With the NHL and NBA playoffs in full swing, Grey Flannel Auctions is offering two of the most iconic items in NHL and NBA history.
The last jersey Wayne Gretzky wore when he won his final Stanley Cup for the Edmonton Oilers is up for bid in Grey Flannel’s summer auction and could become the most valuable hockey jersey of all time.
The auction, which opened May 16, also features Willis Reed’s New York Knicks 1970 NBA Finals warm-up jacket; a 1917 World Series jersey from Chicago White Sox star and “Black Sox” participant Eddie Cicotte; Barry Bonds’ first career home run baseball; and a highly-graded baseball signed by both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The auction runs through June 5.
The Oilers jersey from the “Great One” should attract huge demand and could be a record-breaker.
“Gretzky’s game-worn jersey marked the peak of his career as he captured his fourth and final Stanley Cup,” Grey Flannel Auctions owner Michael Russek said. “However, it was also the end of an era, as Gretzky would never wear an Oilers jersey again. There is a lot of demand from collectors to own memorabilia from the career of the greatest hockey player of all-time. Gretzky’s jersey has the potential to be the most valuable hockey jersey ever.”
Gretzky wore the jersey when hoisting the 1988 Stanley Cup after sweeping the Boston Bruins in four games in what would ultimately be Gretzky’s final game with Edmonton. The Oilers defeated the Bruins 6-3 to complete the sweep and win their fourth Stanley Cup in five seasons. Gretzky won the Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player during the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 12 goals and 31 assists for 43 points. Just 12 weeks later, the Oilers traded him to the Los Angeles Kings.
The jersey, which is being offered publicly for the first time, is covered in champagne stains from the Championship celebration and also has stick and puck marks, loose threads and multiple repairs to the sleeves. Bidding began at $250,000 and has a current bid of $402,628.
The Willis Reed warmup jacket comes from one of the most famous moments in NBA history.
The Knicks were expected to be without their star center in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Reed had torn a muscle in his right thigh in Game 5 and missed Game 6. But he hobbled onto the court for Game 7, hit two early jumpers and gave his team the lift it needed to win its first NBA championship in what became known as the “Willis Reed Game.”
Reed wore the warmup jacket prior to the game and on the bench. It is photo-matched to his post-game interview with ABC’s Howard Cosell. Bidding begins at $10,000.
Before being banned from baseball for his role in the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal, Cicotte was one of the best players in baseball. In 1917, he led the league with 28 wins and a 1.53 ERA. His performance in the 1917 World Series helped the White Sox beat the New York Giants.
Cicotte’s 1917 flannel jersey was consigned by his family. The left sleeve features an incredibly rare American flag patch to honor the military during the World War I. Bidding starts at $25,000.
Bonds first career home came on June 4, 1986 at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium. Bonds gave the baseball to his financial advisor in the 1980s after he helped execute his premarital agreement. The ball, which has an opening bid of $25,000, is accompanied by a letter of provenance from the advisor’s family.
The Ruth and Gehrig signed baseball and autographs are graded PSA/DNA 7, with an overall grade of 7.5. Bidding opened at $10,000.
To view the full catalog for the 58th annual auction, visit www.greyflannelauctions.com.