When Notre Dame and Green Bay Packer gridiron great Paul Hornung’s circa 1954-1955 Fighting Irish football jersey comes up for auction on April 23 as part of Heritage Auction Galleries’ Signature® Sports Memorabilia Auction, it will represent the culmination of collector John Shaw’s simple hunch that turned into one of the football finds of a lifetime, one that is estimated to bring between $30,000-$50,000.
“The thought of a long shot is exactly what collectors all over use to motivate themselves,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Sports Collectibles, “just like John Shaw did when he took a detour during a cross-country trip to an old Kentucky sports bar he frequented during his days working as a racing stable employee at the famed Churchill Downs racetrack.”
It was years later, and as a sports fan and budding jersey collector Shaw remembered the nostalgic establishment as a magical place, one that displayed some of the most impressive pieces he remembered from his early adult years. Acting on the strength of that memory, Shaw wasn't exactly sure what – if anything – he would find in his old hang out.
Arriving at the bar, which had indeed since gone out of business, he still found the owner. Never in a million years did Shaw imagine, however, as the owner returned from the back room with a deep emerald green jersey, that he would walk out with possibly the finest game worn college football jersey in existence. It was indeed Hornung’s circa 1954-55 Notre Dame gamer.