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Auction Action: The Goldin 100 Preview (Part 1)

Auction Action: The Goldin 100 Preview (Part 1)
June 14, 2023
Bradley Calleja
In this edition of Auction Action, preview the top lots set to sell in the first part of the Goldin 100.

Lots to Watch

Lot #1: Michael Jordan 1997 NBA Finals "Flu Game" Used, Signed Air Jordan Sneakers

It's the game that needs no introduction.
After taking a commanding 2-0 series lead against the Utah Jazz in the 1997 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan and the Bulls found themselves against the ropes heading into a crucial Game 5. Led by a 37-point outing from Karl Malone, the Jazz rolled in Game 3 as Jordan posted a -10 even though he finished with 26 points. In Game 4, Malone and John Stockton combined for 40 points and the Jazz outpaced the Bulls yet again, tying the series and setting the scene for what still stands as the most iconic game in NBA history.
As if the game itself needed any more drama, Michael Jordan ate the pizza.
Okay, to be fair, the exact cause of Jordan's illness remains a topic of discussion, but it is believed that the symptoms were a result of consuming a tainted pie the previous night. Jordan had ordered a late-night pizza in his hotel room, which arrived with a suspicious number of delivery personnel. It was reported that the pizza had been tampered with, possibly in an attempt to sabotage Jordan's performance.
The food poisoning symptoms began to affect Jordan during the early morning hours leading up to the game. He experienced nausea, vomiting, fever, fatigue, and overall weakness. Despite his condition, Jordan was going to play, and anything connected to him during the game was primed to become iconic.
His ailing physical state was evident throughout the contest. Jordan appeared visibly weakened, with a pale complexion and labored movements. He had to sit on the bench during timeouts to conserve energy and received fluids and treatment from the team's medical staff.
Somehow, someway, Jordan was still unstoppable. Against all odds, he went 13-27 from the field and added 10 free-throws to score 38 points while adding seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals. The Bulls trailed by five heading into the fourth quarter but in the final 12 minutes, Jordan played every second and dropped 15 points including a clutch 3-pointer down the stretch which acted as a dagger in the Bulls 90-88 victory.
After the game, Jordan gifted the signed shoes to ballboy Preston Truman. In 2013, the shoes left Truman's possession when they sold at auction for $104,765. At the time, that six-figure result established a new record for any game-worn sneakers. It's an understatement to say times have changed.
Only one question remains: Will the flu game pair return to the top of the game-worn sneaker world? Through the first 12 bids, the Air Jordan's are priced above $1.2 million, which means they will need to add another million to become the most expensive ever sold.

Lots #12: Action Comics #1 (1938 DC) – CGC 3.0

In the expansive world of comic books, you'd be hard pressed to find a publication which holds as much significance and historical value as the 1938 DC Comics Action Comics #1. This iconic comic book marked the debut of Superman, the beloved and enduring superhero who would go on to become an integral part of American pop culture.
Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, Superman first took flight in the pages of Action Comics #1. Released in June 1938, the inaugural issue introduced readers to the extraordinary story of Kal-El, an alien from the doomed planet Krypton, sent to Earth and raised as Clark Kent in Smallville, Kansas. Discovering his incredible powers under Earth's yellow sun, Clark adopts the identity of Superman, dedicated to fighting injustice and protecting humanity.
The comic was actually published by National Allied Publications, which later evolved into DC Comics. The first issue was notable not only for featuring the debut of Superman but also for its revolutionary concept of a costumed superhero with extraordinary abilities. Copies of Action Comics #1 fills the comic book record book with multiple copies having sold for more than $2 million and one, a CGC 8.5 graded example, having sold for $3.3 million in 2021. The CGC graded copy available at Goldin priced above $1.2 million with 14 bidders participating.

Lot #2: Superman #1 (1939 DC) 1 Book – CGC 7.0

Following the successful debut of Superman in Action Comics #1 in 1938, created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, the character quickly became a sensation. Recognizing the overwhelming popularity of the superhero, DC Comics decided to give Superman his own standalone comic book series.
Published in 1939, Superman #1 served as the inaugural issue of the character's eponymous series. The comic book featured several stories that showcased Superman's superhuman abilities, his commitment to justice, and his battles against various adversaries. The vibrant cover art displayed Superman effortlessly leaping over skyscrapers, further capturing readers' imaginations.
Superman #1 had a profound impact on the comic book industry and solidified the Man of Steel's position as one of the most beloved superheroes of all time. The standalone series allowed for more in-depth storytelling and character development, enabling readers to explore Superman's world in greater detail. This format also provided opportunities for introducing new characters, expanding the Superman mythos, and captivating audiences with thrilling adventures.
The release of Superman #1 not only expanded the superhero genre but also helped establish the foundation for the DC Universe. The comic book laid the groundwork for future interconnected narratives and crossovers, contributing to the rich tapestry of DC Comics' superhero universe.
The Superman #1 up for auction this week at Goldin actually sold in 2021 for $2.6 million. As of today, it's the sixth most expensive comic book ever sold at auction and is the most expensive from this 1939 series to sell publicly. Through 13 bids the CGC 7.0 graded comic is priced above $1.3 million with buyer's premium.

Lot #36: 2005-06 Upper Deck The Cup Alexander Ovechkin(RPA) PSA 10

The career of Alexander Ovechkin speaks for itself with a laundry list of accolades, records, and trophies.
  • 3 Hart Memorial Trophies – awarded to the NHL's most valuable player
  • 9 Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophies – awarded to the NHL's leading goal scorer
  • 3 Ted Lindsay Awards – awarded to the NHL's most outstanding player as voted by the players
  • 1 Conn Smythe Trophy – awarded to the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs
  • Stanley Cup champion
  • 10 NHL All-Star Game appearances
  • NHL 100th Anniversary Team
Additionally, Ovechkin is also the NHL's all-time leader in goals scored by a left winger, and he is second all-time in goals scored behind Wayne Gretzky. He is also the only player in NHL history to score 50 or more goals in 13 seasons. So how high can his premier rookie card go? Through 19 bids, this PSA 10 is priced above $182,000 which pins it less than $100,000 from the all-time record for any modern hockey card. This is the only gem mint copy graded by PSA out of 10 total that are in their census.

Lot #10: 1998 Pokemon Japanese Promo Illustrator Pikachu Holofoil - PSA NM-MT+ 8.5

It's a grail within the world of TCG and one of the most valuable Pokémon cards in existence. The Illustrator Pikachu card was created as a prize for winners of the Pokemon Card Game Illustration Contest held in Japan in 1997. It features an adorable, hand-drawn illustration of Pikachu by artist Atsuko Nishida, who is known for designing the original Pikachu character. The artwork showcases Pikachu holding a paintbrush, with colorful splashes of paint in the background. This card is distinct from other Pokemon cards as it lacks traditional game rules text and a collector card number.
Another facto that makes the Illustrator exceptionally rare and valuable is its extremely limited production and distribution. Only 39 copies of this particular Pikachu were ever officially awarded with two more added later, providing more fire to its legend and lore. Additionally, these cards were never made available for commercial sale, further increasing their scarcity.
There are only nine examples graded higher than this PSA 8.5 which is a pop 2 in the PSA census. Through 18 bids the card has surpassed $420,000.

All Images via Goldin

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