Unique Pele trophy to be auctioned

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A Jules Rimet trophy created for Brazilian three-time winning World Cup soccer player Pele is seen in an undated handout photo ahead of a sports memorabilia auction.

A one-of-a-kind trophy created for Brazilian soccer legend Pele and a jersey worn by Canadian ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky as a rookie in 1979 are among items celebrating 100 years of sporting history that are headed for auction.

Sotheby's said on Tuesday it had teamed up with sports specialists Goldin Auctions to offer approximately 100 lots of memorabilia from marquee athletes including Babe Ruth, Rafael Nadal, Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady and LeBron James in an online auction from Nov 24 to Dec 3.

The "Century of Champions" auction covers artifacts from the worlds of baseball, tennis, basketball, boxing and more, including rare trading cards and clothing.

National Hockey League legend Gretzky's 1979-80 worn-and-signed, rookie-season Edmonton Oilers road jersey is one of the top items with a presale estimate of $450,000-$600,000.

The Jules Rimet Trophy given to Pele after he helped Brazil win its third World Cup in 1970 is expected to fetch up to $800,000. It was made for Pele by world soccer governing body FIFA and first sold by the player at a 2016 auction of his career memorabilia.

A Tom Brady 2000 Playoff Contender Championship signed rookie card, described as in near-mint condition, is priced at $250,000 to $300,000, while a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball rookie card could fetch up to $200,000, Sotheby's and Goldin said.

Other highlights include the 1956 Heisman Trophy ($400,000-$500,000) won by former NFL player Paul Hornung, who died last week aged 84, and the late Muhammad Ali's signed 1996 Olympic Games torch ($14,000-$20,000).

The current world-record price for an item of sports memorabilia was set in December 2019 when Pierre de Coubertin's 1892 Olympic Manifesto sold in New York for $8.8 million, eight times the expected price.

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