Michael Jordan sells personal Air Jordan I and baseball glove
DALLAS, Texas (June 8, 2020) - On sale as part of Heritage Auctions' Sunday June 14 online weekly auction: a Nike Air Jordan I from Michael Jordan's personal collection, as well as a black Wilson baseball glove with the owner's nickname ( “MICHAEL JORDAN”, hard to miss) sewn on the go.
Nowadays, in the wake of the documentary Last Dance which captivated a nation currently in lack of sports and heroes and emblematic moments, these signifiers should be enough to arouse the interest of collectors and occasional spectators. When beginner cards, sneakers, and ticket stubs hit record prices at auction week after week, items that belonged to, or were worn, or touched, by The Greatest of All Time immediately attract attention of collectors and fans when they are auctioned.
Especially when it seems to be the very first Jordanian baseball glove ever released.
But there is a history to these objects - this very precious sneaker, this extraordinarily rare glove - which makes them pass from the status of precious memory to that of important treasure. And it all started in 1994, when Jordan's wife at the time, Juanita, couldn't decide what to buy from the man who had everything for his 32nd birthday.
For advice, she turned to a high-end jeweler of her acquaintance, who suggested that she reproduce some of her most iconic objects in “precious metal,” as the Israeli newspaper Haaretz recently told us. The jeweler knew a man in Tel Aviv capable of doing such a thing, taking objects and making detailed molds from the originals.
"One day we received a fax order to make a silver baseball shoe and glove," Dan Lavi told the Israeli newspaper a few weeks ago. “They didn't say who it was for. My father asked them to send a sample, saying that he would see what could be done. If it were possible, we would give a price, he said to the sender. ”
A few days later, a 1985 Air Jordan I - right foot, size 13,5 - and the Wilson glove were sent to Israel. To create the molds and ensure that the original items kept their shape, the glove was filled with permanent epoxy, while a material such as plasticine, which could be removed, was inserted into the shoe.
On the other side, silver replicas appeared, so perfect in their details, from the grain of the leather to the patterns of the laces, that they seem almost portable - weren't they so heavy (the shoe alone weighs 10 pounds ) or thousands of dollars in cash. Only ten of these shoes were manufactured, as requested by Juanita Jordan. After that, the molds were destroyed. Only these objects, the basketball and the original glove, remained.
Michael Jordan kept a silver shoe and glove. The story goes that he distributed the other coins to his agent, one of his restaurants, a golf club, the Chicago Science and Industry Museum and elsewhere. Over time, they dispersed in the wind. They cost around $ 2 each, and when they are auctioned, which is rare, they are sold at significantly higher prices.
In February 2019, Heritage Auctions sold one of the silver gloves for $ 7. Six months later, Heritage sold one of the silver sneakers for $ 200.
And that was long before Jordan won a victory lap and a last dance.
It was only after the documentary was broadcast by ESPN that Lavi started looking - at his mother's request - for the shoe and glove that served as models for these silver molds. His discovery made the headlines in Israeli newspapers. Today they are going to a house in vente aux enchères from Dallas. And in a few days, they will belong to someone else - 26 years after being taken from Michael Jordan's closet and reproduced to the last silver dot.
“It was very exciting to hear from the family in Israel who created the incredible silver sculptures and to learn that the original objects that were used to create the molds still exist,” said Chris Ivy, director of auctions Heritage Auctions sports cars. "Like most people in the world, the owner was captivated by The Last Dance and decided it was time to part with these treasures his father had given him a quarter of a century ago."
The Air Jordan sneaker and the Wilson glove were used to make replicas in silver - each now undoubtedly worth its weight in gold.