NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain, a.k.a. “The Big Dipper” and “Wilt the Stilt,” did everything big. Standing 7′ 1″ tall, the late center was an unstoppable force on the basketball court and his crowning individual achievement occurred early in his career. On March 2, 1962, at the age of 26, Chamberlain poured in a still-standing, NBA-record 100 points in a single game. The contest, which pitted Chamberlain’s then-Philadelphia Warriors against the visiting New York Knicks, was held in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in front of a small crowd of 4,124 onlookers. The home team’s official scoresheet from that game, which Chamberlain signed and inscribed in blue ink, sold Sunday morning for $214,579. It’s a remarkable auction price realized for a remarkable piece of sports history.
The online auction, hosted by SCP Auctions, secured 22 bids on the fresh-to-the-hobby scoresheet. Estimated to go for more than $100,000, the autographed piece – which was certified by PSA’s Principal Autograph Authenticator Kevin Keating – sold for more than twice that amount, showing once again that the allure of authentic signed memorabilia from top sports idols continues to thrive.
“Based on the ink and Wilt’s writing style, the signature and inscription [“Best Wishes”] are vintage and possibly date to the scoresheet’s origin,” said Keating.
SCP’s Auction Director Brendan Wells added: “Wilt’s 100-point game is widely considered the single greatest individual feat in sports history. Few mementos from the seemingly mythological game have survived. This scoresheet, with such well-documented provenance, may be the most important, authentic piece that collectors ever have a chance to acquire.”
The item was consigned by a longtime friend of the late Toby DeLuca, who kept score that night for Philadelphia Warriors radio announcer Bill Campbell. The scoresheet, which measures 8.75” wide by 11.5” tall, has aged naturally with light yellow toning and some minor stains on three of its corners from handling. The date “3-2-62” and location “HERSHEY” at the top as well as the player lineups (by last name) and teams in the period score boxes (“N.Y.” and “PHILA”) all appear in 5-6/10 faded black ballpoint, with “STATISTICIAN – TOBY DELUCA” neatly done in 5/10 black ink at the bottom. The two officials (“PETE D’AMBROSIO” and “WILLIE SMITH”) and player point totals come in still strong 8/10 pencil – standard color lead before the switch to red pencil to tally Warriors teammate Guy Rodgers’ point totals in the 3rd and 4th quarters to distinguish from Wilt. “WARRIORS” and “NEW YORK” with each team’s respective won-loss record as well as individual player foul totals are also done in red pencil.
At the bottom of each Warriors quarter column is Wilt’s point total for that period in red pencil: “23 – 18 – 28 – 31.” The sheet remains matted and framed (11 3/4” by 14 5/8”) under glass (easily removable) in its original state as DeLuca had displayed it for decades. A newspaper clipping with the complete box score from the game is taped to the back of the frame. And just like that, a 57-year-old sports relic found a new home. The buyer wishes to remain anonymous.