 NBA contract; and even a four-page essay hand-written by Tupac Shakur in prison just a month before his death. The auction is open from October 10-29, at www.GoldinAuctions.com.
“This auction is unquestionably the most unique and eclectic auction we have ever conducted and no matter what you collect there is something here for you,” said Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions. “In addition to a great assortment of rare historical artifacts that are being offered at auction for the first-time, we have also assembled one of our deepest offerings of sports trading cards and game used memorabilia.”
The most historic item being offered is (Lot #3) a hand-written proposal for the modern Olympic games written by Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The museum-quality document, which has been authenticated by PSA/DNA became the blueprint for the modern Olympic Games. Though the Baron envisioned the first games to be held in Paris in 1900, his proposal caught the imagination of the public and the modern Olympics were launched four years earlier than planned in Athens in 1896. Measuring approximately 8″ x 10″, this folded double-sided document was handwritten and signed by de Coubertin and dated 30 January 1894. A grey embossed “Comite International Olympique 1894” stamp has been affixed to the lower portion of the last page.
Although there are more than 1,000 lots of baseball memorabilia up for bids, the two lots that are sure to catch the eye of many collectors, are the first-baseman’s glove (Lot #19) and the Nike high-top cleats (Lot #21) from Game 6 of the 1986 World Series worn by Bill Buckner when Mookie Wilson’s grounder rolled through his legs. The MacGregor Bill Buckner Professional Model first baseman’s glove shows heavy game wear with a layer of steer-hide missing from its pocket. The glove was gifted by Buckner to famed collector Barry Halper, and the back of the fingers are signed “To My Pal Barry, Best Wishes Bill Buckner”. The glove comes with a letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA while the cleats include a full LOA from MEARS.
Other unique baseball items include (Lot #2) a 1956 Stan Musial game-used and signed Cardinals home jersey – the finest one known (MEARS A10 PSA/DNA); (Lot #4) a complete collection (1923-2009) of 27 NY Yankees World Series Clinching Game Tickets – all encapsulated and graded by PSA; (Lots #5-6) the bat and ball from Alex Rodriguez HR #536 – the 2008 home run that tied him with Mickey Mantle with the ball signed an inscribed by A-Rod; (Lot #10) a game-used, signed and inscribed 1976 World Series catcher’s mitt from Johnny Bench, who would earn MVP honors for the series; (Lot #323) a 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card SGC 84 NM7; (Lot #341); and a 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie Card PSA NM-MT.
Basketball fans can bid upon nearly a dozen lots from the personal collection of legendary basketball figure Eddie Gottlieb. The most prominent item (Lot #24) is Wilt Chamberlain’s fully executed 1960-61 NBA contract in which the young star was paid $50,000 by the Philadelphia Warriors. Signed by both Gottlieb, the team owner, and Chamberlain, it comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA. Other basketball items include: (Lot #12) Kobe Bryant’s 2011-12 protective face-mask he wore for four games to protect his broken nose; and a trio of items from Michael Jordan including (Lot #11) a pair of game-used and signed MJ rookie season (1984-85) Nike sneakers; (Lot #14) a Jordan 1997-98 game-worn and signed Bulls black toad jersey worn on Nov. 7, 1997 versus the Atlanta Hawks, and (Lot #1) Jordan’s 1981-82 Freshman UNC Varsity Basketball Certificate signed by Dean Smith; (Lot #13); a 1986-87 Fleer basketball signed complete set of 132 cards plus a complete 11-card sticker set – all PSA/DNA authentic; and (Lot #1356) 1997-98 Tim Duncan rookie season game worn and photo matched Spurs black road jersey.
For Presidential history buffs, Goldin Auctions is also honored to offer JFK’s rocking chair from Air Force One (Lot #22). The chair was gifted by Jackie O’ to brother-in-law and “Rat Packer” Peter Lawford. He asked for the chair knowing that it was the last chair JFK had sat in before his death. Jackie had the chair removed from the Presidential plane and shipped to Lawford, who for the rest of his life kept the chair prominently displayed in the game room of his Santa Monica home. Lawford’s fourth wife Patricia has signed a two-page statement relating the story of the chair as told to her by her late husband. The chair, manufactured by the P&P Company of Asheboro, NC measures approximately 44 inches in height and 27 inches at its widest, the woven seat 22 x 17 inches.
For entertainment collectors, nearly a dozen lots (Lot #34-43) from rap and hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur are headlined by a remarkable handwritten essay that Tupac wrote from his prison cell in 1995. The envelope is addressed to Nina Bhadreshwar at Deathrow Records with the return address being Clinton Correctional Facility, Dannemora, NY. The four page single-sided handwritten letter which tells his story to America’s Youth is entitled “Is Thug Life Dead?” In it, the rapper reflects on the story of his past, present and future. It is a stunningly introspective and from-the-heart dispatch from hip-hop’s most revered artist. Unfortunately, the essay was never published as Tupac’s record label and Bhadreshwar’s employer, Deathrow Records, quashed the story. A little over a month after sending the letter, Tupac was murdered in a Las Vegas drive-by-shooting.
Other highlights of the auction for Tupac fans include: a hand-written and illustrated childhood letter to a friend dated Nov. 22, 1988; his 1991 signed contracts for the movies “Juice” and “Poetic Justice” – the latter includes four Tupac signatures and two from Warren G; Tupac’s first contract with Digital Underground in 1991; two lots featuring framed displays of his hand-written song lyrics to “Catchin Feelings” and “Wonda Why They Call You B-I-T-C-H”; and a pair of his personal awards including the RIAA Gold Sales Award for “Strictly 4 MY NIGGAZ” and his RIAA Multi-Platinum Sales Award for “ME AGAINST THE WORLD.”
The auction also includes (Lot #9) an amazing archive of 17 “love letters” from the tumultuous three-year love affair between up and coming director/producer/playboy Howard Hughes and the wildly successful starlet Billie Dove. Well before becoming the world’s richest man, Hughes was working on his “Hell’s Angels” masterpiece and trying to force his way into the Hollywood scene. Billie Dove on the other hand was already an icon of the silver screen. The two became an instant Hollywood power couple, attracting the all the paparazzi attention 1930’s Hollywood had to offer. A total of 17 individual LOAs from PSA/DNA will accompany this collection.
About Goldin Auctions
Sports memorabilia impresario Ken Goldin has sold more than $600 million in memorabilia from many of the biggest names in sports, history and pop culture and was the pioneer of using the medium of television to sell sports memorabilia. Over the past few years, Goldin Auctions sold Babe Ruth’s 1918 contract for a record $1.02 million, a Honus Wagner T206 card for a public sale record $3.12 million, the Mike Piazza Post-9/11 home run jersey for $365,000, and the 1980 Wayne Gretzky PSA 10 rookie card for a record $465,000. Goldin Auctions strives to break new ground and offer collectors the best in collectible treasures up for auction in the marketplace. All game worn or autographed items come with team, player, league or additional LOA from industry leading authenticators; and collectors can bid with confidence that their proxy/ceiling bids remain confidential. For more information, visit www.goldinauctions.com.