Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    1902 Inaugural Rose Bowl Program. Presented here is one of the most significant collegiate football artifacts ever to reach the auction block, and only the second example of the very first Rose Bowl program to surface in the hobby in recent memory. The first such example made history in November of 2003, when a result of $35,500 made it the priciest non-baseball sports program ever sold.

    While the Tournament of Roses had begun on New Year's Day 1890, it had always operated exclusively as a floral festival, growing from humble beginnings as a community event, to a statewide attraction, and eventually to nationwide fame. It was largely by coincidence that the festival happened to coincide in 1902 with a Michigan football team barnstorming tour of California, and it was decided by those in positions of influence that a post-season football game would make a nice addition to the event. The local Stanford University team was chosen to be the Wolverines' willing victims.

    The eventual result of forty-nine to nothing in Michigan's favor could, rather remarkably, be considered a moral victory of sorts for the Stanford Cardinals, as the undefeated Wolverines had racked up 501 points of offense while giving up not a single point during their ten-game regular season. It still came as quite a disappointment to the overwhelmingly pro-Stanford crowd, and it is surmised that this embarrassing result had some bearing on the fact that it would be another fourteen years before football would again become part of the Tournament of Roses festivities.

    Now well past the century mark in age, this historic program for that first Rose Bowl Game is prepared to elevate one serious collector to the elite level of the hobby. Beginning with the black card stock cover, embossed with golden lettering reading, "Official Program, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, New Year's Day 1902," we enter to find forty pages of thrilling text and photographs dedicated to the various events of the day, including several pages dedicated to the historic football game. These feature a Michigan team photo, schedules and results of each team's seasons, a fine photographic portrait of the Michigan team captain, the opposing line-ups, and a diagram of the field with player positions.

    While condition is not pristine, any flaws must be forgiven when considering the intense rarity of the piece. The program remains complete with no noteworthy damage to the interior pages themselves, and only issues of binding to report. The front and rear covers have become disattached, and remnants of tape to remedy this issue and chipped corners are visible today. Several of the interior pages have likewise come loose, but again it must be stressed that none have been lost. For a publication over one hundred years of age, the program presents remarkably well.

    Small variations between this program and the one that sold in 2003 (ours reads "Official Program" rather than "Souvenir Program," and has no price on the cover) lead us to believe that this example was presented to VIP's as opposed to having been sold to the masses. In that regard, we believe that this specimen is both scarcer and more desirable than the previous sale's. Of course for such a fabulously rare and valuable artifact such differentiations are little more than hair-splitting. We don't expect you'll see either style again any time soon.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    5th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,979

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold on May 5, 2007 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item
    Coming soon:

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 09/27/2021

    Luxury Real Estate
    Opens about 08/06/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 09/24/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/28/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/29/2021

    Sports Collectibles
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 09/24/2021

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/07/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 09/30/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/11/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/08/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/13/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/07/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/15/2021

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 10/22/2021

    Manuscripts
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Musical Instruments
    Opens about 10/12/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/19/2021

    Photography
    Opens about 10/20/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/22/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/21/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/14/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/11/2021

    Space
    Opens about 10/25/2021

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/17/2021

    Currency
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Silver
    Opens about 10/26/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/26/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/27/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/27/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/29/2021

    Sports Collectibles
    Opens about 10/28/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Movie Posters
    Opens about 10/29/2021

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/24/2021

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 3 days left to consign to the 2021 November 18 - 20 Fall Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    From the outset and my initial contact with you at Heritage I have been treated courteously. You have taken extra care in assuring me that the experience would be a positive one.
    Samuel Finz,
    Philomont, VA
    View More Testimonials

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search