A West Point sweater that once belonged to Vince Lombardi and was purchased from a Goodwill store for 58 cents last year has sold for quite a bit more.
As Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reports, Sean and Rikki McEvoy of Knoxville, Tenn., bought the sweater in June 2014 thinking it was simply a basketball warm-up jacket. Inside, however, is "Lombardi" written in black ink on a sewn-in cotton swatch.
It turns out Lombardi, the Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers coach, owned the jacket when he coached at West Point from 1949-53. Heritage Auctions put the item up at an auction Saturday night in New York City and it sold for $43,020.
"I didn't see the Lombardi tag when we walked out with it or I might have made a connection," McEvoy said. "My wife saw it but she didn't know who that could be."
In November, McEvoy said he stumbled on a documentary about Lombardi and saw a picture of the coach wearing the sweater he bought. That's when he went back to the item and saw the name on the back of the sweater by the neck area.
McEvoy called the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who wanted him to donate it, but he eventually found Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Not wanting to send it over Christmastime, McEvoy said he drove it to Dallas, where the auction house officials were incredulous. Uniform authentication company Mears said it was the real deal.
Other items sold at the auction included a pair of gloves used by Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston in their May 1965 fight for $956,000, a Brooklyn Dodgers jersey worn by Sandy Koufax during his rookie season for $573,600 and two 1950s New York Yankees jerseys worn by Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra for $406,300 and $167,300, respectively.
- Mike Fiammetta