In 2005 American Memorabilia started the year off by selling a Pete Maravich game-used, signed basketball for over $12,000. From that point on, quality, never-seen-before Pistol goods started rolling in for the Las Vegas-based auction house. In September of that same year, AMI followed up its previous sale of a Pistol game-used, signed ball with another, only this time topping the $21,000 mark.
With prices like that, it's no wonder why AMI was able to get its hands on Maravich's 1970-71 rookie jersey for its April 2007 auction, a shirt that AMI official Tony Giese says is one of the top basketball gamers out there.
"This jersey is from the first year Atlanta used the Blue Swirl style," said Giese, who expects the jersey to sell in the six-figure range. "1970-71 was the last year names weren't on the back of the jersey and by knowing that we could pinpoint it to Pete's rookie season.
"It's one of the top five basketball gamers ever offered. The Pistol Pete following is unparalleled. We've realized some of the top prices in the industry for Pistol Pete stuff and this one is defintely at the top of the list."
Maravich isn't the only legend featured in AMI's 530-lot sale. Names like Roger Staubach, Babe Ruth, Franco Harris line the pages of its catalog.
According to Giese, Hank Aaron will also be represented with a 1970 game-worn Braves flannel jersey. He said this is one of Aaron's nicer styles and expects a high sale price for this example.
Giese boasts that no sport will be left out of the auction, with other headliners such as a Vince Lombardi 1962 Championship money clip given to Chuck Connors, 1977 Brooks Robinson game-worn Orioles jersey and even a collection from boxing's famed 5th Street Gym in Miami.
Other featured pieces include:
? 1996 Ozzie Smith game-worn jersey
from his last All-Star Game
? Babe Ruth signed ball
? Rogers Hornsby's personal baseball
? Rip Collins game-worn flannel
? 1969 Jerry DaVanon game-worn
Padres flannel jersey
? 1883 Brooklyn Atlantics scorecard
? 1920s Babe Ruth original photograph
? 1941 Yankees team-signed ball
? Roger Staubach game-worn jersey
? 1984 Franco Harris game-worn
? 2003 Ray Lewis game-worn Ravens uniform
? 1993 Howie Long game-worn, signed
? 2005 Champ Bailey game-worn Redskins helmet
? Willie McGinnest game-worn Patriots helmet
? 1966 Pro Bowl signed football (Jim Brown's last
? Mark Messier game-worn, signed Canucks
? Dale Hawerchuk game-worn Jets jersey
? Roger Mayweather flight-worn, signed gloves
? 5th Street Gym ringside bell
? Laminated photos from 5th Street Gym
? Sign from 5th Street Gym
Bidding starts immediately after AMI's March auction (March 30) and will end April 26. For more information go to www.Americanmemorabilia.com.