Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 Point game in 1962 remains one of the most incredible accomplishments in sports history. This extraordinary grouping, offered as we near the 60th anniversary of that landmark event, features two significant souvenirs from the game, including one signed by Chamberlain on that historic day. Both items originate from the same source and have never been seen by the hobby community until now.
On March 2, 1962, our consignor, then 14 years old, accompanied his mom and dad to Hershey Arena, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to watch the Philadelphia Warriors take on the New York Knicks. As they entered the arena, little did he realize that not only would he witness Wilt Chamberlain set an NBA scoring record that almost certainly will never be broken, but he also obtained one of the most incredible souvenirs one could imagine from that historic event: a program signed by Chamberlain. He then had the foresight to save his ticket stub from the game, which represents the second item offered in this lot.
This is the first program from that game signed by Chamberlain that we have ever seen and our consignor will never forget the moment because meeting Chamberlain was a huge thrill. Prior to the game, he and his father walked down to courtside as the teams were warming in an attempt to get Chamberlain’s autograph. As he approached Chamberlain, our consignor recalls addressing him as “Mr. Chamberlain,” but Chamberlain quickly put him at ease and told him he should call him “Wilt.” His father then grabbed him under the arms and hoisted him up so he could look Chamberlain in the eye as he signed the program. Amazingly, and strictly by chance, our consignor also obtained the signature of Knicks backup century Darrall Imhoff, who was given the unenviable task of guarding Chamberlain that night. (Knicks starting center Phil Jordan was unavailable due to illness.) The third and final signature on the cover of the program is Knicks guard Sam Stith. All the signatures are beautifully scripted in blue ink, with Chamberlain’s grading 9/10, and the others 8/10. The twenty-four-page program, which features Chamberlain’s photo on the cover, is dated “Friday, March 2, 1962,” and was intended for dual use with that weekend’s NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Colts. The interior scoring page has each team’s starters checked off in pencil, and the game totals noted in ink. On the back cover, our consignor’s father kept a running total of Chamberlain’s points, noting how many he scored in each quarter, as well as recording the final score of the game (Philadelphia won 169-147). The program (7.75x10.75") displays light wear, including a few light surface wrinkles to the covers, two paperclip impressions at the top of the front cover, and a few ink marks throughout. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall.
The second piece in this collection, which would otherwise be the highlight in any other auction setting, is the ticket stub from the game. PSA has encapsulated the stub and graded it VG 3 (submitted by Lelands). This is one of only thirteen examples of this ticket stub listed in the PSA Population. Only two are graded at this level, with just one graded higher. The low population report is not surprising, as only 4,124 fans attended the game. Given their rarity, it appears few stubs were saved despite Chamberlain's record-setting performance. This is the first we have ever offered, and others are seldom seen at auction, especially in this high grade.
Chamberlain’s 100-Point game is still talked about today as the greatest feat ever performed on the hardwood, sometimes in mythical tones when one considers that the three-point line wasn’t adopted by the NBA until 1979. These two items, one of which may be unique, commemorate that historic achievement and constitute what we believe is one of the most important Pro Basketball collections ever offered at auction. Full LOA from PSA.