Man Unearths Piece of Sports History From His Basement

Sometimes it’s all about being at the right place at the right time.

Former Northwestern University student Mike Cole attended Michael Jordan’s first game at the old Chicago Stadium.

After picking up his two seats at the will-call window, the other ticket sat in his shirt pocket that evening before being placed in a folder with other sports memorabilia that traveled from apartment to apartment and house to house for decades. It finally ended up in his basement at his most recent home.

Today that full unused ticket is the only known one from Jordan’s first NBA game.

Heritage Auctions in Dallas has placed it up for auction.

The bid of $250,000 as of Feb. 14. Given that a mere ticket stub from that game sold for $264,000 in 2021, a record for a sports ticket for a game already played,  the price for this one could easily clear $300,000 and set a new mark by the time the final bid is tallied on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. CT.

“I checked if full tickets are more valuable than stubs. I found out that they are,” Cole said. “When I woke up the next morning, I said to my wife, ‘I have some interesting news. In our home, we have probably the most valuable sports ticket in the world.’”

Cole reached out to a handful of auction houses and e-mailed each of them a photo of the ticket.

“Literally within a minute, my phone started ringing,” he recalled. “I was getting calls from area codes I didn’t recognize.”

Incredible story, one that makes me want to go rummaging through my basement.

You just never know what you’re going to find…

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