Pat McManamon, ESPN Staff Writer 327d

Jim Brown jersey draws $78,000 at auction

Jim Brown can still bring it.

A jersey that the Hall of Fame running back used in the early 1960s recently sold at auction for $78,000. The jersey was one item of many sports collectibles auctioned by Robert Edward Auctions of New Jersey.

The $78,000 was the highest amount an NFL jersey had drawn in more than 30 years of Robert Edward Auctions, according to Brian Dwyer, president of the New Jersey-based auction house. The previous high: $70,500 for a jersey of Green Bay Packers receiver Don Hutson used between 1937 and 1945, Dwyer said.

However, it was not a record for an NFL jersey. Money Magazine reported in February that the highest amount ever paid for a football jersey was $118,230 for a Johnny Unitas No. 19, sold in 2015. The highest amount for any jersey was $4.4 million spent on a 1920 Babe Ruth jersey. A 1932 Ruth jersey sold for $940,000.

Brown’s jersey was given the highest possible rating prior to the auction by an independent evaluation service. The jersey is brown with white numerals and three orange stripes on the sleeves and the number on the sleeve just below the shoulder. It also featured Brown’s signature three-quarter sleeves, and showed signs of wear from the field.

Bidding for the jersey started at $25,000 and ended after 14 bids.

A signed letter from Dave Nemeth attested to the authenticity of the jersey, according to the Robert Edward Auctions website. Nemeth said his father obtained the jersey immediately after a 1963 game from the driver of the team’s laundry truck.

Brown had one of his finest seasons in 1963, when he ran for 1,863 yards in 14 games.

Proceeds from the annual fall auction topped $10 million, and included a Babe Ruth rookie baseball card ($600,000), a Mickey Mantle jersey ($120,000) and a ticket to Super Bowl I ($54,000).

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