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> Esposito Jersey Nets $49K, Beckett Game Notes

post Jun 13 2005, 12:36 PM
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This item came from from one of our new weekly features - Beckett Game Notes provided by Beckett Media. Click here to read the 6/2/05 article.

From the article:

More than 30 years later, it still ranks as one of the truly unforgettable moments in Canadian sports history.

Phil Esposito, dejected by a 4-1 loss to the Soviets in the fourth game of the 1972 Summit Series, stood at center ice listening to the boos of the fans in Vancouver. Stunned and disgusted by the response, Espo unloaded both barrels on Canadians during a post-game interview with CTV's Johnny Esau. The rant shook up the country, unified the team, and propelled them to a remarkable last-minute win in Game Eight of this legendary series.

The red jersey worn by Espo during the first four games of the Summit Series - and during that rant - was auctioned this week by Classic Auctions of St-Constant, Quebec. The final price: $49,215 US, including a 15-percent buyer's premium.

"We expected it to go for somewhere around $40,000, so we're very happy with the final bid," says Classic Auctions president Marc Juteau.

The bidding, which was supposed to close at 9 p.m. on May 31, was extended by the heavy demand and went long into the night. The final and winning bid was placed at 6 a.m. by an unidentified buyer.

The demand for the jersey came as no surprise to industry experts.

"This jersey is more than just a piece of sports memorabilia," says Beckett Hockey editor Al Muir. "It's Canadian, capturing a moment in our history that still resonates with people who experienced the series first-hand and remember the impact it had on our country."

The auction featured 65 items from the personal collection of Hall of Famer Johnny Bucyk, who captained the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972. The highlight from this collection was the miniature Cup he was awarded for that first championship. It drew a winning bid of $15,000.

Other highlights included the mini Cup awarded to Oilers owner Peter Pocklington in 1988 ($11,092), an original 1924-25 Montreal Canadiens team photo ($10,719), a Bobby Orr game-used stick ($5,965), a Wayne Gretzky stick used in his rookie season to score his second NHL hat trick ($7,130) and a jersey worn by a member of Team Canada's 1955 World Championship team ($5,954).

Juteau pegged the total value of the 600-plus lot auction at about $1 million CDN. The auction continued a strong run on vintage hockey memorabilia that has, if anything, benefited from the hockey lockout.

Cool item! A nice collectible with a story to go with it.


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