Spring Premier Auction 2019


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/28/2019

March 2, 1962 will forever be etched into basketball lore as the night Wilt Chamberlain did the unthinkable: 100 points in a single game. It was a home contest for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks in little Hershey, PA, with just 4,124 on hand as witnesses. No members of the New York press showed up. The game was not televised and no video footage has turned up. The only audio recording is from the 4th quarter. The colossal achievement holds an almost mythological place in sports history. Thankfully, we do have that unforgettable photo of Wilt holding up a sheet of paper marked “100,” a transcendent moment lifting The Big Dipper from human athlete to immortal superhero.

Fresh to the hobby and newly discovered comes the actual home team’s official score sheet from Wilt’s epic 100-point performance. The official scorer that evening for the Warriors was team statistician Toby DeLuca, who scored the game for Philly’s play-by-play announcer on WCAU radio, Bill Campbell. Not only did Wilt The Stilt set the single-game scoring record (Kobe’s 81 remains a distant 2nd), but the teams combined for what was, at the time, the highest scoring game in NBA history, with the Warriors beating the Knickerbockers, 169-147. The end result on paper was this busy, convoluted score sheet in multiple colors with Chamberlain’s endless row of points overflowing into teammate Guy Rodgers’ line below. This is the very score sheet precisely documented in best-selling author Gary Pomerantz’s critically acclaimed book Wilt, 1962 on page 116 – right down to DeLuca’s switch to red pencil to differentiate from Wilt’s point totals in the 2nd half. Presumably that same night, Chamberlain blessed the important document with his very own signature and “Best Wishes” inscription in blue ballpoint pen. According to PSA/DNA analysis, the era-appropriate, early 60’s autograph is done in what appears to be the same blue ballpoint pen used to tally each team’s 3rd and 4th quarter scoring totals on the sheet.

Nobody could have anticipated that history would be made that evening. The Big Dipper – whose reputation off the court was just as legendary – reportedly spent the night before partying in New York City before dropping off a lady friend at 6 a.m. Sleep deprived and hung over, he took the 8 a.m. train back to Philly to meet friends for lunch and barely made the team bus to Hershey Sports Arena. It was the Warriors’ third “home” game that season in the small chocolate factory town 85 miles outside Philadelphia, something the struggling NBA imposed to increase fan bases. Only two photographers made the trip and, with so few media members in attendance, the Warriors publicist served as a stringer for major newspapers. With five games left in the regular season, neither team had much to play for: the 2nd place Warriors were too far back to catch the Celtics and the Knicks were dead last.

Wilt’s plight to 100 began with a 23-point first quarter, including a surprising 9-for-9 from the foul line. By halftime he stood at 41 points, and in the locker room Warriors point guard Guy Rodgers suggested to Coach Frank McGwire that they keep feeding “Dip” to “see how many he could get.” The Knicks did their best to defend him, committing hard fouls and throwing triple, even quadruple-teams at him. It didn’t matter. The 7’ 1”, 275-lb. behemoth was unstoppable and relentless in his pursuit, mixing in dunks, layups and short turnaround jumpers. The 51% career free-throw shooter kept making his foul shots, too. Wilt poured in 28 in the third quarter to reach 69, well within reach of the single-game record of 78 he had set a few months prior. The crowd’s energy and anticipation grew with every basket, and with 7:51 left in the fourth quarter he got point number 79. Al Attles and his Philly teammates were passing up shots to toss it to big guy in the key. The Knicks countered by milking the shot clock and fouling other Warriors intentionally to prevent Wilt from embarrassing them even further. Chants of “Give it to Wilt!” as he blew past 80 and 90 turned into requests for 100. “Man, these people are tough,” recalled Chamberlain later. “No one has ever scored 80.” With 46 seconds to go, The Stilt reached the century mark with a short jumper, sending the crowd into a frenzy as they stormed the court. Chamberlain finished 36-63 from the field and 28-32 from the line, while grabbing 25 rebounds. He would average 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds for the 1961-62 season. Unfathomable numbers to us humans, but apparently not to Wilt.

"As outstanding as it may seem, it’s really a normal thing that I did it. You have to remember that I averaged 50 points a game that year. Players that average 16 or 17 points usually have at least one game during a season when they score 35. That’s just what I did; I doubled my average.”

This official home scorer’s sheet is one of the only well-documented artifacts from the game to surface. The Knicks’ visiting team score sheet sold for over $100,000 in 2012. Wilt’s uniform from the game remains unaccounted for, and there is serious doubt surrounding the alleged game ball that sold years ago amidst much controversy – the first sale was reneged and the lackluster result when it was re-listed certainly left much to be desired. Toby DeLuca kept the sheet he filled out that night and it remained in his possession for nearly half a century until his death in 2011. The consignor, who lost his father to cancer at age 12, met DeLuca in 1970 – then the Philadelphia 76ers public relations director. DeLuca had no children and became almost a father figure, mentoring him and inviting him to Sixers games. They remained close friends for several decades, and after Toby’s passing, our consignor received the treasured keepsake as a gift from DeLuca’s widow. She insisted our consignor have it since he was like a son to Toby.

The 8.75” by 11.5” sheet has aged naturally with light yellow toning and some minor stains on three of its corners from handling. The date “3-2-62” and location “HERSHEY” at the top as well as the player lineups (by last name) and teams in the period score boxes (“N.Y.” and “PHILA”) all appear in 5-6/10 faded black ballpoint, with “STATISTICIAN – TOBY DELUCA” neatly done in 5/10 black ink at the bottom. The two officials (“PETE D’AMBROSIO” and “WILLIE SMITH”) and player point totals come in still strong 8/10 pencil – standard color lead before the switch to red pencil to tally Rodgers’ point totals in the 3rd and 4th quarters in order to distinguish from Wilt. “WARRIORS” and “NEW YORK” with each team’s respective won-loss record as well as individual player foul totals are also done in red pencil. At the bottom of each Warriors quarter column is Wilt’s point total for that period in red pencil: “23 – 18 – 28 – 31.” The sheet remains matted and framed (11 3/4” by 14 5/8”) under glass (easily removable) in its original state as Mr. Deluca had displayed it for decades. A newspaper clipping with the complete box score from the game is taped to the back of the frame.

Comes with a detailed letter of provenance from DeLuca's close friend. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (auto. & inscription).

Check out this article by Darren Rovell (formerly of ESPN) with The Action Network.


Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $15,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $214,579
Number Bids:22
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