Aaron Rodgers game-worn jersey, already at $36,000, could break sports memorabilia records

Scott Venci
Green Bay Press-Gazette
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A game-used Aaron Rodgers jersey from 2013 is up for auction this weekend, and it already has set records.

Glen Christensen has one of the best Green Bay Packers collections in the world.

Visitors who stop by his Dallas area home to view his memorabilia room often leave impressed, including former Packers greats Dave Robinson and Donny Anderson.

But the time has come to part with some of his valuable pieces, including a game-used Aaron Rodgers jersey from 2013 that could set an industry record.

The jersey and 18 other items from Christensen’s collection will be up for grabs Saturday and Sunday at Heritage Auctions, a Texas company, in its Platinum Night Auction.

An additional 31 items will be auctioned by Heritage in November.

Christensen, a Green Bay native who now lives just 15 miles from where the Dallas Cowboys play, started building his collection in 1994.

His love of Packers memorabilia started with his mother, who was a baton twirler for the Packer Lumberjack Band in the late 1930s and early 1940s. She gave him several mementos from her time with the band.

Little by little, each time he’d return to Green Bay, he would pick up items to add to his growing museum.  

The only problem? It’s gotten too big the past 25 years.  

“I’m 61, and I’ve got so much it’s mind-boggling,” Christensen said. “When I go up there and give tours to friends and family, I find myself going, ‘I don’t remember I had that.’

“That, and I get contacted by tons and tons of people who want a piece of my collection. I just never look at it that way, that that would be special to them to have a piece of my collection. Even with this auction, I’ve heard from so many people that say, ‘Oh, my God, finally I can get a piece of your collection.’ That’s neat. I’m finding it satisfying that the items are going to go to people that likely will take care of them and enjoy the history as much as I have.”

Although most of the items in the auction are vintage, it’s a modern collectible that has gotten the most attention.

The game-worn (and unwashed) jersey of Rodgers is from the Oct. 6, 2013, game against the Detroit Lions.

The Packers beat the Lions 22-9 that day, with Rodgers throwing for 274 yards. It included an 83-yard touchdown pass to James Jones.

The jersey originally was sold through NFL Auctions, and even better for collectors, it has been photo matched to the game through mesh hole patterning and hit marks on the front numbers.

The jersey is at $36,000, which includes a 20% buyer’s premium. It already has set a Heritage record for a game-used Rodgers jersey, topping the $34,800 a jersey from 2010 went for earlier this year.

Despite all the drama that played out between the three-time NFL MVP and the Packers in the spring and summer, it would appear Rodgers’ popularity didn’t take much of a hit.

“I’m a little surprised, honestly,” Heritage consignment director Chris Nerat said. “But no matter how the offseason went, nobody can take away that he’s still arguably the most skilled quarterback of all time and a first ballot Hall of Famer with a Super Bowl trophy and coming off an MVP season.

“I think the collectors bidding on that have put aside what will probably be just a distant memory of what transpired in the offseason. The bidding is showing that.”

Among other items are multiple autographed footballs from the 1960s, vintage bobbleheads, pennants, promotional posters, game-worn sideline sweatshirts and a 1950 Packers stock certificate.

The scarcest collectible might be a 1937 Packers team-signed envelope that features several autographs, including Curly Lambeau.

The signature most advanced collectors will be interested in is that of George Whitney Calhoun, who helped found the Packers with Lambeau. Calhoun died in 1963 and there are not many known autographs of his on the market.

The envelope already has topped $5,000 and is expected to go for at least $10,000.

“A lot of autographs you never see, and then they are all on the same item,” Nerat said. “It makes a heck of a display piece. To have Calhoun on there is almost impossible to get. The quality of the autographs is just perfect. They are dark and very well displayed.”

Christensen thinned his collection a bit, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop collecting. Family members also have some dibs on items.

“If the right things come along, I’m going to make a run at them,” said Christensen, who recently wrote a book about his collecting journey. “Only because I want them as part of the collection, and I know I can always find a new home for them down the road.

“While this auction is going on, I’ve procured a couple items for the collection. The collection is always live. It’s always going to be fluid and always bouncing back and forth. But there is a time when I will probably move on from this, and Nerat will be ultra-rich from my collection. … Someday, my book is what I’m left with.”

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