It might sound nuts, but Joe Frazier’s jock strap, guardian of the family jewels and protector of the package, is up for auction and can be the crown jewel in someone’s boxing collection.
Worn on March 8, 1971 during his fight against Muhammad Ali, this is not your typical sports memorabilia item for obvious reasons. And unlike many cards, autographed baseballs, or game-worn jerseys, you’ll only find this one. No variations, no replicas, nothing else quite as personal as that which came from “where the sun don’t shine”, the only part of Frazier not bathed in spotlights and flash bulbs during one of boxing’s most historic nights.
Joe Frazier (Jan. 12, 1944 – Nov. 7, 2011) is boxing royalty. A legend. Twenty-seven KOs in 37 bouts, only four losses, and one of the meanest left hooks anyone had ever seen. Some say that Muhammad Ali’s success and popularity were largely thanks to the much hyped and heavily marketed rivalry with Smokin’ Joe. The significance of this item is largely because of that rivalry. “The Fight of the Century” was their first fight, and Frazier won by unanimous decision after 15 rounds. David Wolf, a member of Frazier’s camp during all three fights against Ali, asked Frazier if he could have the jock strap after Frazier’s victory. Many years later, after Wolf’s death, it was found in his home with other relics from Frazier’s career.
As collectibles and sports memorabilia go, Joe Frazier’s jock strap is definitely a rare item, but this is made all the more valuable by the fact that this legendary boxer who won this equally legendary fight is still a household name in a sport that doesn’t have as many of those as other popular spots in the United States. This was the heyday of boxing, the beginning of previously unheard of multi-million dollar fights and media blitzes.
From the same fight, Goldin Auctions also has the very items that posed a direct threat to Frazier’s manhood, Muhammad Ali’s fight-worn gloves. A collector’s match made in heaven?
Michael Jordan collectibles hitting the auction block shouldn’t be missed by any serious sports collector. He is one of the most famous athletes of all time and easily the most famous in basketball. It’s harder than it used to be to find Michael Jordan autographed, game-worn jerseys and shoes, so when they come along, you have to sit up and pay attention.
Michael Jordan’s career started with his extremely impressive college years playing for the UNC Tar Heels in the ACC from 1981-1984. It was obvious even then that he was something rare. Something special. His NBA career rocketed him to superstardom, earning him numerous awards including five NBA MVP awards, six NBA championships, and even two Olympic gold medals. The record book needed constant amending.
His game still echoes in the praises of other significant players. “There’s Michael Jordan and then there is the rest of us,” said Magic Johnson.
His stats are impressive to this day, but he was also known for his style. Michael Jordan didn’t just get the job done and then some. He did it with flair. He balanced a grace of movement with a face of determination, tongue hanging out, that was made for the cameras. He put on a good show. This also made him a marketing darling for endorsement deals. So in addition to collectible cards, #23 jerseys, autographed basketballs, and the like, collectors want game-worn Nike Air Jordans.
For Michael Jordan collectibles, there is a wide variety of items available ranging from his NCAA years to his time in the NBA, and even time since then. The basketball star spent some time playing baseball and golf, too, so autographed baseball bats and golf clubs are special as well. This all makes him a great athlete for both the beginning collector and the veteran. Value of items ranges greatly depending on rarity and condition.