Muhammad Ali and Knute Rockne’s Personal Possessions and High Grade Cards Up for Auction at Goldin Auctions

Rare NBA Memorabilia Aplenty in the Goldin Auction Summer Auction Bidding opened today for the biggest sports memorabilia auction of the year. The Goldin Auctions 2016 Premium Live Auction features a mix high-grade trading cards and one-of-a-kind items from legendary sports figures including Knute Rockne, Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle adn more. Along with personal and game-worn memorabilia from these legendary sports figures, it also offers some of the highest-grade rare trading cards ever offered in a single auction. The live auction,which features 100 lots of rare memorabilia, each valued at $10,000 or above will conclude on August 4 at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City, while a corresponding catalog auction with more than 1,000 additional lots will run through August 13 online at

Auction features 100 lots valued at $10,000 or above at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City on August 4 and online at through August 13

“The National Sports Collector’s Convention is the biggest event in the sports memorabilia industry and our annual auction has become the place for serious collectors to bid upon some of the most unique and valuable sports memorabilia,” said Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions. “We are especially proud of the items we are offering this year, as many are reaching the auction block for the first time. It will be exciting to see the response and feel the energy in the room as record prices are set.”

Here are some of the high-grade trading cards headlining the 100-lot live auction:

  • Lot #25 – O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card PSA Graded GEM MT 10 — PSA has graded 3,727 1979/80 O-Pee-Chee #18 Gretzky rookie cards. Of those, 65 have graded an unqualified PSA MINT 9 and this is the only PSA GEM MT 10 example currently in circulation. With the average sales for a Gretzky PSA 9 having increased by 500% over the past few years, this one-of-a-kind card is expected to set the all-time record for NHL trading cards.
  • Lot #15 – 1933 Goudey Baseball 24-Card Uncut Sheet – Includes a mint Ruth and other Hall of Famers. All original, no restoration. This is an extremely rare – and likely unique – wide-bordered, final production uncut sheet. Although 1933 Goudey uncut sheets are made available in the hobby from time to time, most are of the much less desirable Canadian variety; very few American-issue sheets have been confirmed – let alone examples that feature a Babe Ruth depiction. Additionally, lesser survivors are typically cropped in irregular fashion, not equipped with neatly executed factory borders such as those demonstrated by the exceptional display piece seen here
  • Lot #20 – 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card SGC 86 NM+ 7.5 – Among the seven best Mantle cards ever graded by SGC.Lot #23 – 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie Card PSA NM-MT 8 -of the top 15 examples from more than 3,900 graded copies of this rookie card.
  • Lot #21 – 1953 Topps #244 Willie Mays SGC 96 MINT 9 – One of just two copies of this card graded at this tier (none higher) from the 336 copies graded by SGC
  • Lot #22 – 1955 Sandy Koufax #123 Topps Rookie Card SGC MINT 9 – One of just seven examples at this tier (with none graded higher) of the greatest pitcher in baseball history.
  • Lot #12 – 1909-11 T206 White Border Eddie Plank PSA EX 5 – Among the top 7 graded versions of just 70 graded examples of this rare card.
  • Lot #16 – 1939 Play Ball #92 Ted Williams Rookie Card PSA NM-MT 8 – Of the more than 850 graded copies of this card, just a dozen, have been graded at a higher, unqualified tier.
  • To register for the auction, receive a free catalog or view the 1,000-plus lots, visit In addition to the more than one dozen rare and high-grade trading card, the live auction also offers the following remarkable items.
  • Lot #41 – Muhammad Ali Fight Worn Glove from Ali-Frazier 1 — The March 8, 1971 fight at Madison Square Garden was dubbed “The Fight of the Century.” These Everlast boxing gloves were worn by Ali. Their perspiration-stained, interior linings carry bold notations reading, “MA 1, AD, Ali-(Joe) Frazier 3-8-71 MSG.” Approval stampings placed by the New York State Athletic Commission are accompanied by additional notations (date and initials) penned by that agency’s inspector. The black marker signature of Ali’s long-time corner-man Angelo Dundee also appears inside each glove. The gloves remained in the possession of Dundee after the fight, and they are accompanied with an authentication letter. Gloves from Ali’s fights with Floyd Patterson and Sonny Liston sold for $1.1 million and $965,000 respectively.
  • Lot #46 – The Knute Rockne Collection – Treasured personal items including Rockne’s prayer book, pocket knife and pocket watch that were on his possession on his fatal plane crash in 1931. Lot also includes items from his funeral including the prayer card and notes from the priest who gave Rockne’s eulogy. This is the first time these museum-quality items have ever been offered at auction.
  • Lot #38- Babe Ruth’s 1935 Contract with the Boston Braves – His final MLB contract is a standard N.L. Uniform Player’s Contract made out to “George Herman Ruth” includes his team as the “Boston National League Baseball Company” and the terms “$25,000 per year for a term of three years”. The second page is dated February 28, 1935 (a mere two days after the Yankees released him) and has been signed by Ruth with a very bold and dark stroke, Braves president Emil Fuchs and witnesses Samuel Silverman, F. Burton Whitman and James O’Leary. The signature has been rated a perfect Gem Mint 10 by PSA/DNA.
  • Lot #37 – Babe Ruth’s Final “Farewell Letter” to Yankees owner Dan Topping – Written the day after Babe Ruth Day, this 7.25″ x 10″ letter on “Babe Ruth” personal stationery is dated June 14, 1948. The signature is in blue fountain pen, and grades (“9/10”). The letter has the usual folds, has some light staining near the top edge, and is matted with glue to a black construction paper background. This item comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA (AA06094).
  • Lot #39, – PSA-10 GEM MINT graded 11″ x 14″ Babe Ruth Signed and Inscribed Photo – Featured in the “BABE RUTH LIFETIME OF PICTURES AND LETTER”, scrap-book that was filled with pictures, newspaper columns, and letters of well wishes and press materials presented to Babe’s wife Claire by the Yankees after his death. The photo presents, quite possibly, Ruth’s boldest black fountain signature ever, and reads “With best wishes From Babe Ruth.” It is possibly the largest single-signed Ruth signed photo extant, making it one of the greatest Babe Ruth signed photographs to ever go to auction. This comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA.
  • Lot #11 – 1955 Mickey Mantle A.L. Championship Ring – This marks the first time in more than a decade that a Mantle championship ring will be offered at auction. Just two other Mantle rings (1956, 1962) have ever been sold. In addition to the elegantly engraved script, “Mickey C. Mantle,” inside the band, there is the iron-clad provenance of brother Ray Mantle’s 5/12/2000 LOA on Yankee letterhead. It is also the last such ring Mantle would ever receive as he declined future rings from World Series losses.
  • Lot #30 – Mike Piazza’s “NYPD” 9/11 Catcher’s Helmet — Emblazoned with the NYPD logo it was worn by Piazza on September 21, 2001, during the first sporting event held in New York after 9/11 – better known as the game he hit the most memorable home run in Mets history. The game marked the first time in which players were allowed to wear a hat or helmet that was not associated with his respective team, thus adding to the significance of this item. On the blue brim is Piazza’s bold signature in silver marker. It comes with an LOA from The MeiGray Group. There is also a Steiner hologram on the underside of the brim which certifies the autograph. 50% of the buyer’s premium will be donated to Tuesday’s Children.
  • Lot #48 — Michel Jordan 1998 Chicago Bulls Playoff Jersey – Worn in the 83-70 victory in Game 1 of the 1998 Eastern Conference Semifinals versus Charlotte on May 3, 1998. It was signed diagonally on the “2” on the back of the jersey immediately following the game and comes with full LOAs from the Bulls and The MeiGray Group.
  • Lot #33 – Larry Bird 1980-81 Rookie Season Celtics Jersey – Features clubhouse repairs and shows extensive game use. The repaired “3” on the jersey’s front enabled it to be matched to a photo of Bird from the February 27, 1981 win over the Atlanta Hawks. This great Bird gamer from his very first championship season comes with a LOA from The MeiGray Group.
  • Lot #31 – Bill Sharman 1950 Washington Capitols Rookie Jersey – The Celtics Hall of Famer actually started his career in 1950 with the Capitols, but after just 35 games the Capitols were disbanded. It’s the first-ever known jersey of this very early NBA team, and was worn by their most famous player making it one of the most significant basketball jerseys ever offered at auction. It comes with a full LOA from MEARS, who have noted it as the first example of both team (Capitols) and player (Sharman) they have evaluated, and graded it a perfect A10.Lot #42 – 1956 Stan Musial Game Worn Cardinals Jersey – That season the Cardinals deviated from their trademark “two birds on bat” jersey design and produced this one-year only version. The bat disappeared and a lone cardinal migrated to the left sleeve where he was modified to have a much fiercer look than the docile pair that previously perched on the fronts of the old jerseys. A refreshed script Cardinals” arches across the chest in red on navy felt.
  • Lot #1-7 – Game-Used Bats From Baseball Greats – 1966 Willie Mays (Vintage Sig), 1914-19 Johnny Evers; 1952 Gil Hodges (World Series); 1947 Ted Williams (Triple Crown Season); 1973 Hank Aaron (HR #695); 2001 Barry Bonds (HR #540); 2012 Mike Trout (Rookie Season)
  • Lots #26, #27, #28, #29 – Munson, Berra & Campanella Game Worn Catcher’s Gear – The four lots include: Circa 1956 Roy Campanella Catcher’s Mitt; 1960-61 Yogi Berra Signed Catcher’s Mitt (The Glove Collector LOA); 1979 Thurman Munson Final Season Catcher’s Mask (LOA from Gene Michael); 1971 Rookie Era Munson Catcher’s Mitt (Michael & Yankees LOA);
  • Lot #34-36 – Nate “Tiny” Archibald Ring Collection – Including his 1981 Celtics Championship Ring; NBA 50 Greatest Players Ring & Basketball Hall of Fame Ring with an LOA from Archibald.
  • Lot #77 – 1970 Baltimore Colts Super Bowl Ring (Head Coach Don McCafferty)
  • Lots #78, #79, #80, #81 – NFL Player Super Bowl Rings – 1990 Giants (David Whitmore); 1995 Cowboys (Cory Fleming); 2000 Ravens (Sammy Williams); 2011 Giants (Martin Parker)

Knute Rockne’s Personal Possessions Being Offered at Auction by Goldin Auctions 

At the time of Knute Rockne’s tragic death in 1931 in a Los Angeles bound airplane crash, he had in his possession two treasured personal items: his pocket watch and his prayer book. Together, with several other items from his funeral, these items are up for bids in the Goldin Auctions 2016 Premium Live Auction at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City on August 4. The auction, which begins accepting bids online on July 11, features 100 lots of memorabilia, each valued at $10,000 or above. Additionally, a corresponding catalog auction will run through August 13 online at

“We are honored to have the opportunity to share these museum-quality artifacts with collectors,” said Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions. “Knute Rockne is Notre Dame royalty and one of the greatest coaches of all time, so it’s especially humbling for us to bring his treasured personal items to auction for the first time. We hope that the winning bidders make these special items available for Notre Dame alumni and fans to enjoy.”

Rockne’s gold pocket watch was gifted to him by his wife, Bonnie, on the first Christmas the couple shared as husband and wife. The gold Chesterfield pocket watch has been engraved with “KKR” for Knute Kenneth Rockne and the inscription “SOUTH BEND” on its face. Attached to 12″ of gold chain along with a small gold cased pocket knife, the watch and gold case show light wear and tear, but is in remarkable condition considering Rockne kept it close to his body for over a decade.


The prayer book shows extensive use by Rockne as the missing stiff 3 ½” x 5” outer cover indicates. It includes an inscription written by Fr. Mooney the day Rockne was baptized: “Notre Dame 11/20/1925 To Knute Rockne- a loyal friend- May the blessing of God descend upon you and yours and remain forever. Devotedly, Father Vincent Mooney, CSC, Class of 1916”. The opposite page has a second inscription added by Fr. Mooney after the crash that took his friend’s life. Next to it is a cloth Sacred Heart badge stapled to the page, below which is written in black fountain pen: “This S.H. Badge found in his pocket.” Additional items in the Rockne Collection include: three 3″x5″ typed index cards with an outline of Rockne’s life and career used by Fr. Mooney while giving Rockne’s eulogy; and a 3″ x 5″ prayer card with a color illustration of Jesus Christ and the reverse has a short prayer with “In Memory of Knute Rockne Died, March 31, 1931.” The card has been preserved in a clear screw-down case.

The provenance of the items is unquestioned. They were entrusted by Rockne’s widow to Fathers Mooney and Brennan after they celebrated a mass in Rockne’s honor. Upon Fr. Brennan’s death the watch was willed to his brother Ed who also received the prayer book when Fr. Mooney passed. Ed entrusted the reunited group to his daughter Iris who in turn passed the group to her daughter Sarah who presented them to her son Michael Lopez, the current consignor. These treasures have never been offered at auction before, and have only very rarely been seen outside the Brennan/Lopez family household.

Knute Rockne is known as being one of college football’s greatest all-time head coaches. He led Notre Dame to five National Championships. In his 13-year career, his teams went a combined 105-12-5, making his .881 winning percentage the highest in history. His greatest season came in 1924, when he coached his team led by the “Four Horseman” backfield and the “Seven Mules” offensive line to a perfect 10-0 record, the National Championship and a defeat of Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

To register for the auctions or to receive a free catalog, visit

Muhammad Ali Fight-Worn Gloves from Ali-Frazier I up for Bids in Goldin Auctions Premium Live Auction on August 4

Muhammad Ali’s fight-worn gloves from Ali-Frazier I — “The Fight of the Century” — is up for bids in the Goldin Auctions 2016 Premium Live Auction at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City on August 4. The event will feature 100 lots of memorabilia, each valued at $10,000 or above. Additionally, a corresponding catalog auction will run from mid-July through August 13 online at

The March 8, 1971 fight saw Muhammad Ali and then-Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier battle it out at Madison Square Garden. Representing much more than boxing’s hierarchy, Ali and Frazier had come to represent different poles in society, politics and perceived morality. At the time of the fight, the two renowned combatants both had legitimate claims to the Heavyweight title that was owned by Frazier, who was the “Undisputed Champion” by virtue of having defeated the most prominent active contenders. Ali had actually never lost his title, which he earned by famously defeating Sonny Liston in 1964: the title was taken away from him as punishment for refusing to be drafted into the military in 1967.


The Everlast boxing gloves, being offered in Lot #41, were worn by Ali during Ali-Frazier I. They exhibit visible and palpable, solid wear brought about during the epic confrontation in which they were used. Their perspiration-stained, interior linings carry bold notations reading, “MA 1, AD, Ali-(Joe) Frazier 3-8-71 MSG.” Approval stampings placed by the New York State Athletic Commission are accompanied by additional notations (date and initials) penned by that agency’s inspector. The black marker signature of Ali’s long-time corner-man Angelo Dundee also appears inside each glove. The gloves remained in the possession of Dundee after the fight, and they are accompanied with an authentication letter. It reads, “To whom it may concern: The Ali-Frazier gloves have been in my family’s possession from the time I cut them off Ali’s hands. My wife and son brought them home from New York the day after the fight. I labeled the gloves inside the laces. -signed- Angelo Dundee.”

Additionally, a full LOA from PSA/DNA (Dundee letter), a full LOA from JSA (Dundee letter), and an LOA from Craig Hamilton/JO Sports (addressing Perenchio will be provided.

The gloves are currently on exhibit at the O2 in London, England, at a showcase of important Ali memorabilia being staged entitled “I Am the Greatest: Muhammad Ali” and is scheduled to remain open until August 31, 2016 to afford the most meaningful opportunity for his artifacts to be seen. Accordingly, the winning bidder for this lot will be able to take physical possession of the gloves in early September, 2016.

To own such an important piece of boxing and American history places the collector and his/her collection in another stratosphere. Here are the most recent examples of the rare air Ali/Clay fight used gloves have sold on the open market, all prior to his recent untimely passing which has elevated his fight used memorabilia to an even higher level. Ali’s fight worn gloves from his 1965 Fight vs. Floyd Patterson sold for $1.1 million while his gloves from his second fight with Sonny Liston in 1965 fetched $965,000. Many Ali memorabilia experts believe these gloves from the most important fight in boxing history are the most valuable of all Ali and boxing memorabilia.

“This fight meant so much more than any ordinary boxing match,” said Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions. “Not only did the fight help shape Ali’s legacy, he forged a path for himself to be an even more powerful voice in the community. Those who watched the series of Ali-Frazier matches will never forget it.”

To register for the auctions or to receive a free catalog, visit

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