MEARS Auction #147, Ends Saturday, March 6th, 2021, 10:00 PM CST W/30-Minute Rule In Effect
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/6/2021


Presented by Troy R. Kinunen, President / CEO of MEARS Online Auctions, LLC…

From Michael’s Feet To Grandma’s Hands

Background

Our consignor had a very, very special story to tell when he met with MEARS Online Auctions. For 35 years, Grandma safely kept a gift that was given to her by the greatest athlete of all time. But, before talking about the present, we have to talk about Grandma.

Our consignor described his Grandmother as regal, good hearted, kind, God fearing, sharing, and always willing to help others. With a life long love of the game of basketball, she gave back to her community, proud of the lives she helped by introducing neighborhood kids to the sport.

To all her family members, she instilled the values of helping family, investing back into the community, mentoring, teaching the youth, and always remembering where you come from. Those values have become ingrained in our consignor, and with the sale of these shoes, it is his goal to continue along in the path blazed by his Grandma. He has committed to a continued revitalization of the neighborhood that his family proudly resides.

History

During the mid-1980s, Grandma’s son was recognized as one of the top high school prospects in America. The elite college coaches of the era called upon Grandma trying to use her influence so her son would sign a letter of intent to attend their respective school. North Carolina head coach, Dean Smith, made a personal visit to Grandma’s house determined to bring her offspring back to the Chapel Hill campus to continue the legacy of Michael Jordan and other Tarheel legends.

At the urging of coach Smith to close the deal, a meeting between Michael Jordan and Grandma was arranged. Grandma was to attend a Chicago Bulls game as the personal guest of Michael Jordan. It is believed that a private jet was chartered and Grandma was flown to a game in Chicago. What is certain, as recounted by Grandma, immediately after the game, she was escorted to the friends and family section of the stadium.

The Meeting

Michael Jordan, still dressed in his Bulls uniform and wearing his game shoes, came over to introduce himself. After pleasantries and his pitch about his alma mater, he removed his shoes, autographed them, and handed them directly to Grandma, who had been in sole possession of them ever since.

With pen in hand, Michael first started to sign the right shoe. Damp with game perspiration, after forming the M and beginning the “ich”, the pen skipped, ending with an incomplete autograph. In typical Jordan fashion, never accepting defeat while striving for perfection, he went to work on the left shoe. Effortlessly, as advanced collectors know, Jordan penned a near mint, absolutely perfect vintage rookie era stylistic autograph, a true work of art! During the 1984-1985 era, Michael Jordan’s signatures contained many more elements of the formation of the letters. An inspection reveals the defined formation of the “M, i, c, h, a, small e, final l” which loops back toward the original M, almost like the tail of Zorro’s whip. With the same pronouncement, his stylistic “J” tails into the “o, r, looping d, and final line that represents to “a” and “n”. Alphabet artwork.

Safe Keeping

Upon returning home, the shoes were placed in a line bag and the secured in a small suitcase. For added protection, a small diary lock served as a deterrent against theft or unwanted attention. At 10-years old, our consignor, a fashionable fellow, collected “Jordan’s”, the kind proudly worn to school and for social events. Proud of his shoes, the 10-year old bragged to Grandma, “Look at these”, for which she replied, “I got the real one’s”. Puzzled, our consignor asked, “how’d you get them?”. Proudly, Grandma replied, “he took them off his damned feet boy and gave them to me!”. The diary lock was removed, the shoes removed from the suitcase, and our consignor learned about Grandma’s secret treasure. The shoes remained Grandma’s most prized possession, until after her death, the were gifted to our consignor, who vows to continue to honor the memory of his Grandma.

Authentication

The shoes were presented to evaluator Troy R Kinunen for authentication. His review:

1985 Michael Jordan Nike Air Jordan 1’s Chicago Bulls Rookie Season Autographed Game Worn Shoes (MEARS Authentic)

Date (January-February 1985): The shoes date to the 1985 timeframe based on the color scheme and production code stamped in white lettering inside both ankles. There is a six-digit code inside each shoe, 13 850102 -TYPS (left shoe). The first two number, 85 denote 1985, with 01 = January, 02 = February. The right shoe is stamped, 13 ½ 850102 – TYPS with the only difference being the size.

Logo: Black Nike Swoosh

Color Scheme: Red, white, with black swoosh with red laces. The style of shoes is supported as being correct for the January-February 1985 timespan as supported by period images.

Inside Tongue Coding: 850102 TYPS. This refers to the date of production, 85=1985, 01=January, 02=February. Therefore, the shoes were manufactured by Nike between the dates of January-February 1985. TY (Tommy Yang) and PS (Player Sample). The Player Sample (PS) designation was found on Jordan game worn shoes exclusively and not available for the retail brands.

Material: Leather

The style of the shoe with red laces is supported by the following images:

Getty Image #863950

Getty Image #542753718

Size: Left 13, Right 13 ½. Each shoe has the size stamped in white inside each heal in white. Documented examples of Michael Jordan shoes from the era have entered the hobby and support size 13 (left shoe) and size 13 1/2 (right shoes). The larger ½ size was to accommodate an ankle injury. They include:

MEARS # 317750 (13 ½, 13)

MEARS # 311336 (13 ½, 13)

MEARS #317307 (13 ½, 13)

MEARS #313822 (13 ½, 13)

MEARS #317318 (13 ½, 13)

MEARS # 317517 (13 ½, 13)

Michael Jordan Foundation Pair (13 ½, 13)

Head Coach University of Maryland (13 ½, 13)

Therefore, the size is consistent with other examples which have entered the hobby.

Description of Game Wear: The shoes exhibit the optimum degree of game wear. The optimal amount is manifested via scuffing/paint transfer, compressed leather of the toe, drooping laces, court dust, and a very distinct trait, the heal exaggerated heal compression in the left shoe, a result of Jordan favoring that foot. To protect the right foot, he had the shoe manufactured one ½ size larger, 13 ½. Upon examination, the left foot shows heavier wear which has caused a deterioration of the red printed NIKE logo on the inside heal area. Less wear is present on the right heal, supported his favoring of the left, stronger foot. 1.

Scuffing/ Paint transfer – when the player wiped moisture from one foot to the other, the color of the shoes transferred, or a scuff appeared. On the left shoe black smudge marks appear on the tip of the toe area. On the inner left foot, a red streak is found inside the Nike swoosh and back smudges under the same area. The right shoe has a black smudge on the outside shoe near the Air Jordan logo. Black smudge is found above the outer right swoosh of the right shoe. A distinct red smudge can be found on the inside toe of the right shoe. 2.

Compressed toe – shoes when first issued from the factory have a very stiff toe. With game wear, the leather softens and compresses. Both of these shoes exhibit a compressed area of the leather of the covering the toes. 3.

Drooping laces – when the laces are brand new, they are crisp and can “stand by themselves” with respect to how they stick out from the eyelets. With game wear, they “droop”. Both laces are soft and supple. 4.

Court Dust – during the course of a game, dust, or “court dust” accumulates on the soles in the crevices of the shoes. Both shoes exhibit an even distribution of court dust, with remnants found inside the crevices. 5.

Heal compression in sole – in the area of the back of the shoe, in the area of where the heal rests, signs of wear and compressions into the foam may occur. The left shoe shoes a heavier degree of compression wear which has worn away the printing in the shoe in some places.

Laces: The laces are in the exact same condition as he last touched them when he removed them from his feet.

Provenance: As documented, the shoes were gifted to Michael Jordan immediately following the completion of a game were the Grandma received this as gift. They remained in her possession until her death. A detailed LOA will be provided to the winning bidder signed by the consignor.

Autograph: Completed executed vintage signature on left shoe. Partial signature formed on the right. Autographs have been verified by the professional staff of JSA.

Style Match: Getty Image #863950, Getty Image #542753718, Getty Image #86547594, Getty Image #51790720, Michael Jordan 1985 Interlake Bulls Chicago Bulls

Final Grade: Authentic

Ranking

Ranking of 1985 Michael Jordan Rookie Shoes (MEARS # 317750)

In order to rank the existing population of 1985 Michael Jordan shoes examined by MEARS, I reviewed the known population (7) and created a key code of Physical Traits. The traits included scuffing/paint transfer, compressed toe, drooping laces, vintage autograph, court dust, heal compression in shoe, and provenance. I defined each as: 6.

Scuffing/ Paint transfer – when the player wiped moisture from one foot to the other, the color of the shoes transferred, or a scuff appeared. 7.

Compressed toe – shoes when first issued from the factory have a very stiff toe. With game wear, the leather softens and compresses.

Drooping laces – when the laces are brand new, they are crisp and can “stand by themselves” with respect to how they stick out from the eyelets. With game wear, they “droop”. 8.

Vintage Autograph – MEARS (sometimes with the aid of JSA) reviewed the autograph to see if it was period (vintage) or signed later at an Upper Deck Authenticated signing event. Shoes signed later in Jordan’s career often came with the UDA hologram. 9.

Court Dust – during the course of a game, dust, or “court dust” accumulates on the soles in the crevices of the shoes. 10.

Heal compression in sole – in the area of the back of the shoe, in the area of where the heal rests, signs of wear and compressions into the foam may occur. 11.

Provenance – history or the origin

MEARS # 317750 Code: 850102 TYPS Traits: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 Score: 7 *** (offered pair)

MEARS # 311336 Code: 850204 TYPS Traits: 1,2,3,4,5,6 Score 6

MEARS # 311336 Code: 850204 TYPS Traits: 1,2,3,4,5,6 Score 6

MEARS #317307 Code: 850102 TYPS Traits: 1,2,3,4,5 Score: 5

MEARS #313822 Code: 850102 TYPS Traits: 1,2,3,4,5 Score: 5

MEARS #317318 Code: 317318 TYPS Traits: 1,2,3,5, 7 Score: 5

MEARS # 317517 Code: 850102 TYPS Traits: 1,2,3,5,7 Score: 5

Therefore, it can be argued based on the seven examined traits that his pair ranks at the top of the population of Jordan rookie shoes.

Market Analysis

How much are Michael Jordan’s rookie shoes worth? As the market for sports memorabilia continues to mature and data and market value is analyzed in a more financially structured manner, here are a few points to consider that have similarities to more traditional investment markets.

Market Cap of 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Rookie Cards in the PSA 10 grade: Currently there are 315 PSA 10 graded Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer rookie cards. With recent sales of $600,000 (May 2020), $600,000 (Feb. 2021), and $720,000 x 2 (Jan. 2021), the market is consistent at the $600,000+ price range as supported by current sales data. To determine the market cap of 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie cards, it can be estimated that there is $1,890,000,000 in market cap value.

The ratio of MEARS authenticated 1985 Michael Jordan game worn shoes, (population of 7), creates a 45:1 (cards to shoes) ratio. Michael Jordan rookie shoes are 45 times rarer than a PSA 10 rookie card. This ratio supports the fact that it is much less likely to own a pair of authenticated 1985 Michael Jordan rookie shoes than a PSA 10 Fleer rookie card.

One of the most important components of market analysis with respect to value is the selling price ratio of shoes to card in a similar period of time. To illustrate, in May of 2020, a superior example of 1985 Michael Jordan rookie shoes sold for $560,000. During the same relative period of time, a 1986 Fleer RC sold for $96,000, which created a 6X price ratio of shoes to card.

$560,000:$96,000 (1985 Shoes:1986 Fleer Card) = 5.8X ratio

Using the rounded-up ratio of 6X, with the average selling price of a 1986 Fleer Jordan rookie card selling for $600,000, this would create a value of the shoes at $3,600,000.

$3,600,000: $600,000 (1985 Shoes:1986 Fleer Card) = 6x ratio using current market value of published sales records of the card.

Ultimately value is created by market forces, but the above forementioned may be used for consideration.

Starting bid, $23 in honor of the man himself. LOA from our consignor, Full Autograph Letter JSA, LOA Game Worn Authentication, Troy R. Kinunen, MEARS.
Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $23
Final prices include buyers premium.: $518,958
Number Bids: 56
Auction closed on Sunday, March 7, 2021.
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