Mike Eruzione knew he had the right intentions. He just wasn’t sure how the decision would be perceived.
The Winthrop, Mass., native announced last month he’ll be selling an array of memorabilia from his days as the captain of the gold-medal-winning, miracle-making 1980 U.S. Olympic team. Eruzione said he and his wife have enough to live very comfortably, but he’s doing so in order to provide for his daughters and grandchildren.
The captain of the squad that upset the Soviet Union and went on to beat Finland in the finals, Eruzione consulted with his old college coach, Jack Parker (Somerville, Mass.), on whether or not to sell his prized possessions.
“I was concerned about the perception, how people would feel about it,” Eruzione told the Boston Globe’s John Powers. “Jack looked at me and said, ‘Good for you.’ That kind of solidified it for me.”
The white, No. 21 jersey Eruzione wore the day he buried the game-winner to upend the vaunted Soviets will be part of the collection up for grabs. It’s expected to go for at least $1 million. In addition to the game-worn garb, the offerings also include his gloves and shoulder pads, his Olympic credential, the cowboy hat he wore at the opening ceremonies and more.
All in all, the auction house projects the former BU star’s Miracle on Ice artifacts will fetch over $1.5 million, which Eruzione knows will go a long way toward benefitting both his family and the Winthrop Foundation. He also knows a few other items could probably sweeten the pot: his gold medal and ring. But, you can forget about anyone ever putting a price on those.
“Those will never be sold as long as I’m alive,” the 58-year-old Eruzione said.
The “Mike Eruzione Collection” will be on the block on Feb. 23 in New York, 33 years and one day removed from USA’s triumph over the Soviets at Lake Placid.