NBA legend Bill Russell became the first Black player inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975, but true to form, the civil rights activists declined to attend his own induction ceremony.
Russell’s reasoning was simple: He believed other Black players deserved the honor before he did.
It wasn’t until 44 years later, in 2019, that Russell finally received his Hall of Fame ring in a private ceremony. Two years later, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame again, becoming just the fifth person to be inducted as a player and coach.
Russell’s 2019 Hall of Fame ring is now the centerpiece of the Summer Premier Auction at SCP Auctions. The 14K Gold Ring has a minimum bid of $30,000 and an estimated value of more than $200,000.
Also See: Hank Aaron rookie card sets record
The auction also features Russell’s NBA 50 Greatest Players ring, which has an estimated value of more than $100,000.
The auction, which began Wednesday, features 758 lots and runs through Sept. 9.
Other intriguing pieces of memorabilia in the auction include:
• The football Joe Montana threw for his first NFL touchdown pass in 1979.
• A signed Lakers jersey worn by Wilt Chamberlain between 1968-73.
• A signed and inscribed jersey Shohei Ohtani wore when he hit his 45th home run during his MVP season in 2021.
• Signed sneakers worn by Kobe Bryant in Game 4 of the 2008 West Conference Finals.
• And a July 16, 1923 signed letter Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis sent to Shoeless Joe Jackson regarding MLB reinstatement.
The auction is also filled with high-grade vintage cards, including: a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card (PSA NM 7); a 1952 Topps Mantle (SGC VG+ 3.5); a 1959 Topps Mickey Mantle (SGC 9); and a rare 1910 E98 set of 30 Red Ty Cobb cards (PSA 9).
Several rare and historic PSA/DNA Type 1 original photographs are also available, including: a 1911 shot of Ty Cobb sliding into home at the first unofficial MLB All-Star Game; a 1917 George Grantham Bain team photo of the World Series champion White Sox, including all eight players involved in the infamous Black Sox scandal; and an image of Mickey Mantle from the day he wore No. 7 for the first time.
For details on the auction and more items up for bid, visit SCPauctions.com or call (949) 831-3700.