With game-used jerseys of Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio leading the way, the first live auction at historic Yankee Stadium registered more than $2.6 million in gross sales for Grey Flannel Auctions and Steiner Sports Marketing.
Mickey Mantle’s game-used and signed jersey from 1955 sold for $129,250, while Joe DiMaggio’s home flannel from 1942 sold for $79,900. In addition, Babe Ruth’s jersey worn at 20th Century Fox occasions sold for $43,475.
A game-used Ruth bat from 1922-24 fetched $30,550. A Mantle signed game bat from his rookie season sold for $25,850. The Yankee Stadium organ sold for $29,375.
The live auction Dec. 9, the final day of the two-day sale, took place in a heated tent along a section of field-level seats. More than 150 bidders braved the snowy conditions.
“It was surreal,” Grey Flannel Auctions chief executive officer Howard Rosenkrantz said of the auction at the Bronx ballpark. “You are involved in this spectacular auction with game-used Yankees items from heroes of all eras, and every once in awhile you stopped and took stock of where you were.”
Officials with the Yankees thought the experience was unique as well, said Rosenkrantz, who did not rule out future auction events at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees weren’t the only storied franchise to do well at the auction block. Hall of Fame players with the Boston Celtics scored well in a segment of the auction that featured scores of Hall of Fame medallions and plaques that formerly resided in the Springfield, Mass., shrine.
Oscar Robertson’s medallion sold for $8,915 and Larry Bird’s for $8,384. Red Auerbach’s medallion sold for $8,311. These pieces of history were housed in the Hall of Fame building that was replaced by a new structure a few years ago. Bill Russell’s medallion sold for $6,881, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s for $6,204, George Mikan’s for $6,089, Earl Monroe’s for $5,802, Pete Maravich’s for $5,170, Jerry West’s for $4,163, Coach John Wooden’s for $3,048 and Bob Cousy’s for $2,581.
Flannels and other jerseys attracted top-dollar bidding, as was expected. Bill Russell’s 1965-66 game-used road Celtics jersey fetched $69,265, a record dollar amount paid for a professional basketball jersey.
A Willis Reed game-used home Knicks jersey from 1973-74 didn’t do too badly either. It sold for $50,373. Wilt Chamberlain’s game-used Lakers road jersey (circa 1970) for $30,427. Dave Cowens game-used home Celtics jersey sold for $20,331. Jerry West’s game-used Lakers road jersey (circa 1970) went for $17,851.
The jersey, baseball and bat items connected with Jim Leyritz’s last home run of the century in the 1999 World Series sold for a total of $23,266. The “Key to the City” presented to Leyritz by Rudy Giuliani sold for $5,640.
Among other items that sold were:
Dick Butkus’ game-used Bears home jersey (circa 1966-68) for $27,708
Sadaharu Oh’s game-used bat to hit his 790th career home run in 1978 sold for $19,771
A 2004 Red Sox World Series ring with the original box and a letter from the team sold for $43,479
A single-signed Lou Gehrig ball sold for $14,100
A game-used Willie Mays bat sold for $14,218
A team-signed ball by the 1928 Yankees sold for $14,805
A game-used Derek Jeter cap, signed by the Yankee shortstop, sold for $4,935. Game-used Jeter pants sold for $6,110, and a game-used Jeter jersey sold for $11,160
A Roger Clemens game-used Yankees jersey sold for $11,750
A game-used Hideki Matsui jersey sold for $8,225
Joe Torre’s office chair sold for $6,463
A single-signed Mel Ott baseball, with “N.B.H.O.F. 51” noted above the Spalding label, sold for $19,905
An early 1960s Sandy Koufax Los Angeles Dodgers game-used helmet sold for $4,302
A helmet used by Boston Bruins Hall of Famer Eddie Shore in 1926 sold for $7,368
A Yankees equipment bag shared by Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin sold for $18,800
Lance Armstrong’s 2002 race-worn yellow USPS Tour de France skinsuit sold for $17,850
Tom Brady’s game-used white mesh Patriots jersey from 2004 sold for $7,377
The Yankee team flag that flew over Yankee Stadium sold for $10,575
For complete results of the 1,400-plus auction, go to www.greyflannelauctions.com.