The boxing gloves that Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) wore as he faced Sonny Liston in the ring on Feb. 25, 1964, and subsequently won his first Heavyweight Championship, brought $836,500 on Feb. 22, as part of Heritage Auctions’ Sports Platinum Night Auction, almost 50 years exactly from the day of the fight. The final price includes 19.5 percent Buyer’s premium.
“These are the very gloves that Ali wore when he claimed his first Heavyweight Championship 50 years ago,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Collectibles at Heritage Auctions, “and, given the attention these received from media and fans all over the world, and the spectacular price they achieved, it’s clear that Ali is just as loved and respected today as he’s ever been.”
The gloves were purchased by a collector whot wished to remain unidentified.
However, Ali wasn't alone in the spotlight. A Joe Jackson artifact from his playing days was the top item in the Platinum Night sale.
The item which brought in the most money was "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's game-used rookie bat from 1911. The bat sold for $958,000.
"This bat serves as a key piece of evidence for the many millions who believe that Jackson deserves enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame," said Chris Ivy, director of sports collectibles at Heritage Auctions.
Going into the auction, Heritage anticipated that Babe Ruth's 1923 pocket watch celebrating the N.Y. Yankees 1923 championship would bring in the most money, and it led all of the hype heading into the auction. Settling for spot No. 3 on the prices realized list, the watch still hit an impressive $717,000.
In a bit more of impressive bid totals, the barrel of the baseball bat thrown at Mike Piazza by Roger Clemens on Oct. 22, 2000, realized $47,800, nearly five times its $10,000+ pre-auction estimate.
“The Piazza-Clemens incident is one of the most infamous in modern baseball history and this bat shard was central to the entire episode,” Ivy said. “ 'The Rocket' lost his cool in the game and hurled this at Piazza in what is likely the most famous throw of his entire career.”
The bat has been consigned by Yankees strength and conditioning coach Jeff Mangold, who retrieved it from the corner of the clubhouse steps after it had been tossed by a bat boy. A significant portion of the proceeds will be donated by Mangold to a charity benefitting families that have survived the death of child due to SIDS.
For a full list of prices realized from the sale, CLICK HERE.