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1967 Official George Mikan ABA Basketball - Finest Example Known!
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $6,600
Official George Mikan ABA basketball dating from the league's first season, in 1967. This is the finest Mikan ABA ball we have ever seen, let alone handled, and its remarkable condition is directly related to its equally remarkable provenance: Our consignor purchased this ball directly from Erv Inniger, a former guard with the Minnesota Muskies (1967-1968) and Miami Floridians (1968-1969). According to our consignor, Inniger stated that this ball was used for a ceremonial tip-off during a Muskies game in 1967 and he retained it after the game as a souvenir for his personal collection. The ball remained in Inniger's sole possession until he sold it to our consignor a number of years ago. Accompanying the ball is a one-page handwritten letter from Inniger to our consignor in which he thanks him for purchasing the ball. In part: "Thank you for buying this prize basketball. This brings back some great memories for me. Enjoy it, it's special." At the time, Inniger also sent our consignor a copy of his 1967-1968 Muskies contract, which is included in the lot. This is one of three high-grade official ABA basketballs featured in this auction, all of which originate from the same world-class collection. The ball displays only modest surface wear commensurate with its brief period of use and is otherwise in spectacular Near Mint condition. Mikan was the first commissioner of the ABA and was responsible for the introduction of the three-point line and, most important, the league's signature red-white-and-blue ball. Mikan's reign as ABA commissioner only lasted two seasons, which has resulted in the extreme rarity of Mikan ABA balls today. We cannot recall having seen more than just a few Mikan ABA balls over the years, none of which even remotely compare to the near-pristine condition of this example. This is the holy grail for all ABA memorabilia collectors. It is a museum-caliber piece and one that would be a cornerstone in any advanced basketball collection. SOLD FOR $6,600
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