The only known game-worn Jim Brown football helmet in existence will highlight GUU Auctions' fall offerings scheduled to run now through Thursday, November 12.
Worn by Jim Brown while at Syracuse University, it sat undisturbed for years but now what Game Used Universe Auction Director Robert Harvell calls "the holy grail of football helmets" is on the auction block and not surprisingly carries a minimum bid of $25,000.
The helmet was boxed and put away in the attic of a Syracuse home for 45 years before it was obtained by the consignors eight years ago. In recent years, it had been on loan to the College Football Hall of Fame, featured in Sports Illustrated and picked up by the Associated Press and USA Today.
The helmet was originally given to the father of a young Syracuse family by a close friend of former SU Head Coach legend Ben Schwartzwalder shortly after the 1956 season. It was a gift to an expectant father, who put it away for what he was sure to be his new son, but who instead turned out to be a bouncing baby girl. The helmet stayed tucked away in the family attic where it remained until the daughter, now grown and caring for her elderly father, discovered it just where he had put it more than four decades earlier.
Jim Brown" and "44" is written in aged ink on the inside of the helmet, with a manufacturer's date stamp indicating a 1956 build. It's believed other notations inside the helmet as well as extra padding indicate the helmet was re-issued to an incoming freshman player after Brown graduated, a typical practice during the era.
Brown's Syracuse career was capped by a 1957 Cotton Bowl victory in which he ran for yardage, passed for yardage, returned kickoffs, returned punts, kicked off, kicked extra points and played defense while scoring 21 of Syracuse's 27 points and MVP honors. Prior to the 1957 Cotton Bowl game, Brown finished the regular season of his senior year with a performance for the ages in which he scored six touchdowns and kicked seven extra points.
Brown continued his football career with the Cleveland Browns and remains on a short list of the NFL's all-time greatest running backs. "This is simply an amazing piece," said Harvell of Jim Brown helmet. "It's obviously a museum-quality item and the perfect piece to showcase as we kick off our new auction site."
Along with Jim Brown's game worn helmet GUU Auctions will also offer hundreds of other exceptional sports memorabilia pieces in their fall auction including Reggie Jackson's personal vintage Corvette, various championship rings, a Mickey Mantle rookie card, a World Series trophy and a bounty of other game used bats, jerseys and uniforms.
GUU Auctions is a division of Game Used Universe, Inc. which was created in 2005 with a mission of helping game used collectors make more informed decisions about items they may be interested in purchasing. The goal of GUU Auctions is to create an environment that is fully transparent in terms of its protocols while also providing collectors with all the information they need to make educated decisions about the legitimacy of the items in this auction. Collectors know they can trust GUU Auctions and that trust is translating to GUU Auctions becoming one of the fastest growing auction houses in the sports memorabilia industry.