Hindman offers its largest Sports Memorabilia Auction this month

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Hindman offers its largest Sports Memorabilia Auction this month
An October 26, 1984 Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Bullets Michael Jordan NBA Debut Ticket Stub / Chicago Stadium Box Office Example (PSA Authentic). Estimate: $8,000-$12,000.

CHICAGO, IL.- Hindman is currently presenting its largest Sports Memorabilia auction to date, with nearly 700 lots of trading cards, autographs, and memorabilia in a timed online format from June 9 to June 26. The auction is jam-packed with items from superstars from the earliest days of sports to the present day including Honus Wagner, Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Mike Ditka, Magic Johnson, Walter Payton, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James.

Debut of the GOAT

October 26, 1984 is quietly one of the most momentous days in NBA history. While the outcome and specifics of the Bulls-Bullets game that happened in Chicago that evening are largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of sports history, that late October day marked the professional debut of the consensus greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. Even the most optimistic Bulls fan, if there was such a thing in 1984, couldn’t have imagined that they were there to bear witness to the beginning of arguably the most important careers in sports history.

The June auction features a rare ticket stub from this historic game, one of only 10 authenticated by PSA, and figures to see a significant return on the $4.50 price stamped on the ticket (lot 471; estimate: $8,000 - $12,000).

A Near Complete Run of Mantle Trading Cards

In the trading card hobby, no athlete can hold a candle to Mickey Mantle. Not only do his cards hold numerous auction records, but there also aren’t many athletes who see the same level of consistent performance across their entire career like the Commerce Comet. Hindman’s June auction features a near complete run of all Mantle trading cards created during his 17-year playing career. The highlights of the run are two Mantle rookie cards: a 1952 Topps No. 311 (lot 30; estimate: $20,000 - $30,000) and a 1951 Bowman No. 253 (lot 27; estimate: $6,000 - $8,000).

Monsters of the Midway Memorabilia

The auction features a diverse array of memorabilia related to the Chicago Bears from the early days of the franchise, through the dominant 1985 Super Bowl run. Perhaps the most significant piece of the group is Mike Ditka’s personal copy of his 1961 rookie contract (lot 546; estimate: $4,000 - $,6,000). Signed by Ditka and Bears founder George Halas along with Ditka’s mom and NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, this document marks the beginning of one of the most important relationships in Chicago sports history. For the better part of six decades, Mike Ditka has been synonymous with the Bears organization, first as a star player, then as a head coach, and eventually as a living legend and ambassador for the team. Collectors and fans alike are expected to jump at the opportunity to own the literal beginning of a legend. Another treasure from the collection of Da Coach is the TAG Heuer watch (lot 557; estimate: $1,000 - $2,000) that he wore during the 1985 season and Super Bowl XX, a season that cemented the legacy of the Chicago Bears.

A unique highlight of Bears history is the 1986 Honda Elite Motor Scooter used by Jim McMahon in an unforgettable advertising campaign (lot 577; estimate: $3,000 - $5,000). The TV commercial which spearheaded the campaign offers a perfect time capsule of 1986, showcasing McMahon’s outsized personality as he sits atop the scooter as jump-cuts show him in a rapid succession of garish outfits, all while donning his signature sunglasses, as he says, “Outrageousness is nothing more than a way to wake people up, especially yourself.” Running shortly after leading the Bears to a dominant Super Bowl win in 1985, this one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia was formerly displayed in McMahon’s restaurant.

Baseball’s First Superstar

While from a modern lens Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth are generally viewed as the first superstars of baseball, a humble, soft-spoken boy from Pennsylvania arguably has the rightful claim to that title. Honus Wagner made his Major League debut in 1897, some eight years before Cobb, and achieved a number of firsts in professional sports history including the first ever commercial endorsement by a sportsperson. Even more than 100 years since his retirement, Wagner is widely considered to be the greatest shortstop in baseball history.

It’s no surprise, then that trading cards featuring Wagner are among the most desired in the hobby. His exceedingly rare 1909 American Tobacco Company card has held the record as the most expensive sports card on and off for nearly a century, but any card baring his stoic face has proven to incite a bidding war. Hindman’s June sale is expected to see just that as it offers a 1910 Tip Top Bread card graded in Very Good condition by SGC (lot 15; estimate: $80,000 - $120,000). Released in honor of the Pirates 1909 World Series title, the card was a part of a mail-in sweepstake where consumers would mail-in Tip Top Bread labels to receive all 25 cards in the series, but the campaign was largely a failure as consumers only wanted the Wagner card.

Additional Highlights

Other notable lots from the auction include an authentic 1982 game-used bat by Mike Schmidt (lot 413; estimate: $4,000 - $6,000); a Topps Roberto Clemente rookie card No. 164 in Excellent+ condition (lot 58; estimate: $3,000 - $5,000); an authenticated Magic Johnson signed jersey in a shadowbox display with photographs signed by members of the 1991 Los Angeles Lakers including James Worthy (lot 469; estimate: $3,000 - $5,000); and an authenticated pair of 2014 autographed game issued Nike Zoom Soldier VII shoes signed by LeBron James (lot 468; estimate: $2,000 - $3,000).

The full auction can be viewed online here.

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