CHICAGO – Hindman’s Sports Memorabilia auction on Oct. 20 exceeded its estimate of $127,600, selling 91% of lots offered and finishing the day at $180,263. Bidders from across the globe vied for almost 200 lots of fresh-to-hobby artifacts from Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan, among other rare and exciting lots spanning the history of sports. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
“We are honored to connect so many valued clients with treasures that speak to their sense of history, pride and sentiment,” said James Smith, Hindman’s sports memorabilia specialist. “Sports unites people across all boundaries and dedicated collectors are seeking unique artifacts more than ever before – particularly Michael Jordan memorabilia as we saw today. As a Chicago-based auction house, it is only fitting that such strong prices for Jordan artifacts were realized here.”
Demand in the sports category has risen steadily, with Michael Jordan specific memorabilia continuing to command top prices. The top lot of the auction, a 1994 Michael Jordan bronze maquette, The Spirit, (lot 121) realized $27,500 against an estimate of $4,000-$6,000. The full-size version of this bronze is located at Chicago’s United Center, home to the Chicago Bulls, where Jordan spent much of his career. Designed locally by Omri Amrany and Julie Rotblatt-Amrany, only 55 maquettes were produced and originally auctioned as a fundraiser for the James Jordan Boys & Girls Club. This particular sculpture was sold as part of the collection of Johnson Publishing, the longtime home of Ebony and Jet magazines, itself a Chicago institution.
Jordan memorabilia of all kinds saw strong demand, all selling above their presale estimates. A 1990-91 Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls team signed basketball (lot 125) sold for $3,250 against a presale estimate of $1,000-$2,000. Featuring autographs of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Bill Cartwright, Stacey King, Will Perdue, John Paxson, B.J. Armstrong, Craig Hodges, Horace Grant, Dennis Hopson and Cliff Levingston in black ink, this Spalding official NBA game ball, was from a significant moment in Jordan’s career when the Chicago Bulls captured their first NBA championship. Additionally, a 1989 Michael Jordan signed life-size McDonald’s promotional poster (lot 123) more than quadrupled its presale estimate of $600-$800, ultimately selling for $2,750.
Additional auction highlights include a Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and 1934 New York Yankees team-signed baseball (lot 111) and an important group of Fielding H. Yost ephemera (lot 160). The year 1934 was Ruth’s very last as a New York Yankee, while that same year Gehrig won the American League’s Triple Crown. Estimated at $12,000-$18,000, the baseball realized $15,360.
Lot 160, comprising a twice signed football for player and spectator and a letter outlining the origins of the tackle back formation was estimated at $500-$700 and sold for $2,176. Known as the “Founding Father of Football” at the University of Michigan, and a College Hall of Fame inductee, Fielding H. Yost is arguably one of the most important coaches in the history of college football.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/