Grey Flannel Auctions’ Winter Classic auction – held live at the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards in Baltimore – grossed $1,187,599 and achieved a 100-percent sell-through rate. The Feb. 11 auction featuring 107 lots of choice baseball, basketball, football and other professional sports memorabilia chalked up an average price of almost $11,500 per lot.
The day’s top seller was a 1958 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees game-used flannel road jersey attributed to the World Series of that year.
“This jersey is symbolic and important, not only because it was a world championship season for the Yankees, but also because Mantle drove in two home runs during that year’s Series,” said Richard E. Russek, president of Grey Flannel Auctions.
The jersey presented all of the essential identifications high-end collectors look for, including an inside collar strip reading “Mantle 1958,” a contemporaneous Wilson manufacturer’s tag with washing instructions and the size “42” imprinted on it, and a letter of authenticity. The shirt was originally sourced from a trainer with the mid-1960s Ft. Lauderdale Yankees Class A affiliate, who, in turn, had obtained the garment from the club’s general manager, Ed Bastian. Entered with a $10,000 reserve, the coveted jersey slammed in a winning bid of $114,000. All prices quoted in this report include 20 percent buyer’s premium.
Following closely behind the Mantle jersey was a historical basketball treasure documenting Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game of March 2, 1962. The package included the official scorer’s score sheet from the Philadelphia Warriors vs. N.Y. Knicks game, an original game program with Chamberlain photo and a clipped ticket for “Working Press.” Accompanied by a full LOA from James Spence Authentication, whose experts validated the signatures, the well-preserved ephemera selection scored a winning bid of $108,000.
Jerseys from all major sports met with success at the Grey Flannel event. A 1971 Frank Robinson Baltimore Orioles World Series Game 1 game-used and autographed home jersey was bid to $45,000; while a game-used home jersey that New York Islanders center Bryan Trottier wore in Game 5 of the 1981 Stanley Cup Finals made $30,000.
Championship jewelry was aggressively pursued. George “The Iceman” Gervin’s 2005 San Antonio Spurs NBA Championship ring with original box realized $54,000. From the top echelon of gridiron history, Bernardo Harris’ 1996 Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Championship player’s ring – in Mint condition and festooned with diamonds – settled at $45,000.
“We’re grateful to all of the consignors and bidders who made our Winter Classic such an exciting event,” said Russek. “We now look forward to our May 30 auction, which contains a classic photo of Babe Ruth taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Nat Fine. This photo is immediately recognizable to all baseball fans. It’s the type of American treasure you’d expect to see in the Smithsonian.”
Additional information about the May 30 auction will be available soon on the Grey Flannel website: www.greyflannelauctions.com. To contact Grey Flannel, call 631-288-7800, ext. 223.