1965 Green Bay Packers Football
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $6,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (3:44)
GUEST: Back in 1966, I was involved with a handicapped group that was going to the all-star game, and that was held at Soldier Field, Chicago.
GUEST: And they gave us seats, or at least a position to put our wheelchairs back behind the north goalpost. Well, during the game, I was able to catch one of the extra-point footballs, and I was in cloud nine. I had two young boys at home, and this was going to be a great souvenir. Well, when the game was over and we were about to leave, I gave my ball to this... other volunteer, a young lady, and I had it in a paper sack, and I said, "Take care of this for me while I get the patients back on the bus." Well, she didn't really do that. She put it on the bus and then did something else, and somebody stole the ball. Well, I was heartbroken, of course. So I wrote a long letter to Coach Lombardi, told him what I'm telling you, and by return mail, I got this football.
APPRAISER: This is 1965 championship team. The first of three championship teams.
GUEST: Yes, that's right. They had a series of three.
APPRAISER: This is a "Duke" football.
APPRAISER: "The Duke" was the official NFL football of the time.
GUEST: That's right.
APPRAISER: Do you know where the name "The Duke" comes from?
GUEST: No, I don't.
APPRAISER: Wellington Mara, the owner of the New York Giants,
APPRAISER: his nickname was "The Duke." And when the deal was originally made with Wilson to make the footballs,
APPRAIASER: they dubbed this football "The Duke" after him.
GUEST: That's interesting.
GUEST: That's where the name comes from.
APPRAISER: Right. The NFL's actually using "The Duke" footballs today, again.
GUEST: It's still "The Duke"? Or was there a period...
APPRAISER: There was a period where they didn't, and now they do again. But "The Duke" footballs are very, very collectible, because they're from the Golden Age of football.
APPRAISER: This football represents more than just the Golden Age of football, it also represents the golden team: the Green Bay Packers of that era.
GUEST: Yes, that's right, they had a dynasty then.
APPRAISER: No more important person than Vince Lombardi, the coach, the legendary coach...
GUEST: Right. That's right.
APPRAISER: and his beautiful signature on this football right here. It's an amazing football. Let me show you some other signatures. Here we have Bart Starr, quarterback.
GUEST: Oh, yes. Right.
APPRAISER: Played for Alabama.
GUEST: He certainly did.
APPRAISER: We have Henry Jordan, who's an extremely collectible signature. He's right over here.
APPRAISER: He died quite early, and his autographs are very valuable. Now... the Green Bay Packers signed a lot of footballs. They also had footballs made with facsimile signatures on them. I don't think these are facsimiles. These are not facsimiles. These are authentic. The condition is very, very good, considering its age.
APPRAISER: The signatures are great. Now, a lot of times the ink in the pen reacted in a strange way with the leather. The signatures would basically disappear. But these haven't.
APPRAISER: They're bold and they're dark, and that's the way collectors want them.
GUEST: Well, I protected the ball. I kept it covered. It really hasn't been exposed to light much at all.
APPRAISER: Have you ever had it appraised?
GUEST: No. No, this is the first time. You know, I've shown it to friends.
GUEST: But... I've been waiting for a chance to take it to the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW just for what we're doing right now.
APPRAISER: If I were to put it in an auction, I would estimate it at $5,000 to $6,000.
APPRAISER: But I wouldn't be surprised if this football went for a lot more than that because of the condition. What a great story-- the fact that you got it from Vince Lombardi, that's an important piece of the legacy of this football.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.