A game-used ball from the fabled Pottsville Maroons game against the Notre Dame All-Stars in 1925 will hit the auction block next week. And it could bring anywhere between $20,000 to $60,000.
The ball is currently in the possession of Memorabilia.Expert BidAMI Auctions in Las Vegas.
“I’m so excited about the football,” Kieta, a memorabilia expert for the company, said in an interview with us Friday. “I can’t even believe it was mapped back that far and it’s in such good condition.”
1925 Pottsville Maroons vs. Notre Dame All-Stars Game Ball Up for Auction
Right now, the photography team at the auction house is doing some final preparations before the Maroons game-used football is put up for an online auction at their website starting next week.
Memorabilia.Expert BidAMI Auctions specializes in sports, Hollywood, and Vegas memorabilia.
Kieta tells us that her company is also working on finalizing some of the authenticating of the football. But she has no reason to believe it’s not the real deal.
Her company came into possession of the ball from the Ginley family, who submitted it. The Ginleys, she said, ran a mattress store in Schuylkill County and the Maroons would actually sleep there from time to time.
With the ball comes some provenance to prove that it’s authentic. That includes a newspaper clipping with the mattress store owner holding the ball from the fabled game.
“In the article, Ginley is holding the football. You can match the football that he is holding in the article to the spots on the football,” Kieta added.
Her company is looking closer at writing on the ball that she believes could be a list of the games the Maroons played during its historic 1925 NFL season.
1925 Pottsville Maroons NFL Season and the Stolen Championship
If you’re not familiar with the story of the 1925 Pottsville Maroons, here’s a brief summary.
Pottsville finished the NFL season with a 10-2 record and was declared World Champions. The final game they played on their NFL schedule was against the Chicago Cardinals. Pottsville won that game, played in December at Comiskey Park in Chicago, by a score of 21-7.
Buoyed by that, the Maroons wanted to prove their dominance on the gridiron and decided to play a game against the Notre Dame All Stars – featuring the famed Four Horsemen – the following week. But rather than play that game here in Schuylkill County, at their home field at the current site of Kings Village in Minersville, they played at the home site of the Frankford Yellow Jackets (now the Philadelphia Eagles).
A crowd of 10,000 packed into Shibe Park to watch the NFL champs take on the Fighting Irish and saw the Maroons come away with a 9-7 win.
The NFL reportedly warned the Maroons not to play that exhibition game and the Yellow Jackets protested once the Maroons ownership walked away with the gate money from that game.
So, in retaliation, the NFL stripped the Maroons of their 1925 title. The league then allowed the Cardinals to play a hastily arranged game to come out with a better record and then awarded the title to them, as they finished with a better winning percentage than Pottsville.
Pottsville has unsuccessfully tried to get the title back from the Cardinals, who now claim the 1925 title with a banner hanging at their new stadium in Arizona, twice.
Auction Starts Next Week
There are very few artifacts remaining from the 1925 Pottsville Maroons. And this game-used ball from the team’s most infamous game surely will attract the attention of local collectors as well as NFL history collectors.
Kieta says the bidding will go live some time next week on their website and it will end on Aug. 29.
The auction house will post more photos of the ball once the bidding starts but you can check out this video they posted on Friday: