Olympic skater putting his 'Miracle on Ice' gold medal on auction block

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 18, 2014 - 6:57 AM

Team USA member Mark Pavelich, an Iron Ranger, is selling his 1980 gold medal through a Dallas auction house.

hide

FILE -- Mark Pavelich on the ice in March 1987.

Photo: Donald Black, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

One of the “Miracle on Ice” gold medals is about to go on the auction block.

Mark Pavelich, an Iron Ranger who helped Team USA beat the Soviets on the way to Olympic gold in 1980, is selling his medal through a Dallas auction house.

Bids, first online and by e-mail, will be taken beginning April 25 through Heritage Auctions, which bills itself as the world’s largest auctioneer of collectibles. Bidding then goes live and ends May 16.

There has been one other gold medal from that team auctioned, according to Heritage. That one was awarded to Mark Wells, who was dealing with health problems and sold it to a private buyer for $40,000. That buyer then commissioned Heritage, which sold it in 2010 for $310,700.

Bidding for Pavelich’s medal will start at $62,500, but Heritage sports director Chris Ivy sees $250,000 as “the floor” with “a lot of spirit bidding beyond that.”

“We were contacted by Mark, probably 18 months ago,” Ivy said. “He was curious about the value, initially.”

Bidding opened for Wells’ medal at $100,000, Ivy said, adding that the threefold final sales figure paid by the still-anonymous winner “was a pretty surprising and strong number.”

Ivy said Pavelich, 56, is not in any financial distress. “He’s doing fine,” Ivy said. “It’s something that he wants to help his kids out with education, the trust and that kind of thing.”

Pavelich earned two assists in the stirring semifinal victory in Lake Placid over the Soviet Union, one of them on the game-winning goal by fellow forward Mike Eruzione.

“He won it, he knows it and he doesn’t need the medal to prove that,” Eruzione, the team’s captain, said in an interview Thursday. “You hate to see it, but we are all grown men. Good luck to him, and I hope it means a lot of money.”

Eruzione said he expects other team members will join Wells and Pavelich in cashing in their medal, but as for himself: “I will never sell my medal as long as I’m alive.”

He said he sold off all of his other Olympic mementos, jerseys included, and keeps the medal in a bank safe deposit box because “it’s worth a lot of money. I can’t display it anywhere.”

The medals were produced by Tiffany & Co. The front displays a raised torch framed between the words “XIII Olympic Winter Games” and the Olympic rings. The reverse includes engraved lettering and in Pavelich’s case reads: “Ice Hockey, Mark Pavelich.” The original presentational case is included in the sale.

Heritage says that the auction winner also will receive a “letter of provenance” from Pavelich, verifying ownership.

The “Miracle on Ice” team’s feat has ranked among the greatest Olympic accomplishments in U.S. history, in particular because of the all-amateur team’s unthinkable victory over the heavily favored and well-financed Soviets.

Pavelich was among many Minnesotans on the team and its staff, which was coached by the legendary Herb Brooks.

Their story was turned into the Hollywood hit “Miracle” in 2004.

Pavelich is from Eveleth, skated for the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs and played in the NHL mostly for the New York Rangers and then the Minnesota North Stars and finally the San Jose Sharks for two games in the 1991-1992 season. He now lives near Lutsen and works in land development.

  • related content

  • One of the “Miracle on Ice” gold medals is going up for auction.

  • One of the ‘ÄúMiracle’Äù gold medals is going up for auction. { 1980 U.S. Hockey “Miracle on Ice” Olympic Gold Medal Presented to Mark Pavelich. They finally made a movie about it in 2004. It had to be done, and it’s frankly surprising that it took almost a quarter century for “Miracle” to hit the big screen, Kurt Russell providing star power as coach Herb Brooks. If it hadn’t actually happened, Hollywood screenwriters should have dreamt it up, the archetypical David vs. Goliath story, a ragtag band of American amateurs facing the Soviet elite, set against the backdrop of the...

  • One of the ‚ÄúMiracle‚Äù gold medals is going up for auction. { 1980 U.S. Hockey "Miracle on Ice" Olympic Gold Medal Presented to Mark Pavelich. They finally made a movie about it in 2004. It had to be done, and it's frankly surprising that it took almost a quarter century for "Miracle" to hit the big screen, Kurt Russell providing star power as coach Herb Brooks. If it hadn't actually happened, Hollywood screenwriters should have dreamt it up, the archetypical David vs. Goliath story, a ragtag band of American amateurs facing the Soviet elite, set against the backdrop of the...

  • Mark Pavelich, pro hockey. See item Sun Feb 23, 2003, Star Tribune, page B1 rail. File photo courtesy of the New York Rangers pro hockey team (from the 1981-82 season).

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 4 FINAL
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
NY Mets 4 FINAL
Washington 5
Boston 8 FINAL
Minnesota 9
Toronto 0 FINAL
Baltimore 5
Oklahoma City 105 FINAL
Chicago 108
Dallas 75 FINAL
Portland 94
Calgary 4 FINAL(SO)
Boston 3
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Washington 1
Toronto 2 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Dallas 4 FINAL(SO)
Florida 3
NY Islanders 4 FINAL
Nashville 3
Vancouver 2 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 3
Montreal 3 FINAL(SO)
Los Angeles 4
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
Siena 71
Holy Cross 83 FINAL
Bucknell 90
Western Ky 88 FINAL
Charlotte 84
Navy 62 FINAL
Colgate 72
Temple 70 FINAL
East Carolina 56
UAB 59 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 62
Boston Univ 64 FINAL
Lafayette 89
American Univ 68 FINAL
Lehigh 62
Wisconsin 76 FINAL
Minnesota 63
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Saint Peters 63
Arkansas 78 FINAL
South Carolina 74
Morehead State 76 FINAL
UT Martin 65
USC Upstate 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 62
Lipscomb 57 FINAL
North Florida 71
Southern Ill 55 FINAL
Missouri State 48
Texas State 64 FINAL
Appalachian St 67
SC State 62 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 72
Delaware State 104 FINAL
Coppin State 92
Middle Tennessee 54 FINAL
FIU 59
Texas-Arlington 64 FINAL
Ga Southern 76
Norfolk State 80 FINAL
Hampton 69
NC A&T 58 FINAL
NC Central 69
Savannah State 57 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Southern Miss 61 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 72
Marshall 50 FINAL
Old Dominion 67
Rice 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 74
South Alabama 81 FINAL
Arkansas State 76
Alabama State 70 FINAL
Grambling St 46
Alabama A&M 54 FINAL
Jackson State 72
Sam Houston St 67 FINAL
Lamar 61
Georgia State 58 FINAL
ULM 50
Central Arkansas 70 FINAL
Nicholls 77
Portland State 51 FINAL
Northern Ariz 58
Southern U 77 FINAL
Prairie View 73
Alcorn State 73 FINAL
Texas Southern 94
Houston Baptist 72 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 85
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Louisiana 75
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
New Orleans 85
California 60 FINAL
Arizona 99
Memphis 54 FINAL
Connecticut 53
VA Commonwealth 55 FINAL
Davidson 82
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Sacramento St 65 FINAL
Southern Utah 69
Northwestern St 66 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 92
North Texas 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 83
Colorado 64 FINAL
Washington 47
Idaho 63 FINAL
Weber State 74
Abilene Christian 52 FINAL
Incarnate Word 64
Eastern Wash 85 FINAL
Idaho State 81
Marist 80 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Eastern Ill 64 FINAL
Belmont 97
Bradley 52 FINAL
Drake 50
Cal State Fullerton 62 FINAL
UC Irvine 68
CS-Northridge 58 FINAL
Long Beach State 69
UC Riverside 59 FINAL
UC Davis 61
Stanford 62 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Utah 67 FINAL
Washington St 59
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 62 FINAL
UCLA 80
FIU 30 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
SC State 57 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 56
Delaware State 51 FINAL
Coppin State 80
Portland 58 FINAL
Santa Clara 66
Norfolk State 49 FINAL
Hampton 64
Florida Atlantic 56 FINAL
UAB 59
NC A&T 67 FINAL
NC Central 46
Savannah State 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 51
Virginia Tech 51 FINAL
Pittsburgh 45
Central Arkansas 43 FINAL
Nicholls 53
Houston Baptist 48 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 73
Gardner-Webb 70 FINAL
Radford 56
Georgia 75 FINAL
Missouri 64
Old Dominion 67 FINAL
Marshall 55
Ark-Little Rock 68 FINAL
Louisiana 66
South Alabama 60 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Georgia State 66 FINAL
ULM 61
Sam Houston St 73 FINAL
Lamar 92
SE Louisiana 75 FINAL
New Orleans 84
Northwestern St 45 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 56
Alabama A&M 58 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Alabama State 68 FINAL
Grambling 62
Southern U 78 FINAL
Prairie View 50
Alcorn State 55 FINAL
Texas Southern 73
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 54 FINAL
Mercer 75
Abilene Christian 72 FINAL
Incarnate Word 62
La Salle 60 FINAL
Rhode Island 65
Illinois 71 FINAL
Nebraska 86
TX-San Antonio 60 FINAL
Rice 49
Valparaiso 55 FINAL
Oakland 70
Missouri State 65 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Georgia Tech 64 FINAL
(15) North Carolina 84
Charlotte 72 FINAL
Western Ky 80
Texas-El Paso 69 FINAL
North Texas 61
Wichita State 77 FINAL
Evansville 63
Loyola-Chicago 64 FINAL
Northern Iowa 69
Bradley 70 FINAL
Drake 86
Presbyterian 62 FINAL
High Point 75
Vanderbilt 61 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 67
Colorado 75 FINAL
USC 63
San Francisco 74 FINAL
Pacific 64
Idaho State 58 FINAL
Eastern Washington 62
Weber State 42 FINAL
Idaho 71
Purdue 78 FINAL
Minnesota 82
Cal-Irvine 54 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 66
Long Beach St 60 FINAL
CS-Northridge 77
UC Davis 56 FINAL
UC-Riverside 61
Northern Ariz 79 FINAL
Portland State 62
Southern Utah 73 FINAL
Sacramento St 107
Hawaii 60 2nd Half
UC Santa Barbara 36
Utah 60 2nd Half 3:21
Washington 64
BYU 63 2nd Half 0:55
St Marys-CA 62

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close