Spring 2020 Premium Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/20/2020

Nike, the world's largest sports manufacturer starts on the limb that they could improve athletic performance through footwear, flashforward nearly 50 years and they have pushed the boundaries of the human limit. Nike's first big innovation was the waffle sole tread pattern created by Bill Bowerman with his wife's waffle iron but that was not the first time Bowerman experimented with creating innovative racing shoes. Bowerman had been making track spikes for his track and cross country athletes at the University of Oregon since the 1950s. Bowerman was all about shaving as much weight as possible, weight reduction meant speed and less weight traveled through the distance ran. Fast forward to the early 1970s Bowerman first starts experimenting with the waffle tread for the Oregon Football team when the Autzen Stadium was built introducing the Astroturf field. The rubber used was Logger 5 truck tire material from Wyatt's tire shop in Eugene, Oregon. Every prototype spike and shoe Bowerman created leading up to 1972 before Nike he would keep. Bowerman never let his athletes keep his prototype footwear, each spike and shoe made for the individual athlete would be returned after every practice or race for repairs and improvements. Bowerman glued his prototypes originally as he did not know how to use a sewing machine. Fast forward again to 1971 Bowerman experimented with Onitsuka Tiger track spikes by replacing the spikes with the waffle sole material.

Blue Ribbon Sports became Nike in 1971 and officially launched in 1972 just before the 1972 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. With the upcoming Olympic Trials being held in Eugene for the first time Phil Knight, Bill Bowerman and Geoff Hollister wanted to start Nike out with a bang. Phil Knight started to order white nylon uppers from Japan, Bowerman went to Mymo's machine shop in Eugene, Oregon to press the waffle sheets Bowerman had made. Bowerman and Hollister met at Jim the Shoe Doctor in Eugene, Oregon. The uppers were stitched by Hollister with fishing pole line wire. The midsoles were stitched to the upper and the thin rubber waffle was glued to the midsole.

In May of 1972, Hollister was in charge of finding athletes to test the upcoming shoe that would debut at the Olympic Trials. He looked to his alma mater, South Eugene High School, two-star athletes were picked to meet Hollister at Hayward Field in mid-May of 1972. Tom McChesney and Steve Surface of South Eugene received their prototype moon shoes. Tom and Steve debuted the moon shoes in mid-May in a dual meet against rivals North Eugene at Hayward Field. Tom ran 9:24 for two miles, engraving him as the first athlete to cross the finish line in a pair of moon shoes and then later worn at Hayward Field for the OSAA District two-mile race on May 19th where McChesney ran 9:15, a school record at the time. McChesney had gone back to Hollister and wanted a more supportive shoe, a blue midsole and heel wedge had been added to Toms pair following the 1972 track season.

McChesney by the end of his senior year ran 8:53.2 for two miles and 29:54 for six miles. McChesney ran at the University of Oregon under Bill Dellinger, the newly appointed coach after Bowerman stepped down and he was the first of three boys from the McChesney family to run at the University of Oregon. Steve and Bill Jr. followed shortly after. They all became All Americans at Oregon. The fourth brother, Ken ran at South Eugene and went on run at Montana, the same alma mater as his father. The McChesney family are forever engraved in the running world of Eugene, Oregon. Bill Sr. and his wife Marcy founded the Oregon Masters program. Marcy made uniforms for South Eugene, University of Oregon and up and coming professional track club Athletics West. Tom tragically passed away at the age of 30 in 1986 while being struck by a delivery truck while riding his bicycle near the school he worked at outside of Long Beach. Six years later Bill McChesney Jr. had tragically passed away in an automobile accident, Bill Jr. had surpassed many of Steve Prefontaine's records set at the University of Oregon.

This was enough results for Bowerman, Hollister, and Knight with the successes with the prototype worn by Tom. Bowerman and Hollister went back to Jim the Shoe Doctors in Eugene, Oregon and set up an assembly line. Around 10-15 pairs were made for athletes to wear at the Olympic Trials Marathon, some athletes opted to not wear them but all shoes were tried on and walked around it to make sure they fit properly if the upper was too wide they would cut down the eyelets of the shoes which is why on some pairs you will see the swoosh is tucked under the lace eyelets. There were three generations of moon shoes between 1972-1973. In late August of 1972 following the success of the moon shoes at the Olympic Trials, the second-generation moon shoes were being made for South Eugene's top 7 varsity cross country team by Bowerman and Hollister. The second-generation features simple refinements and Nike branding on the tongue of the shoe. Tom McChesney became the first athlete to win a cross country race in moon shoes, he later wo go on to win the OSAA State Meet. In late 1972/early 1973, a blue upper moon shoe was made and shortly available for the public. In all about 50 pairs of moon shoes were made and even less exist today. The moon shoes would later become Oregon waffle which sold from 1973-1979.

Offered here is Tom McChesney's modified pair that includes a full-length midsole cushioning and a thicker heel portion, providing more comfort and protection. These were the first Moon Shoes to cross the finish line. With the updates, the one-piece waffle sole turned into two pieces. Only a small portion of all moon shoes made had cushioning, most were just waffle tread. These shoes are in fair condition due to being worn regularly by Tom and his siblings Steve and Bill Jr. The white nylon upper like all other moon shoes has turned tan. The midsoles are still stitched and glued to the upper. Both lateral sides of swoosh are coming unstitched and some minor stitching separation in the upper. The shoes are approximately size 7 to 8. The moon shoes were obtained by Toms's younger brother, Steve McChesney in October of 2018.

Also included in this lot are early 1970's Oregon team issued items: 1971 Training shirt and training shorts, 1971 Tinker Hatfield Afroduck shirt, 1972 racing singlet and shorts, early 70's long john running pants, 1972 jockstrap and a 1973 Oregon Track hoodie worn by teammates of Steve Prefontaine. Bowerman not only wanted the lightest spikes/shoes but the lightest racing uniforms, at the time Oregon was the only team with uniforms so light even the ink used was the lightest available, all other uniforms made at the time were heavy cotton that primarily was chain stitched. The long johns and jockstrap were dyed green to match the Oregon uniforms. The afro duck shirt was designed by Tinker Hatfield who later became a very important designer at Nike. The design was created by Tinker is the first representation of an African American mascot.

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Minimum Bid: $30,000.00
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Number Bids: 9
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
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