While Sidney Crosby’s gold medal-winning goal will echo throughout time and grow in importance as the years go on, Paul Henderson’s 1972 Summit Series winner is a part of Canadian sports lore like Al Michaels’ “Do you believe in miracles?” call lives on for American sports fans. If you had any doubts regarding how important that moment really was, just look at the record-breaking auction of Henderson’s game-worn jersey that concluded late last night as reported by Sean Leahy.
The 1972 Summit Series jersey worn by Paul Henderson of Team Canada sold for a record $1,067,538 USD as the centerpiece of a month-long auction from Classic Auctions. With a 19.5% buyers premium, the final price was $1.275 million USD, a record for a sports uniform. The previous record for a hockey item was $191,200 USD for a Bobby Orr rookie year game worn jersey sold in April. There have been private sales greater than that, but the Henderson jersey shattered them all, including the $657,250 price tag of a Babe Ruth game worn New York Yankees jersey from 1933 that sold in 2006.
Toronto-based Mitchell Goldhar, owner of private real estate development company SmartCentre’s and one of Canada’s richest men with a net worth of over $1 billion according to a 2008 list, made the 42nd and final bid. The auction started at $10,000 USD and quickly rose entering yesterday evening just over $300,000 USD, with the final few hours seeing the price jump almost half a million dollars.
Thankfully, the investment shouldn’t turn sour for Goldhar like it did for entrepreneurs who spent crazy money on home run balls from the likes of Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds.
It’s crazy that Henderson’s sweater beat out the likes of Babe Ruth’s game-worn jersey, but the memorabilia industry in general kind of boggles my mind. I’ve never totally understood why a particular garment garners so much money. While it would be a cool thing to hang over your fireplace (OK, fireplace might be a bad idea, but you get the point), it just seems absurd. After all, it’s not the shirt that scored the goal, but rather the great two-way forward Henderson.
Either way, congratulations to Goldhar, Henderson and everyone else involved. You can take a look at the auction page here.