Photo: Getty Images
An unused ticket from Michael Jordan’s first game as a Chicago Bull on October 26, 1984, was sold for almost half a million dollars, according to Heritage Auctions. Another sports artifact that sold high at the auction was a ticket stub from Jackie Robinson’s first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers, April 15, 1947, bought at $480,000.
Michael Jordan is considered the greatest basketball player of all time. And Jackie Robinson was a genuine hero of American history as the first black player in Major League Baseball.
“But the money just staggered me. The purchasers weren’t paying for a piece of art, or a letter from Albert Einstein. They weren’t even paying for a hand-written note from Jackie Robinson or Michael Jordan. Just… old tickets,” columnist Scott Simon writes in his article.
Mike Cole, an admissions director at Quinnipiac University and a Northwestern student in 1984, had sold the Michael Jordan ticket — a ticket he had kept among his belongings after acquiring two tickets to a Bulls game but only going to his own.
“I’ve never held on to these items thinking one day they’re going to be worth a lot of money,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “(T)hey are memories of good experiences…”
Mike Cole said he is to have the money to pay off his mortgage, put his children through college, and travel a bit. But he also says he’s happy his ticket didn’t hang onto the price record.
“I think it’s fitting,” he said, “that Jackie Robinson, whose contribution goes way beyond sports, has the highest valued ticket.”
The Jackie Robinson ticket stub was bought by Mark Attanasio, the Milwaukee Brewers baseball club owner.
In his article, Simon brings up a sharp point, “Mr. Attanasio is a generous man who donates millions from his own pocket and through the Brewers Community Foundation. He can afford to spend $480,000 on a decades-old ticket stub without stinting on his gifts to many deserving causes. It’s his money to spend as he likes.
But for days we awake to news about invasions, refugees and humanitarian crisis, it’s hard not to see old sports artifacts sell for nearly half a million dollars, and wonder what else that money might have bought.”