Perhaps the Canadians considered the Henderson jersey to be more of a national treasure and feared it falling into the wrong hands, such as those of one of the card companies who may have been tempted to cut it up into pieces and make trading cards out of it. Or perhaps there were simply two very well off people who really, really wanted Henderson's jersey and were willing to go to great lengths to acquire it. In the end, Henderson's jersey was secured by a benefactor, Mitchell Goldhar of Toronto, who obtained the jersey from it's American owner, and not only returned the jersey to Canada, but then sent the iconic jersey on a national tour of Great White North.
While there is no denying that Henderson's jersey is of the highest significance, arguably near to or even on par with Eruzione's jersey, there is no way we'd ever deem it to be worth twice that of Eruzione's. Case in point, the IIHF ranked the Miracle on Ice as the #1 story of the century and Game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series as #2, which you would think would put both jerseys on relatively even footing, value-wise.
scored the winning goal in the Miracle on Ice
Among the other items in the auction, the results were as follows:
While the blue jersey went for more than it's $200.000 estimate and the stick surprised by going for more than twice it's $100,000 pre-sale estimate, there clearly must be a certain level of disappointment on the part of Heritage Auctions and Eruzione and his his family when the white jersey failed to even approach the pre-sale estimate of a million dollars, particularly with Henderson's jersey as a yardstick for such a significant, high end jersey, particularly in light of just how rare the jerseys are (a 20 man roster) and how few of them have been offered for sale - Eruzione's being only the third white one and fifth overall (counting his blue one sold today) in 33 years.
Eruzione with his 1980 jerseys and the stick used to score his famous goal
Honestly, as we stated in our preview article, we fully expected this jersey to surpass the Henderson jersey and would not have been surpassed to see it reach the $2 million mark and didn't think $3 million was out of the question if two or more determined buyers just had to have it, which is all you need at an auction to turn heads, something this auction apparently did not attract.
With Eruzione's jersey having now sold for "just" $657,250 and Ken Morrow's similar one selling for $104,328 one year ago, perhaps the Henderson jersey is the anomaly and not the benchmark after all.
It will be interesting to find out who the buyer was, for not only the white jersey but the blue one as well, and what their intentions are for the jerseys.
In the end, we feel the white jersey still went for less than it should have, and so does Heritage based on their pre-sale estimate, and that some day in the not-too-distant future, the buyer of the white jersey will be able to realize a healthy profit from their apparently well timed purchase. Consider that Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall paid $451,000 for a Honus Wagner T-206 baseball card in 1991 and the card sold in 2007 for $2.8 million.
That's assuming the buyer does not donate the white Eruizone jersey to a hall of fame or museum and it survives being cut into pieces by a card company…