Mid-Summer Classic Auction 2013
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
From the legendary Hall of Fame cornerback for the Detroit Lions comes this intriguing signed and inscribed game-worn helmet from 1968, his second year in the NFL for the man who was a second-round draft choice in 1967. He was named 1967's Defensive Rookie of the Year, and went on to be selected to seven Pro Bowls. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive backs in Detroit Lions history. Barney had 56 career interceptions in his 11-year career (all with the Lions), and also gained over 1,000 yards returning kickoffs and punts. In 1999, he was ranked No. 97 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. Barney has autographed the top of the right side of the helmet in striking black Sharpie, adding his No. 20 inscription and "Pro Football Hall of Fame '92" in an attractive script. That kind of biography, and the elegant autograph and inscription atop the right side of the helmet, would customarily be all the oomph needed for one artifact. But wait, there's more. This particular helmet was game-used by the Lions during the 1967 season, then quite unceremoniously repainted for use in the Pro Bowl that January following the season, going from Lions silver to a gold painted version with the NFL's logo sticker affixed to each side. Few things offer a better glimpse into the ham-and-eggs aura of the 1960's National Football League than such tales of exuberant austerity. The helmet has the two-barred faceguard, with interior showing use but intact, with taped label "Barney 20" on the inside. The helmet is in super condition, yet showing good game use to the repainted gold finish, including one area where the gold paint has chipped away to reveal the distinctive "Lions silver" underneath. There are even a couple of small chips on the blue and white adhesive tape used to create the center graphic.
Comes with a Letter of Authenticity from Lem Barney.