This Month in Sports Collecting History - February 2017
By Mike McLeod and Marla McLeod

February 1, 1968: The legendary Vince Lombardi resigned from coaching the Green Bay Packers. In 2014, a game-worn West Point sweater belonging to Vince Lombardi was purchased for 58 cents at a Goodwill in North Carolina (, 2/21/15). The following year, it scored with $43,020 at Heritage Auctions. The sweater was donated to Goodwill by Vince Lombardi’s widow.

Lombardi coached the West Point team before moving to the NFL.At Green Bay as head coach, his record was 105-35-6 (regular and post season). The Packers won Super Bowls I and II and five NFL championships under his leadership (, “Vince Lombardi”).

Vince Lombardi’s sweater

This 1960s Vince Lombardi inscribed and signed photo made $5,258 at Heritage Auctions in 2015

(Photos above courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

February 2, 1892: The longest boxing match in known history lasted for five hours and five minutes as Harry Sharpe fought Frank Crosby for 77 rounds in Nameoki, Ill. Sharpe finally won, earning $500. Both endured longer than the referee who threw in the towel on himself a dozen rounds before the end (, “This Day in History”). In 2009, Signature House sold a card signed by Harry Sharpe on Aug 23, 1932 for $100.

February 5, 1934: Hank Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama.. His home run record of 755 bested Babe Ruth’s 714. A Hank Aaron game-worn jersey from 1969 went for $50,126.99in 2013 at

Hank Aaron’s jersey, front and back (Photos courtesy of

February 9, 1971: Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige was nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame; he was inducted in August of 1971 ( One of his two Hall of Fame rings made $25,000 in 2015 by Lelands, which reported that the other ring was sold previously by his family for $259,642.

Satchel’s 1971 Hall of Fame ring (Photos courtesy of

February 17, 1936: Cleveland Brown great Jim Brown was born this day. His c. 1965 game-worn Cleveland Browns jersey brought $95,600 in 2014 at Heritage Auctions. Brown’s nine-year career scored: NFL Rookie of the Year in 1957, MVP four times, NFL Champion in 1964, 126 touchdowns and 14,671 yards rushing and receiving (

Jim Brown’s jersey (Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

Jim Brown in 1961 (Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

February 22, 2014: A 1923 New York Yankees World Championship watch presented to Babe Ruth gaveled for $717,000 at Heritage Auctions. Later, the Babe gave it to his friend Charlie Schwefel. Schwefel’s wife eventually passed it to their nephew Lewis Fern who had caddied for the Babe. In the auction description, Heritage reported the two were on a golf course and saw the Hindenburg pass over before it exploded while docking.

A fourteen-karat gold Gruen Verithin watch, the back is engraved with a scene of a pitcher throwing a ball to a batter and, “BABE RUTH,” “YANKEES,” and “WORLD’S CHAMPIONS 1923.” Inside the cover is engraved, “PRESENTED BY BASEBALL COMMISSION TO GEORGE H. RUTH”. Babe added: “TO MY PAL, CHARLIE SCHWEFEL.”

Photo Right: Babe Ruth’s pocket watch
(Photos courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

February 23, 2016: Mike Eruzione’s “The Miracle on Ice” game-worn USA Olympic hockey jersey smacked $657,250 this day at Heritage Auctions. In the 1980 Olympics, the US team of amateurs faced the Russian professionals. Mike Eruzione scored the game-winning goal in the miracle win of 4-3. The USA went on to defeat Finland to take the gold; the Russians took silver. Before the match-up, New York Times columnist Dave Anderson wrote, "Unless the ice melts, or unless the United States team or another team performs a miracle, the Russians are expected to easily win the Olympic gold medal for the sixth time in the last seven tournaments."

Photo Right: Eruzione’s “Miracle” jersey
(Photos courtesy of Heritage Auctions,


All uncredited photos are public domain, PD-US.



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