Spring Premier Auction 2020

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/2/2020

The “Miracle on Ice” – USA Hockey’s stunning victory over USSR at the 1980 Winter Olympics – will forever endure as one of, if not, the greatest upsets in sports history. After years of complete dominance by the Soviets – they had won gold in five of the previous six Games – the world expected much of the same in Lake Placid, NY. On paper, it was David vs. Goliath – an intimidating group of tough, highly-skilled veterans with years of international and professional experience against an raw American squad of young amateur athletes. In an exhibition game between the two at Madison Square Garden just days before the start of the Olympics, USSR displayed their dominance with a 10-3 drubbing.

But Americans recovered from the “Massacre at MSG” and found their groove in the official tournament. After tying Sweden in the opener of Group Play, the United States reeled off four straight victories, advancing to the Medal Round to face the Soviets. It was a seesaw game, the first period ending in a 2-2 tie and then the Soviets pulling ahead 3-2 in the second. In the third period, USA scored two goals while somehow holding the Soviets scoreless to win it 4-3 and shock the world. As the crowd counted down the final seconds, TV announcer Al Michaels uttered one of the most memorable phrases in broadcast history: “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” Often lost in this Cold War classic was that USA still had to play Finland the following day in the Finals for the gold medal. In true underdog fashion, the Americans came back from a 2-1 deficit to take down the Fins 4-2 and complete their miraculous journey.

On a team of unlikely heroes, perhaps the most important was goaltender Jim Craig. Just a year removed from Boston University, Craig stopped 36 of USSR’s 39 shots in the Semifinals, completely shutting the Big Red Machine down in the final frame. His sheer determination shined brightest in the game’s closing minutes as he made a barrage of incredible saves to preserve USA’s precarious one-goal lead. Without Jim Craig, there would have been no miracle.

Presented here are the very skates worn by Jim Craig during the entire Olympic tournament – a total of seven games – including the “Miracle on Ice” and Gold Medal Final. The Bauer Supreme 49 skates come in size 11 with Craig’s uniform number "30" marked on the bottom of each in black pen. The firm leather boots with protective white encasings and taped blades show heavy wear, as well they should with the level of punishment each has taken. Craig has blessed each skate in bold blue marker, autographing the left and inscribing “1980 Gold” on the right. This is, without question, the most historically significant pair of skates known to exist, a holy grail among all hockey and Olympic artifacts in the hobby.

Includes a letter of provenance from Jim Craig and full LOA from Beckett (A31077) for the autograph. Getty images 81374847, 104066934, 1013917266, 1030695400, 1030695408 and 1131695953 offer great shots of these skates in action against USSR, Finland, etc.

Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $10,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $97,710
Number Bids: 9
Auction closed on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
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