Pete Maravich (1947-1988) played the game of basketball like no other. An expert ball handler and pinpoint shooter, Maravich played for his father Press at Louisiana State University, still reigning as the all-time NCAA Division I scorer with 3,667 points and a 44.2 points per game average. Maravich acquired his famous nickname in high school, where it was observed that he shot the ball from his side, as if brandishing a pistol, hence the moniker "Pistol Pete." Following his days at LSU, Maravich went on to become a four-time All Star in the NBA, where he played for the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Jazz and Boston Celtics. Maravich, who died at age 40 of a heart attack brought on by a rare congenital heart defect, was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.
Here are ten valuable Pete Maravich basketball memorabilia items that are sure to excite sports collectibles buffs. Pistol Pete Maravich rides again!
Pete Maravich 1970-71 Topps Rookie Basketball Card
Pete Maravich's rookie card is entry #123 in the 1970-71 Topps basketball set. The Pistol is pictured as a forward for the Atlanta Hawks. One example in graded/certified SGC 92 near mint-mint+ 8.5 condition sold at auction for $657.25.
Pete Maravich 1977 New Orleans Jazz Player's Contract
A 1977 12-page NBA player's contract with the New Orleans Jazz – signed twice by Pete Maravich – fetched a top bid of $4,033.13 at auction.
Pete Maravich 68-Point Game Basketball
On February 25, 1977, at the Louisiana Superdome, Pete Maravich of the New Orleans Jazz scored 68 points against Walt "Clyde" Frazier and the New York Knicks, a game telecast by New York City's WOR. The official Wilson NBA ball from that historic game – once the property of Pete's widow Jackie Maravich – sold at auction for a staggering $131,450.
Pete Maravich Signed Index Card
Pete Maravich autographs are always in demand. A white index card – signed "'Pistol Pete' Maravich" in blue sharpie – brought $448.13 at auction.
Pete Maravich 1971-72 Topps Basketball Card
Pete Maravich of the Atlanta Hawks appears as card #55 in the 1971-72 Topps psychedelic basketball series. One example in graded/certified SGC 96 mint 9 condition sold at auction for $155.35.
Pete Maravich 1967 LSU Freshman Yearbook
Pete Maravich came to Louisiana State University in 1966 to play basketball for his father Press Maravich. Pete's 1967 freshman year LSU yearbook, which features the Pistol as a young, rising college hoops star, brought $77.68 at auction.
Pete Maravich Signed Personal Check
Collectors love signed personal checks, which almost always guarantee a genuine autograph. An August 30, 1984, Bankers Trust of Louisiana check made out to Jim Thompson for $500 and signed by Pete Maravich in blue ballpoint pen sold at auction for $388.38.
Pete Maravich 1987 Handwritten Letter
A December 21, 1987, handwritten one-page letter from Pete Maravich penned just two weeks before his untimely death in a pickup basketball game on January 5, 1988, illustrates his deep religious faith. This letter brought a top bid of $2,390 at auction.
Pete Maravich Autographed The Sporting News Cover
Pete Maravich of the New Orleans Jazz graced the cover of the October 29, 1977, The Sporting News. An autographed cover of that memorable edition brought $836.50 at auction.
Pete Maravich Game-Used 1967-68 LSU Jersey
During his playing days at Louisiana State Pistol Pete Maravich was the hottest thing in college basketball. The NCAA rules of the day prevented Maravich from playing varsity ball his freshman year, but the following season Pete ascended to the big dance, so to speak, tossing in 1,138 points for an average of 43.8 per game. Pistol Pete's historic #23 LSU Rawlings-made jersey from his 1967-68 sophomore season sold at auction for $89,625.
Copyright © 2012 William J. Felchner. All rights reserved.