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    Description

    1972 Johnny Unitas Game Worn Cleats from His Last Game with Baltimore Colts. For a generation of American football fans, Johnny Unitas was a hero without equal. He possessed the manner of a leader, both on and off the field, that was the model for every athlete, coach and fan during the 1950's and 1960's. What Jerry West was to the NBA and Mickey Mantle was to Major League Baseball, Johnny U was to the NFL.

    The mold for the gold standard modern quarterback was cast during his rookie season with the Baltimore Colts in 1956. From there, the legend was born, blossomed and flourished as he and the Colts were perennial contenders into the 1970's. When he finally retired, Unitas had garnered ten Pro Bowl selections and four NFL MVP's, while leading Baltimore to three NFL titles and one Super Bowl championship.

    When one thinks of Johnny Unitas, three things immediately come to mind: quarterback, Baltimore Colts, and black high-top cleats.

    On offer here are Johnny U's classic high-tops worn throughout his final season in a Colts uniform, inclusive of his last game representing the franchise for which he was best known. It was also during that final game on December 16, that he threw his last touchdown pass (to Ed Hinton) as a Colt.

    After the season, Unitas gave the cleats to local jeweler and friend, Larry Beck, who kept and cherished them for the rest of his life. When Unitas passed away in 2002, the cleats were placed on the sidelines during the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as part of a moving ceremony honoring him (See Getty Images # 1391151).

    The black leather, size 10, high-top cleats have "Riddell 10 D 72" punched into the tongues, with "10D" stamped inside the right ankle and "19" written on the insoles of each shoe in vintage black marker. They exhibit tremendous game wear and even have dirt and turf caked onto the soles from Unitas' last steps on the gridiron as a Baltimore Colt more than forty years ago. Shoes are accompanied by a plastic and wood base display case, with an engraved plaque (one edge of base is broken). A truly one-of-a-kind, timeless artifact from an upper echelon Hall of Famer. Letter of provenance from the Beck family. LOA from Heritage Auctions.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2016
    17th-19th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,387

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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