Thirty-five years after Jim Craig helped lead the United States hockey team to a gold medal at the 1980 Olympics, the “Miracle on Ice” goaltender is hoping to make another impossible dream come true by selling all his memorabilia from the Lake Placid Games in one 19-item lot for $5.7 million.
The lot, on sale at Lelands.com, includes Craig’s game-worn jersey from the Americans’ 4-3 stunning upset win over the Soviet Union, his Olympic gold medal and the American flag that was draped over his shoulders as he skated around the rink searching the stands for his father following the win over Finland in the gold-medal game.
Those three items alone were appraised at more than $1 million each by Lelands.com and the collection also includes Craig’s game-worn jersey from the gold-medal game and his goalie mask, pads, skates and stick from the 1980 Olympics.
“For the past 35 years, these items have been at the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Boston sports museum, the New York sports museum, and I think we’ve done a good job showing them because this moment was so big that I truly believe everyone was a part of it,” Craig told ESPN.com. “But after the 35th anniversary (in February), and after our teammate Bobby Suter died, I thought it was important to be responsible with these pieces to grow and protect the legacy for my family.”
The 58-year-old Craig, who has made a living giving motivational speeches, has a 26-year-old son and a 24-year-old daughter.
“And my wife certainly doesn’t want to see pictures of Jim Craig all over the house,” Craig joked.
Craig said he insisted on selling the collection together so that one person could buy it and continue to display it. Continuing to own the items, he said, took its toll on him.
“Unfortunately you think about this stuff getting stolen all the time,” Craig said.
According to ESPN.com, “Miracle on Ice” team member Mark Wells sold his gold medal to a private buyer for $40,000 and that buyer sold it in 2010 for $310,000. Mark Pavelich’s gold medal sold for $262,900 in 2014.
Captain Mike Eruzione insisted that he would never sell his gold medal, but in 2013 he sold his “Miracle” jersey ($657,250) and stick ($262,900) and his game-worn jersey from the gold-medal game ($286,800).
If Craig can’t find a buyer on Lelands.com, he should try Craigslist.
On a side note, this story reminded us of the movie “Miracle” and the classic speech given by Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) that was memorized by then 5-year-old Joshua Sacco.
Check out Sacco’s classic viral video below.