Mike Eruzione is selling the jersey and stick he used when he scored the winning goal for the 1980 U.S. Olympic ice hockey team over the Soviet Union, with the shirt carrying a minimum bid of $1 million.
The captain of the “Miracle on Ice” squad said he wants to raise money to help his family. He recently became a grandfather for the first time.
“I’m not broke,” Eruzione, 58, said in a brief telephone interview today. “All is well.”
The sale will include the left-handed stick he used to score the winner in the 4-3 victory over the Soviets in the semifinals at Lake Placid, New York, as well as jerseys he wore in that game and the gold-medal triumph over Finland.
Eruzione said he is auctioning the items to raise money for his three children. He has no plans to sell the gold medal, according to ESPN, which reported the auction plans on its website. Eruzione’s daughter gave birth to her first child, named Michael, last week, making him a grandfather for the first time, ESPN reported. He also has two sons.
At the request of the auction house, Eruzione said, he’s not doing formal media interviews until January. Heritage Auction House in Dallas will conduct the sale in February, he said.
The pieces will be sold as “historical” items and not sports memorabilia, Eruzione said. The opening bid for the white No. 21 jersey he wore in the game against the Soviets, dubbed the “Miracle on Ice,” will begin at $1 million, he said.
A jersey worn by Paul Henderson when he scored the winning goal in Canada’s 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union sold for $1.2 million in 2010.
The auction will also include the blue jersey Eruzione wore against Finland as well as the warm-up suit he used during the gold medal ceremony. His hockey gloves as well as other pieces of equipment will also be sold, ESPN reported.
Eruzione has worked at Boston University, where he attended college, for the past 20 years, while also making appearances as a motivational speaker. He charges $25,000 for keynote speeches.
The victory by the U.S. squad made up of college players over the Soviet Union, a team that had won the previous four Olympic hockey gold medals and outscored the U.S. 28-7 over that stretch, was voted Sports Illustrated magazine’s top sports moment of the 20th century.