Before the glory of being part of four Super Bowl Championships with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rocky Bleier's road was hardly an easy one, nearly losing his NFL career after his 1968 rookie season due to injuries suffered while serving in Vietnam. This bronze spike award was presented to Bleier as Xavier High School's Most Valuable Player. The cleated shoe is mounted atop a wood base measuring 14x10.5" and 1/2 inch tall. It is signed by Bleier in silver Sharpie and bears a plate inscribed, "Thom McAn Trophy, ROCKY BLEIER, Most Valuable Player, 1963 High School, Presented by the Sports Staff, Appleton Post Crescent." Included is a program from a 1978 dinner in recognition of Bleier, bearing an image of this trophy, which is an actual spike used in a 23-yard touchdown run in sophomore year.
It is always nice when an athlete makes a collection available to the public. As a collecting community, we are grateful for the opportunity to acquire rare and unique items from an athlete’s career. This one is extra special! For the first time, Rocky Bleier has made available his vast collection of memorabilia. Rocky is much more than an athlete. He is an American sports icon and hero. But even more impressive is the fact that he has been an inspiration to millions of people across the globe for his heroic battle back to the top of his profession as a football star. The items in his collection tell the story of Rocky’s fabled life. From his days at Xavier High School and his three time selection to the all-state team to his being Captain of the Notre Dame football squad to his battles and injuries sustained in the Vietnam War to his fight back to become a 4 time Super Bowl Champion to his life as a family man to the present day where he continues to inspire with his life story and overall kindness. This collection tells a miraculous story and we are thankful that we have the honor of handling it. On a final note, if you ever have a chance to meet Rocky Bleier in person, please take the opportunity. Having the chance to meet him, we can tell you that this man is the embodiment of a true American.