Excitement builds for legendary sports auction

Mastro Auctions, the world’s leading sports and Americana auction house, is finalizing plans for a live sports auction to be held at the Sports Museum of America – the new home of the Heisman Trophy – in New York City on Monday, Dec. 8.

The marquee item of the event will be Charles White’s 1979 Heisman Trophy, football’s most prestigious and elusive award, especially for sports memorabilia collectors. “To own a Heisman is a truly rare occurrence,” says Doug Allen, COO and president of Mastro Auctions. “Only a handful of Heismans have ever become available publicly and each time the sale results in extraordinary bidding interest and a substantial price realized.”

Adding to the anticipation of the event is venue and timing. “Just a few days after this amazing item is auctioned, we’ll find out in the same building who the 2008 Heisman trophy winner will be,” says Allen. “The auction of a Heisman trophy will deliver an exciting lead-in to what is always one of football’s most anticipated moments each year.”

According to Allen, the record price paid for a Heisman trophy is $395,240. (That record-setting trophy, awarded in 1941, originally belonged to Minnesota halfback Bruce Smith.) Allen believes the bidding on the Charles White Heisman Trophy could hit the six-figure range.

The auction will feature two sessions. The first will focus on “Legends  of the Gridiron,” taking place on Dec. 8. The Heisman trophy offered in this session is from one of the largest private collections of high-quality football memorabilia ever offered publicly. The collection is dominated by game-used jerseys and helmets worn by Hall of Fame football players, future Hall of Famers, and Heisman Trophy winners.

The second session, “Legends of the Diamond,” will occur in the afternoon on the same day. It will feature baseball memorabilia including game used items, one-of-a-kind display pieces, and high-value baseball cards.

Some highlights include:

Charles White’s 1979 Heisman Trophy: The Heisman Memorial Trophy is the most prestigious award in college football. In his senior year at USC, Charles White received more than double the Heisman voting points of his nearest competitor. The well-preserved Heisman trophy is 18 inches tall and weighs about 50 pounds. Estimated value $200,000-$300,000.

Johnny Unitas 1970 Baltimore Colts twice-signed game worn road jersey: This jersey is from 1970, when Unitas marched Baltimore to Super Sunday. The cream-and-blue durene jersey has an estimated value of  $50,000-$75,000.

Ray Nitschke mid-1960s Green Bay Packers game worn home jersey: Ray Nitschke’s ferocious play is written all over this jersey. The size-52, Sand Knit jersey displays the number 66, original and intact. The green-and-yellow colors have retained all their vividness. Estimated value $20,000-$30,000.

More than 80 lots of premium baseball items are being offered in the “Legends of the Diamond” session. They include:

Mickey Mantle World Series home run ball #16 – the ball that broke Babe Ruth’s record: Penned in black felt tip “World Series…9th inning” on the sweet spot. Estimated value $80,000-$100,000.

1910 T210 Old Mill Cigarettes Joe Jackson rookie card: This card features Jackson as a minor leaguer with New Orleans in 1910. The T210 Old Mill set is immediately identifiable by its distinctive red borders. There are only a handful of Joe Jackson Old Mill cards known to exist and none graded higher by PSA. Estimated value $150,000-$200,000.

Babe Ruth 1915 Spalding “Rookie Era” bat, the earliest known Ruth game used bat: Obviously a favorite of Ruth’s, the item shows evidence of heavy use. Estimated value $50,000-$75,000.

Roy Campanella 1950s H&B game used bat: This Hillerich & Bradsby bat was used by the Dodger great during the final season of his career. The uncracked Flatbush relic shows light to moderate use. Estimated value $10,000-$15,000.

For more information, call 630-472-1200 or visit www.mastroauctions.com.

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