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Michael Jordan’s Game-Worn ‘Last Dance’ Finals Jersey Just Sold for a Record $10.1 Million

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Michael Jordan’s Game-Worn ‘Last Dance’ Finals Jersey Just Sold for a Record $10.1 Million

It’s now the most valuable piece of Jordan memorabilia ever sold.

By RACHEL CORMACK

Michael Jordan just set three new world records without even hitting the court.

The GOAT’s “Last Dance” jersey from the opening game of the 1998 NBA Finals hammered down for a hefty $10.1 million at the single-lot Invictus sale at Sotheby’s on Thursday. It is now the most expensive piece of game-worn sports memorabilia in history, eclipsing Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” jersey that sold for $9.3 million earlier this year.

One of just two of Jordan’s Finals jerseys to ever appear at auction, the rarity fetched a total of 20 bids and shattered its original high estimate of $5 million. It set a new record for a 
basketball jersey at auction, comfortably surpassing Kobe Bryant‘s autographed Lakers jersey that realized $3.7 million back in May. It’s also now the priciest piece of Jordan sports memorabilia, ahead of the player’s autographed relic card from 1997 to 1998 that sold for $2.7 million.

mjordan jersey front back

“In the weeks since we announced the auction, there’s been palpable excitement from not only sports fans, but collectors alike who are eager to own a rarified piece of history,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectibles, said in a statement. “Yet again, today’s record-breaking result, with an astounding 20 bids, solidifies Michael Jordan as the undisputed GOAT, proving his name and incomparable legacy is just as relevant as it was nearly 25 years ago.”

The Chicago Bulls jersey was donned by Jordan during what is considered the most celebrated period of his storied career. The famed 1997-1998 season, which is often referred to as “The Last Dance” after the hit 2020 ESPN/Netflix documentary of the same name, saw Jordan reach the height of his abilities in what he understood to be his last chance at an NBA championship with the Bulls. Jordan scored a total of 33 points in this iconic red “away” shirt in the first game of the ‘98 NBA Finals. He would go on to win his sixth NBA championship with the Bulls and land his sixth NBA Finals MVP award. The season helped the superstar cement his legacy as the greatest basketball player of all time.

Sotheby’s second Invictus sale is currently underway online, with 16 pieces of prized sports memorabilia up for grabs.

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Mickey Mantle Baseball Card Sells for Record $12.6 Million at Auction

A mint condition Mickey Mantle baseball card has sold for $12.6 million on Sunday, surpassing the previous record for sports memorabilia.
PHOTO: LM OTERO/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Mickey Mantle Baseball Card Sells for Record $12.6 Million at Auction

The rare mint condition 1952 Topps card of the Yankees slugger surpasses the previous high for sports memorabilia—$9.3 million for the ‘Hand of God’ jersey

By Ginger Adams Otis Aug 31, 2022

Mickey Mantle just hit another home run. 

A mint condition baseball card of the New York Yankees slugger sold for $12.6 million Sunday—a record price for a piece of sports memorabilia.

The 1952 Topps baseball card was sold through Heritage Auctions by Anthony Giordano, a waste management businessman from New Jersey. He had bought the card at a sports memorabilia show in New York City in 1991 for $50,000.

Mr. Giordano, 75 years old, stopped watching the online auction Saturday night when the price hit $10 million, he told the Associated Press. His sons stayed awake and gave him the final price in the morning, he said.

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A Rare Honus Wagner T-206 baseball card. PHOTO: JEFF ROBERSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The closing bid of $12.6 million went to an anonymous buyer. It eclipsed the sports memorabilia record set in May, when someone paid $9.3 million for the jersey worn by Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona as he scored his controversial “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup. 

Earlier this month, a rare, authenticated Honus Wagner T-206 baseball card changed hands for $7.25 million in a private sale. It was the most expensive trading card sold until the Mantle auction on Sunday.

The previous record was set in April 2021 by another Wagner T-206 card, which sold for $6.6 million. 

The 1952 Mantle card sold by Mr. Giordano is just one of a handful of the Hall of Famer still in existence and in near-perfect condition. 

Its backstory is also legendary within the sports collector world

In 1951, Mr. Mantle was a rookie from Oklahoma trying to make it in the Major Leagues with the New York Yankees. He was injured while chasing a fly ball in the World Series that year. 

But the next season, 1952, he returned to the Yankees as starting center fielder, replacing another Yankee great, Joe DiMaggio. Mr. Mantle became a fan favorite, batting .311 with 23 home runs and 94 runs scored. 

Top 10 highest prices paid for sports cards

baseball card sales chart

Topps baseball cards began a print run for a Mickey Mantle baseball card, but most of those marked number 311 arrived too late for the 1952 season, according to a history of the item from Heritage Auctions. 

The unsold stock was eventually destroyed by Topps. As time passed and Mr. Mantle’s fame grew, demand for his baseball cards exploded. Collectors placed a premium on the extremely rare 1952 version marked number 311. 

The discovery of the card sold Sunday goes to a pioneer in the sports memorabilia industry, a man named Alan Rosen, who marketed himself as “Mr. Mint.” 

Mr. Rosen was contacted in the late 1980s by a man in Boston who claimed his father had been a delivery driver for Topps and had kept a case of baseball cards that were meant to be destroyed, Heritage Auctions said. 

He drove to Boston and struck a deal for the memorabilia, known to collectors as the “Rosen Find.” It included multiple number 311 Mickey Mantle cards, one of which Mr. Rosen sold in 1991 to Mr. Giordano. 

Mr. Mantle played his entire 18-year career with the Yankees and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. He was named Most Valuable Player three times and won the American League Triple Crown in 1956. In his first eight seasons in New York, the Yankees won seven AL pennants and five World Series titles, according to the Hall of Fame. 

He retired just before the 1969 season with 536 home runs and a career .298 batting average. In all, he helped the Yankees win seven World Series titles. The Hall of Famer died in 1995 at 63 years old. 

A new crop of entrepreneurs is betting big that trading cards are no longer just hobbyists’ collectibles, they’re serious investment assets. In this episode of Niche Markets, WSJ speaks with entrepreneurs who have found success in the booming trading market. Photo Illustration: Alexander Hotz/WSJ

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Tom Ruggie Co-Hosts National Collectors’ Program

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Tom Ruggie Co-Hosts National Collectors' Program

Discussion covers collecting as a passion and investment

 
Tom Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP® was the guest host, recently, on the GR8 American Collectibles Show, presented by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) and the National Sports Collectors Convention. The program airs Wednesdays at 6 p.m. EST on www.PSAcard.com, and can be seen or heard nationally on Pandora, I Heart Radio, YouTube, from the PSA Facebook page, Boston-area radio stations and more. Tom was interviewed for about 40 minutes about his deep passion for sports and sports collectibles, about collecting as an investment, and about what collectors need to know to prepare and protect their families if they are making their collection a part of their estate plans. The interview followed a six-page article in the July 2022 issue of PSA Magazine, titled The Autograph Archivist, highlighting Tom’s collection and expertise in helping like-minded high-end collectors with their financial needs, and his article on Forbes.com, titled Deconstructing A Collection: Preparing Your Family To Handle Your Investment Down The Road.
 
For this episode radio personality, author, and entrepreneur Tom Zappala (who usually teams up with former Boston Red Sox star Rico Petrocelli), was joined by John Molori, co-author with Tom and Ellen Zappala, of The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball’s Prized Players. The Zappalas are also co-authors of award-winning books such as The T206 Collection: The Players & Their Stories, the 2016 release, The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs, and most recently The Diamondbacks Collection: 50 of the Greatest Cards in Sports Collecting History, which details the stories behind cards in the collection of Ken Kendrick, managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Molori’s credits include Patriots Football Weekly, Boston Baseball Magazine, SiriusXM, and ESPNW.com.  
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The Autograph Archivist

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Signing onboard

Destiny Family Office Interviewed by HFM Global for COVID-19 Analysis

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Destiny Family Office Founder and CEO Thomas H. Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP® was recently chosen to be interviewed by HFM Global for an article on what COVID-19 disruptions mean for investors’ operations and investments, and what strategies they’re eyeing.

HFM Week’s Sasha Federenko wrote the analysis piece for the publication which provides industry news and insights to the global hedge fund community. The publication features information on fund launches, research, investor updates, and informed industry analysis. 

The article pursued insights into what strategies investors are eyeing, what they’re looking to allocate now and what they’re holding off on. 

“COVID-19 has fast-tracked what I thought the future of investment will look like. The pandemic has accelerated the arrival of the future investment landscape, creating new winners and losers,” said Ruggie, who in 2021 was named to Barron’s Top 1200 Advisors for the ninth time and to the 2021 Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors’ list which spotlights the top-performing advisors across the country.

“We’re eyeing long/short equity hedge funds to complement some of our clients’ portfolios with diversifiers. I don’t want to use only a small handful of managers. I’m looking for a proven track record as a stock picker to perform in good and bad markets. We’ve entered an era when stock pickers are going to outperform indexes,” Said Ruggie. “We have started significantly changing our view of what investments need to look like going forward.“ 

As one of the flagship company of independent RIA Destiny Wealth Partners, Destiny Family Office offers a broad range of services and products to help clients pursue their financial goals. In 2016, Ruggie started Destiny Family Office, building on the nearly 30-year success of Ruggie Wealth Management, to provide sophisticated financial and related concierge services to highly successful individuals and multi-generational high-net-worth clients. 

Destiny Wealth Partners has mapped out a growth strategy to align with a like-minded group of leading financial innovators who share a deep industry knowledge, vast network of specialized services, demonstrated investment strategies and abiding passion for serving clients. In January 2021, KCG Investment Advisory Services, LLC, in Savannah, GA joined the Destiny Wealth Partners brand family.

For more information, visit RuggieWealth.com or call 352-343-2700.

Listing in any publication is not a guarantee of future investment success. These recognitions should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor by any client. Barron’s rankings are based on factors including assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. Forbes rankings are based on quality of practice, telephone and in-person interviews, client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations and quantitative criteria.

Investment advisory services offered through Destiny Wealth Partners, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

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Deconstructing a Collection: Preparing Your Family to Handle Your Investment Down the Road – Forbes.com

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Tom Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP®, uses his own considerable sports memorabilia collection and situation as the basis for his recently published Forbes.com article. He notes, “With more than 200 million collectors of varying types worldwide, it’s not surprising many of my high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients are acquiring all kinds of collectibles such as artwork, fine wine and spirits, jewelry, coins, vintage and classic cars, and arms and armaments as investments.” He goes on to discuss how his own penchant for collecting has informed the way he interacts with, and coaches, like-minded clients, and focuses on the importance of having a well-thought-out plan that can provide crucial guidance to your family or heirs if collecting intersects with your worst day ever. Read Deconstructing A Collection: Preparing Your Family To Handle Your Investment Down The Road. To learn how Destiny Family Office can successfully manage your wealth, complete our Scorecard. This powerful tool will allow us to help you improve your financial mindset.
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