Hobbyists can marvel at the contents of the new Basketball Hall of Fame and Museum in Springfield, Mass., then build on their own holdings during Grey Flannel's Sept. 9 auction at the facility.
Approximately 400 historic sports items in basketball, baseball, football, hockey and Americana are on the docket for the auction, which is being held during the Hall of Fame's induction weekend.
Internet bidding began in early August and live bidding will take place at 2 p.m. Sept. 9, at an auction gala at the Hall of Fame Special Exhibit Room.
Many items worn by Hall of Famers, whose contributions are marked at the museum, are in this sale. Since the auction is in Massachusetts, the preview of items begins with the fabled Boston Celtics.
A collector's Celtics shrine will be well-defined with a game-used and signed John Havlicek road jersey and a game-used Larry Bird game-used and autographed home jersey.
Also available are triple seats from the Boston Garden, signed by all of the Celtics legends, along with assorted Bill Russell game-used gear, including his famous low-top Celtics sneakers.
"The atmosphere for this auction has the makings of a Game 7 championship game," said Richard Russek, president and CEO of Grey Flannel Auctions. "If this auction were held anywhere it would be fabulous, but the fact that the backdrop for the sale will be the Basketball Hall of Fame and induction weekend no less, the items acquired during this weekend will have their own history. And that makes it special."
Russek added that each basketball item will come with a letter of authenticity from the Naismith Basketball Museum and Hall of Fame.
The sale also features 26 historic lots from Pat Catello's lifelong collection. He and his mother's passion for sports and rock 'n' roll are evident in this first of many Grey Flannel Auction segments. Catello writes passionately in the auction catalog about his love for sports, his favorite moments and collecting.
Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, Joe Dumars, Geno Auriemma, Sandro Gamba and David Gavitt will be inducted a day earlier. Basketball fans, then, can score a double-double by attending the Hall of Fame festivities, then participate Sept. 9 in the Grey Flannel auction.
Among other game-used basketball items are:
? Julius Erving's New York Nets game-used home jersey from 1970s
? "Pistol" Pete Maravich's LSU shooting shirt, which bears his name
? "Curly" Neal's Harlem Globetrotters game-used jersey
? Earvin "Magic" Johnson's game-used jerseys with the Los Angeles Lakers (home) and his inaugural 1992 USA Dream Team jersey game-used and signed
? A Michael Jordan home Chicago Bulls game-used jersey from 1989
? The 1953 and 1959 Hall of Fame Plaques of the game's founder, James Naismith
Other players featured are Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd and others.
While basketball takes center stage, their are items from the other major sports in the auction.
Catello's Miami Dolphins collection, among other items, has been consigned to Grey Flannel Auctions. Dan Marino's complete Dolphins uniform from the Oct. 15, 1993, game in which he tore his Achilles' tendon headlines the historic football items. A team-signed helmet by the 17-0 Dolphins in 1972 promises a lot of bidding.
Among other items from Catello are a game-used, signed Lawrence Taylor New York Giants jersey from 1981, game-used jerseys worn by Ray Lewis, Eric Dickerson and Deion Sanders and a game-used home Pirates jersey worn by Barry Bonds. Other items include game-used jerseys worn by Nolan Ryan, Ken Griffey and Bobby Murcer, along with one of Andre Agassi's autographed rackets used at the 2001 Australian Open.
In other baseball news, the sale leads off with an unusual autographed ball, one signed by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and boxing great Maxie Rosenbloom.
Ruth's signature is also featured on a single-signed ball, team-signed baseball, inaugural 1933 All-Star team ball and a check signed twice. Other team-signed baseballs feature the 1937 Yankees, the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, the 1976 Yankees and the 1959 World Champion Dodgers.
Boston Garden seats are only a section of stadia furniture. The sale features a piece of "Green Monster" padding from Fenway Park, an original turnstile from Forbes Field, a pair of Ebbets Field seats, an original Forbes Field seat signed by Ralph Kiner and Bill Mazeroski, a seat from Yankee Stadium and a figural Polo Grounds seat signed by Willie Mays, Branca and Bobby Thomson.
Among other premier baseball memorabilia, the sale offers:
? A game-used Pee Wee Reese road flannel jersey with pants from 1954
? Tom Seaver's 1971 New York Mets game-used home jersey and a pair of pants
? Roger Maris' game-used glove from 1961, a signed baseball and a framed poster of Maris.
Pele is in the sale with a game-used SFC jersey from 1969.
Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers game-used, blue mesh jersey leads the way among hockey items. Game-used jerseys once worn by Ray Borque, Mark Messier, Ken Morrow, Patrick Roy, Adam Graves, Pat LaFontaine and Brian Leetch are part of the sale's hockey inventory.
Numerous Muhammad Ali items are in the auction, including a single-signed baseball, but perhaps none more important than a rare fight poster touting the Feb., 25, 1964, clash between him and Sonny Liston.
Meanwhile, there is an abundance of Americana in the auction. Among the rare items in the sale is a 1936 Luce bumper car, which is widely acknowledged as a Rolls-Royce of bumper vehicles. Collectors in the movie poster market will find splendid examples promoting Johnny Weissmuller in "Cannibal Attack" and "Pygmy Island," and an original, framed poster of "Tarzan."
For the latest bids, go to www.greyflannelauctions.com or eBaylive.