Kirk Gibson’s memorabilia rakes in $1.2M at auction

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Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Going, going, gone.

Kirk Gibson’s prized Dodgers memorabilia sold for some megabucks early this morning, with the chipped, pine tar-laced bat he used to hit that heroic home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series leading the way at $575,912.40.

His home jersey, still unwashed, from that October night went for $303,277.20.

After nearly three weeks on the block, the bidding got fast and furious in the final 24 hours. It was supposed to end around 10 p.m. Saturday, but because of steady late action didn’t actually wrap up until shortly before 5 a.m. today.

The bat the jersey both were going for around $150,000 as late as Friday afternoon.

“We are again impressed with the overall interest in sports memorabilia,” said David Kohler, president of California-based SCP Auctions, which handled the heavily publicized sale. “From the iconic (Honus) Wagner card to Babe Ruth’s personal humidor and items from Gibson’s miracle moment, we continue to see a strong demand for sports collectibles.

“We’ll continue our goal of delivering high-quality auctions with a wide variety of material for all ranges of collectors.”

Gibson’s lot consisted of just six items of the more than 1,000 baseball-related treasures SCP was selling over the last few weeks. But his collection, easily, raked in the biggest bucks.

Included in the sale:

Helmet he was wearing in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series: $153,388.80

1988 regular-season MVP plaque: $110,293.20

1988 World Series players’ trophy: $45,578.40

Road jersey worn during the 1988 World Series: $9,664.80

As of this morning, there was no word whether any buyers would come forward publicly.

Total, his lot went for nearly $1.2 million, nearly triple what it all was going for around 4:30 p.m. Friday. The auction began Oct. 27.

More than $155,000 — the proceeds from the MVP plaque and World Series trophy — will go to Gibson’s foundation, which is funding scholarships at Clarkston and Waterford Kettering high schools in honor of his parents, who both were teachers.

Gibson, 53, a former Tigers legend now managing the Diamondbacks, wouldn’t say what he has planned for the rest of the cash, nor would he say if he’ll see his Tigers stuff down the road.

Other items in SCP’s latest online auction included the bat Babe Ruth used to hit his 702nd career home run ($137,865.60), a Ty Cobb game-used bat ($75,330), a Mickey Mantle game-worn road jersey ($62,256), a racquet used by Bjorn Born in the 1980 Wimbledon finals against John McCenroe ($62,256), Ruth’s personal cigar humidor ($41,434.80) and a Pete Rose game-used corked bat ($10,632).

“This auction offered the greatest depth and highest caliber of material throughout every collecting category that SCP Auctions has ever featured in an Internet sale,” Kohler said. “And we certainly appreciated the passion our clients demonstrated for the material in our sales.”

Nov. 14, 2010