The jersey that was worn by team captain Mike Eruzione in the 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey Team “Miracle on Ice” 4-3 victory over the dreaded and feared Soviet Union team – voted Top Sports Moment of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated – and the stick that Eruzione used to score the eventual game-winning goal realized $657,250 and $262,900, respectively, to bring more than $920,000 at Heritage Auctions’ on February 23, 2013.
The stick, the night’s opening lot, topped its estimate by more than five times– amidst spirited bidding – to realize $262,900. The white jersey that Eruzione wore in the “Miracle” game was the subject of much pre-auction buzz and several rounds of bidding before rising to finish at $657,250.
Eruzione auctioned off his historic 1980 Olympic material – where the upstart Americans famously toppled the USSR hockey juggernaut 4-3 on Feb. 22 – to benefit his children and grandchildren and to benefit his Winthrop Foundation, which funds charities in his hometown of Winthrop, MA.
The trove also contained the blue jersey the captain wore two days later in the gold medal game against Finland, which exceeded its estimate to realize $286,800. The hockey gloves Eruzione wore throughout the entire tournament went for more than 10 times their pre-auction estimates by bringing $53,775, while the warm-up suit he was wearing during the medal ceremony (when he famously called his entire team up to the podium to share the moment) realized $26,290 and the red pants that Eruzione wore in the Olympics realized $28,680.
“‘The ‘Miracle on Ice’ is the greatest American sports moment of the 20th century and a moment that transcended all geo-political boundaries,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports at Heritage Auctions. “Tonight we saw collectors show Mike Eruzione, and that entire team, how highly they think of him and of the things he achieved. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer, more giving person.”