Most-Coveted Missing Sports Memorabilia

by Rob Joyce

After an international investigation, the long search is over – Tom Brady’s game-worn jersey from February’s Super Bowl has been found. Shortly after the Patriots won their fifth Lombardi Trophy, the future Hall of Fame quarterback noticed that someone had swiped his jerseys from Super Bowl LI and XLIX, which auctioneers valued at around $500,000. Led by the FBI the threads were discovered in Mexico with an unidentified member of the media at the game. Because of the perceived value of the jerseys it was classified as a first-degree felony.

Now that this mystery has been solved, it’s on to the next one for sports memorabilia enthusiasts. There are still plenty of significant (not to mention valuable) pieces of sports history floating out there, waiting to be found:

1846 Baseball Score Sheet:

baseball score sheet Most Coveted Missing Sports Memorabilia

(Photo Credit: Ezra O. Shaw /Allsport)

June 19, 1846 is widely regarded as the first baseball game ever played between the Knickerbockers and the New Yorks, the game book is at the New York Public Library’s A.G. Spalding Baseball Collection. However, there are pages missing from the manuscript that haven’t been seen since the early 1970s. Finding these would complete the book from a landmark day in baseball history.

Muhammad Ali’s gold medal:

muhammad ali Most Coveted Missing Sports Memorabilia

(Photo by AFP/Getty Images)

Then known as Cassius Clay, he won the gold medal at the 1960 games in the light heavyweight division. Legend has it that one night the boxing great was denied service in a restaurant because he wasn’t white, and out of anger threw the gold medal into the Ohio River. For decades it’s been debated whether the events actually took place, but that medal is missing regardless.

World Cup:

world cup Most Coveted Missing Sports Memorabilia

(Photo credit: STAFF/AFP/Getty Images)

The winner of the world’s most popular sporting event receives the “FIFA World Cup Trophy” but that’s the second version of the prize. The original Jules Rimet Trophy was permanently given to Brazil after they won their third World Cup in 1970. Thirteen years later, though, four men broke into the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio and made off with the trophy. It’s believed to have been melted down.

Shot Heard Round the World:

Bobby Thomson hit one of the most famous home runs in baseball history, as his walk-off three-run blast in the decisive third-game of the playoff series against the rival Dodgers lives on in baseball lore. Thomson’s bat and jersey are in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but the ball has never been tracked down. A book and a documentary, both by Brian Biegel, explored a search of the ball, but came up unsuccessful.

Dauvray Cup:

Before the World Series, the champion of baseball received the Cup from 1887-93, named after actress Helen Dauvray, with the first team to win it three times taking permanent possession. The Boston Beaneaters achieved that success, winning three straight championships. However, the Cup disappeared shortly thereafter in 1893 – baseball historian John Thorn believes it was lost in transit between Kentucky and Boston.

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