Julius Erving never disappointed on the basketball court during his Hall-of-Fame career. The Grey Flannel Auction sale of Dr. J’s New York Nets ABA jersey from circa 1973-74 electrified a crowd Sept. 9 at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., during the shrine’s induction weekend.
The game-used home jersey sold for $141,927, which Grey Flannel officials said is the most ever paid for a basketball jersey.
Wayne Gretzky’s autographed Edmonton Oilers game-used, blue-mesh jersey (circa 1985-86) sold for $88,125.
Meanwhile, Tom Seaver’s New York Mets game-used, signed home flannel jersey and pants from 1971 sold for $51,700.
Lew Alcindor also got into the action, as his game-used road UCLA jersey from the late-1960s sold for $49,350.
A total of 386 sports and Americana lots sold for a total of $1,374,688. Richard Russek, president and CEO of Grey Flannel Auctions, whose company has sponsored such an event in Yankee Stadium, was equally amazed by the backdrop for this auction.
“The auction was spectacular, but taken in its entirety, with the Hall of Fame weekend, the days filled with great nostalgia, history and excitement, I felt chills up my spine,” Russek said. “What a day. What a weekend.”
In addition, Grey Flannel sponsored a dinner with Hall of Fame patrons, friends, guests and the inductees.
“Any fan or collector who’s ever attended a Hall of Fame induction in any sport knows how special the time is,” Russek said. “Collectors try to capture that feeling in their homes and offices when they assemble historic items, and they had terrific opportunities either to begin a collection or add historic pieces to their holdings with this sale.”
The overall auction was buoyed by numerous results, among them:
? Julius Erving’s Philadelphia 76ers game-used jersey, signed, from 1985-86, including shorts, sold for $14,715
? A Chicago Bulls Larry O’Brien Championship trophy from 1992-93 sold for $15,275
? A 1976 Oakland Raiders Super Bowl XI Championship Ring sold for $16,764
? Rick Barry’s game-used Golden State Warriors home jersey from the late-1960s sold for $19,975
? “Pistol” Pete Maravich LSU Tigers game-worn warmup jacket sold for $23,500
? John Havlicek’s circa 1970s game-used Boston Celtics road jersey, signed, sold for $25,850
? George Gervin’s 1970s San Antonio Spurs game-used road jersey, signed, sold for $29,283
? Larry Bird’s game-used and signed Indiana State jersey, circa 1977, sold for $9,988. In addition, Bird’s game-used road jersey and shorts from 1989-90 sold for $7,050.
? Michael Jordan made the All-Star auction lineup, as his 1989-90 game-used Chicago Bulls home jersey sold for $8,602.
While the weekend was devoted to basketball, the Grey Flannel Auction sale also featured memorabilia in other sports.
Football: Dan Marino’s complete Dolphins jersey from Oct. 15, 1993, when he ruptured his Achilles tendon, sold for $7,638. It was among numerous items from the collection of Don Catello.
Lawrence Taylor’s first game-worn home New York Giants jersey, a blue-mesh jersey worn during his first season game in 1981, fetched $19,975.
A game-used Franco Harris black durene Pittsburgh Steelers jersey, worn in 1982, sold for $9,462. A Chicago Bears sideline jacket worn between 1969 and 1973 by Dick Butkus sold for $3,554. Joe Theismann’s game-used, white-mesh Redskins jersey sold for $4,809
Baseball: Pee Wee Reese’s 1954 game-used Brooklyn Dodgers road jersey and pants were hammered down for $14,100.
Roger Maris’ game-used glove from his 1961 season with the Yankees sold for $23,265. A team-signed baseball by the inaugural All-Star team in 1933, including signatures of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, sold for $15,275.
Among other items that sold were:
? Derek Jeter’s 1997 game-used Yankees pinstripe jersey, signed, sold for $10,575
? A signed Whitey Ford game-used bat from the 1958-59 Yankees went for $10,668
? 1969 Joe DiMaggio Oakland Athletics autographed coach-worn jersey and 1965-68 bat ($5,875)
? A game-used 1961-63 Ernie Banks bat ($7,638)
? A letter written and signed by Gehrig ($6,257)
? A team-signed bat by the 1978 World Champion Yankees sold for $6,564
? A Roger Maris single-signed baseball ($5,429)
? A 1928 Yankees team-signed ball from spring training sold for $5,346
? A game-used Ryan Howard road Phillies jersey sold for $5,875
Other sports: Mark Messier’s Edmonton Oilers game-used jersey went for $7,820. In soccer, Pele’s game-used SFC Santos soccer jersey from 1969 sold for $6,463. Babe Didrikson’s irons used at the British Ladies Amateur Championship in 1947, sold for $3,231.
Americana: A rare presidential payroll check from 1933 signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sold for $8,343. The check was dated Sept. 30, 1933.