On October 26, 1984, Michael Jordan made his NBA debut with the Chicago Bulls. Of the 25 ticket stubs that are still around today, there is only one known full, unused ticket from the season opener against the Washington Bullets. The historic piece of sports memorabilia comes courtesy of a former Northwestern student and Washington, D.C. native that was gifted two seats to the game by Bullets executive Jerry Sachs. With no one to take his extra ticket, he went to the game alone and held on to his spare, unused ticket for the last 38 years. The item is currently for sale as part of Heritage Auctions’ 2022 Winter Plati
1984 Michael Jordan NBA Debut Chicago Bulls Full Ticket, PSA Authentic–The Only Known The most important athletic debut of the post-war era? A strong argument could be made. Perhaps only Wayne Gretzky could challenge Michael Jordan in balloting seeking to identify the most dominant figure of his respective major sport, but once you step outside the sports arena and into the wider world of popular culture, MJ leaves The Great One in his dust. He remains one of the most recognizable humans on the planet nearly twenty years after his retirement from the NBA, a consummate winner, a builder of empires.
Ever since “The Last Dance” captivated a global audience locked in their homes during the early days of the pandemic, all things Michael Jordan have soared in value, the ultimate bull market of the hobby–pun intended. Approximately twenty-five stubs from the October 26, 1984 season opener between the Chicago Bulls and the visiting Washington Bullets are known to exist to present day, the most recent sale making global headlines when it found a new owner at $264,000 to set a new world record for a ticket. That record will be short-lived however, as this one and only known full, unused ticket from Michael Jordan’s NBA debut is expected to elevate that mark by a significant margin.
Our consignor is the man who picked it up at the “will call” window of Chicago Stadium, a student at Northwestern University about twenty miles from the arena. In his signed letter of provenance, he reports that he had grown up in the Washington, D.C. area and made the trip into the city not to see the Bulls’ number one selection in the 1984 Draft, but rather to lend support to the visiting Bullets. The young man’s father was buddies with a Bullets executive named Jerry Sachs who was able to wrangle two seats as a surprise for his son.
But just a month into his college experience, our consignor’s social circle at Northwestern was still rather small and he was unable to find a partner willing to undertake the rather cumbersome trek on public transportation to attend the game with him. And so, as if ordained by the Hobby Gods, the young man entered the arena alone, this ticket left unused in his shirt pocket, and sat beside an empty seat.
Nearly four decades later, our consignor hasn’t the foggiest recollection what happened to his ticket stub from that monumental day in American sports history, but he held onto the far more important memento that makes its hobby debut here. It shows a degree of wear at the left edge, as our lot photography will demonstrate, but otherwise it’s still a raving beauty, and any faults must be forgiven in light of its singular rarity. When the bidding clock winds down on this collecting marvel, this white whale of the Michael Jordan marketplace, it should be one heck of a show. Make sure to tune in. Encapsulated by PSA, Authentic. Letter of provenance from consignor.
Guide Value or Estimate: $300,000 – up.