Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls debut ticket, Jackie Robinson MLB debut stub break records at auction

·2 min read

A couple of tickets from historic sporting events broke records Sunday for the most expensive sports ticket collectibles ever sold at auction.

The two items, a stub from Jackie Robinson's MLB debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 when he broke the color barrier and a full ticket from Michael Jordan's NBA debut in 1984 with the Chicago Bulls, each sold for almost half a million dollars in two separate listings at Heritage Auctions on Sunday.

The Jordan ticket sold for $468,000, setting a record for most expensive ticket ever sold. Later, the Robinson stub sold for $480,000, setting a new one.

Jackie Robinson at the Brooklyn Dodgers' spring training in 1956.
Jackie Robinson at the Brooklyn Dodgers' spring training in 1956.

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The previous record was $264,000 set in December for the stub of the same Bulls game. The difference between the December auction and the one Sunday was that Sunday's was a full, unused ticket, which is more of a rarity.

The owner of the Jordan ticket was Michael Cole, who was a freshman at Northwestern University in 1984 at the time of Jordan's debut. Cole wrote in his letter of provenance that he was a Washington Bullets fan and that his father surprised him with two tickets to the game at Chicago Stadium, which was on Oct. 26, 1984. Because Cole was just starting at Northwestern, he couldn't find anyone to take the trip from Evanston, Illinois, to Chicago with him, so he picked up both tickets at will call and kept the unused one.

"It's funny to me in retrospect that my primary enthusiasm for attending the game was to support my hometown team more so than witnessing the start of Michael Jordan's legendary career," Cole wrote in the letter. According to Heritage, the ticket was the only known full ticket from Jordan's debut.

Jordan, then 21, scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds with seven assists in Chicago's 106-93 victory.

The record-breaking ticket stub was from Robinson's MLB debut on April 15, 1947, a 5-3 Dodgers victory against the Braves. Robinson went hitless in the game but scored a run.

Both ticket collectibles were authenticated by Professional Sports Authenticators.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Michael Jordan, Jackie Robinson debut tickets break records at auction