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    A "Miracle" in the making...

    1980 Herb Brooks Player File and Day Planner Notebooks for US Olympic Hockey Team. It's one of the great truths of athletic competition--Championships are won in the preparation. Another, a phrase coined by Hall of Fame baseballer Leo Durocher--"Nice guys finish last." Brooks was out to win a Gold Medal, not a popularity contest, and he took a Machiavellian approach to leadership of American sports' most celebrated underdog. "When he passed away there were hundreds of players at his funeral and every one of them would tell you they'd play for him tomorrow," explained Rob McClanahan, who spent seven years under Brooks at the University of Minnesota, the US Olympic team and the New York Rangers. "He was a winner and that's what you play sports for. But, candidly, I was afraid of him."

    Presented is a three-volume set that provides unprecedented insight into the construction of the greatest sports story in American history, Brooks personal notes that address everything from assembly of the player roster, to practice and competition scheduling, to the lengthy victory lap of banquets and television appearances as a conquering hero in the aftermath of the Lake Placid Games.

    With literally hundreds of pages of primarily handwritten notes, the breadth of the contents defies comprehensive assessment, and we encourage interested bidders to attend lot viewing in our Dallas and New York offices for the most effective means of evaluation.

    One notebook is comprised entirely of "US Olympic Hockey Questionnaire" forms, effectively player resumes from those competing for team membership. Most of the names that would become part of Olympic lore are present: Eruzione, Craig, Morrow, Christoff, Silk. Each is filled out in the hand of the player, occasionally with a typed or handwritten letter. All are neatly filed alphabetically in a blue three-ring binder reading "USOC Player Info" on the spine and affixed with a 1980 US Olympics Hockey Team sticker on the cover.

    The second volume represents Brooks' day planner, beginning with an autographed identification page and followed by dozens of heavily notated pages packed with practice times, phone numbers (including that of Al Michaels, who would supply the famous "Do you believe in miracles?!" television call), and the notation "L. Placid" on the historic February 1980 dates. Pages from a second, smaller day planner include results of the various games, with Brooks writing "Game vs. Russia, @ W 4-3!" on the February 22nd page. Multiple letters to Brooks requesting his appearance at various events are tucked into the later pages. Brooks' monogram appears on the lower right corner of the notebook cover.

    The third notebook is arguably the most compelling, relating primarily to the formation of the Miracle team. We even find Brooks' personal copy of a 1978 letter promoting his own candidacy for the 1980 US Hockey team coaching position and scores of pages of team rosters heavily notated, presumably to indicate his interest in various athletes. Tucked into the notebook is a folder containing more player studies and scheduling forms for various team events, another 1980 day planner covering all events of the year 1980 including the Olympics, and finally the official Olympic Games booklet issued only to team personnel compiling all statistics and results from the Lake Placid tournament.

    As constant companions during the preparation, the realization, and the aftermath of the Miracle on Ice, these notebooks are practically sacred texts of the church of American athletics, and an inspiration for anyone needing a reminder of the capacity of the human spirit.

    "What is courage? Let me tell you what I think it is. An indefinable quality that makes a man put out that extra something, when it seems there is nothing else to give. I dare you to be better than you are." Pre-certified by PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication. Letter of provenance from the Brooks family.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,870

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

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