Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nitschke Auction Held This Week

This week in Dallas, Texas (reminder: site of the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV victory!), Green Bay legendary LB Ray Nitschke’s son put several of No. 66’s items up for auction. Rich Nitschke said that “I just had a bunch of excess stuff. Not really excess, I just had nowhere to put it up. Rather than storing it, it seemed like a really good time to auction it off with the Packers winning (Super Bowl XLV).” If you’d like to read the whole article, please go here. And now we’d like to share the items that were sold at the auction:

Early 1980's Ray Nitschke Personal NFL Alumni Jacket. One can only imagine how many times Ray Nitschke stood in front of his Hall of Fame peers at Canton's annual luncheon, which was held the day before each induction ceremony, in this exact NFL Alumni jacket. It could be argued that no player understood the importance of being enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame more than Nitschke, so it can easily be presumed that the offered piece was most likely one of the most significant from all items the former Green Bay Packers linebacker cherished through the years.

1978 Ray Nitschke Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Ring. Anyone who has ever attended the annual Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame induction banquet at Lambeau Field will agree that the highly respected organization definitely understands how to properly honor its former players and fans. That was exactly the same type of warm welcome Ray Nitschke received in 1978 when he was enshrined into that special place on Lombardi Avenue.

1977 Ray Nitschke Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Induction Plaque. The legendary Vince Lombardi said it best - "He's the rowdy of this team and the whipping boy," coach Vince Lombardi wrote in his autobiography about star linebacker Ray Nitschke. "He can take it. He is a big, rough, belligerent, fun-loving guy with a heart as big as all outdoors. You don't improve him...he improves himself." Offered here is one of the most significant pieces that summed up Nitschke's storied 15-season NFL career, his Packers Hall of Fame induction presentational plaque.

1976-98 Ray Nitschke Personal License Plates Lot of 10. There are few non-sports related items that directly tie to a professional sports star more than their automobiles. Offered here is an intriguing collection of ten original Wisconsin and Illinois license plates from the "Ray Nitschke Collection."

1974 Ray Nitschke "Best Pro Linebacker of Two Decades" Touchdown Club Presentational Tray. It's pretty much unheard of in today's NFL, but Ray Nitschke played in three different decades, 1958-72, all for the same team. The heart and soul of the Green Bay Packers throughout the entire Vince Lombardi reign, Nitschke was presented this gorgeous award from the "Touchdown Club of Columbus" for being named "Best Pro Linebacker of Two Decades."

1963 Ray Nitschke "Outstanding Player" Midwest Shrine Game Silver Presentational Trophy. Sponsored by Tripoli Temple, the Green Bay Packers and Shriners Hospitals have hosted the Midwest Shrine Exhibition Preseason Game since 1950. To date, the series has raised more than $3.1 million dollars for the Midwest Shrine's burn centers and hospitals. Offered here is Ray Nitschke's silver presentational bowl he won as "Outstanding Player" of the 1963 Midwest Shrine Game, between the Packers and Chicago Bears.

1966 World Champion Green Bay Packers Silver Tea Set. The year 1966 was, without question, one of Ray Nitschke and the Green Bay Packers' most noteworthy seasons. During training camp of that special season, countless number of football experts predicted that the "Green and Gold" would win the World Championship, again under the legendary head coach Vince Lombardi. But the Dallas Cowboys had other ideas. The Cotton Bowl was the site of the 1966 NFL Championship game, and it took every bit of Green Bay's effort, and a late game-saving interception of the Cowboys' Don Meredith by the Packers' Tom Brown to clinch the game, propelling the team into the first Super Bowl. Again, nobody expected the Packers to fall to the Kansas City Chiefs in the first "Big Game," but with those lofty expectations came heavy pressure for Lombardi and his players. Nevertheless, the Packers prevailed in the first AFC/NFC showdown, in front of the Los Angeles Coliseum and large television audience, and the rest is history.

1967 Ray Nitschke "Top Linebacker in Football" Touchdown Club Presentational Silver Tray. It doesn't seem possible, but Ray Nitschke was voted to only one Pro Bowl during his 15 year Hall of Fame career. It simply doesn't make sense, however the "Touchdown Club of Columbus" got it right in 1967, when the notable organization named Nitschke as the "Top Linebacker in Football," as is evident from this one-of-a-kind offering.

1970 Ray Nitschke Game Worn, Signed Green Bay Packers Jersey. Fellow Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer Bart Starr once characterized this hard-nosed middle linebacker as the "classic example of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," a gentle giant off the field who conversely took great pleasure in doling out bone-crushing punishment to opposing ball carriers. This classic example of a late-career green Durene gamer from the 1978 Canton inductee convincingly illustrates Nitschke's rough brand of play, 13 very sizable team repairs and one large unrepaired hole, indicating hundreds of downs worth of collisions under the rule of Lombardi-successor Phil Bengston.

1973 Ray Nitschke Game Worn Green Bay Packers Jersey. Most Likely the Last Home Jersey Ever Worn by Nitschke! Amazingly, and extremely historic, this is the final home jersey ever worn by the legendary Ray Nitschke.

1973 Ray Nitschke Game Worn Green Bay Packers Jersey. Most Likely the Last Away Jersey Ever Worn by Nitschke! The late Ray Nitschke was the inspirational leader for more than a decade of one of the greatest defenses ever assembled, the 1960's Green Bay Packers. As a middle linebacker and defensive signal caller, he seemed to be in on every play - the run, the blitz, the intermediate passing game, etc. He was a warrior supreme and this late career road jersey is emblematic of his ferocious play.

1962 Green Bay Packers Team Signed Football. NFL Championship Season! Originating directly from the Green Bay Packers' historic 1962 NFL Championship season, this is one of the most complete and high-quality team-signed balls we have ever seen from the famed "Green and Gold." Dated directly to the historic year, which is what some experts refer to as Vince Lombardi's best season, players such as Bill Quinlan and Gary Barnes only played for the Packers through 1962, and the fact that each players' signatures are on this example, definitively dates this piece to that historic year.