March 2, 1962 will forever be etched into basketball lore as the night Wilt Chamberlain did the unthinkable: 100 points in a single game. It was a home contest for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks in Hershey, PA, with just 4,124 on hand as witnesses. No members of the New York press showed up. The game was not televised and no video footage has turned up. The only audio recording is from the 4th quarter. The colossal achievement holds an almost mythological place in sports history.
Newly discovered and fresh to the hobby via SCP Auctions comes the actual home team’s official score sheet from Chamberlain’s epic 100-point performance. The official scorer that evening for the Warriors was team statistician Toby DeLuca, who scored the game for Philly’s play-by-play announcer on WCAU radio, Bill Campbell. Not only did Wilt The Stilt set the single-game scoring record (breaking his own record of 78 set a few months earlier), but the two teams combined for what was, at the time, the highest scoring game in NBA history, with the Warriors beating the Knickerbockers, 169-147. With 46 seconds left, the Big Dipper reached the century mark, sending the crowd into a frenzy as they stormed the court. Chamberlain finished 36-63 from the field and 28-32 from the line, while grabbing 25 rebounds. He would average 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds for the 1961-62 season, numbers that simply defy logic.
The end result on paper was this busy, convoluted scoresheet in multiple colors with Chamberlain’s endless row of points overflowing into teammate Guy Rodgers’ line below. This is the very score sheet precisely documented in best-selling author Gary Pomerantz’s critically acclaimed book Wilt, 1962 – right down to DeLuca’s switch to red to differentiate from Wilt’s point totals in the second half. Chamberlain blessed the important document with his very own signature and “Best Wishes” inscription in blue ballpoint pen. PSA/DNA’s main authenticator, Kevin Keating, believes the era-appropriate, early 1960s autograph was “most likely done that same night” using the same blue ballpoint pen that added up each team’s 3rd and 4th quarter scoring totals on the sheet.
This official home scorer’s sheet is one of the only well-documented artifacts from the game to surface. (The Knicks’ visiting team score sheet sold for over $100,000 in 2012.) DeLuca kept the sheet he filled out that night and it remained in his possession for nearly half a century until his death in 2011. The consignor, who lost his father to cancer at age 12, met DeLuca in 1970 – then the Philadelphia 76ers public relations director. DeLuca had no children and became almost a father figure, mentoring him and inviting him to Sixers games. They remained close friends for several decades, and after DeLuca’s passing, our consignor received the treasured keepsake as a gift from DeLuca’s widow. She insisted our consignor have it since he was like a son to DeLuca.
The Oscar Robertson Collection is also part of the auction. Items include: Oscar Robertson’s 1971 Milwaukee Bucks NBA World Champions 10K gold ring, his 1960 Olympic team Hall of Fame Induction ring, his 1959 Pan American Games USA Basketball game-worn full uniform, his 1960 Rome Olympics USA Basketball full uniform worn in final game, his 1960 Olympic Champions Team USA signed game ball from gold medal final, his 1960s Cincinnati Royals game-worn shooting shirt, his 1960-74 NBA Career Ring, his 1958-59 College Player of the Year award, his 1960 U.S. Olympic Basketball team gold medal trophy, his 1969 NBA All-Star Game MVP trophy, his NABC Player of the Century Trophy, and his 1959 Pan American Games USA Men’s Basketball 1st Place Winner’s Gold Medal.
There are a variety of other sports cards and memorabilia available in the auction, including: 1922 American Caramel E121 set ranked No. 1, both currently and all-time, on the PSA Set Registry; 1941 Joe DiMaggio game-used H&B ‘Rudy York’ Pro Model bat attributed to his 56-game hitting streak; a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card graded PSA 1.5; and an unopened box of 1959 Fleer Ted Williams baseball cards.
Bidding for this piece in SCP Auctions’ 2019 Spring Premier concludes April 27.
For a complete listing of auction lots, visit www.scpauctions.com.