Hall of Famer Jim Brown says that his 1964 NFL championship ring, which is listed for sale in an online auction, was stolen from him years ago.
“It was stolen from me many years ago, in the late 1960s,’’ the former Cleveland Browns running back told the Pioneer Press. “I’m surprised to hear that it’s publicly for sale because whoever got it should know that I didn’t give it up.’’
Lelands.com is auctioning the piece of 16-karat gold, near-mint piece of jewelry. As of this writing on Monday, there have been four bids, with the current high bid sitting at $33,275. There had been a reserve of $25,000 listed.
According to the item description, "this is the very ring presented to the immortal Jim Brown for his only world championship in the National Football League" and that it was "obtained directly from a Brown immediate family member and sold by Lelands.com in 1998."
Lelands claims that Brown himself inspected the ring and acknowledged its authenticity at that time. Further, the website states: "The ring has remained in one of the finest Cleveland sports collections since its original purchase from the 1998 Lelands auction. The provenance and chain of title is well-documented: Jim Brown to family member to Lelands to Cleveland Sport Collection auction buyer back to Lelands.com and now to you."
Brown disputes these claims.
“I’m going to see what I can do about it,’’ Brown said to the Pioneer Press.
The '64 championship was the last one in major Cleveland sports history and the only title in Brown's NFL career. He rushed for 114 yards on 27 carries and added three receptions for 37 yards in the Browns' 27-0 shutout of the Baltmore Colts.
Brown said he believes there is a police report from when the ring originally was stolen and says he would like it back.
“I’d really appreciate that,’’ Brown said. “That would be very cool.’’
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