The 1936 Olympic basketball gold-medal game ball is set for auction. Again.
The U.S. beat Canada 19-8 in the first Olympic gold-medal basketball game at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, in front of the sport’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith.
A Canadian player wound up with the game ball after the contest played in a downpour, outdoors on a court of clay and sand that had turned into mud. The player, JimmyStewart,took it as a souvenir to go along with his silver medal. The story goes that his wife hid it under her dress on their way out.
Stewart’s son has the ball now. Jimmy Jr., 75, tried to sell it last year, for reportedly at least $150,000 to fund his 11 grandchildren’s college aspirations. But the item never hit the block due to promotional issues.
Now, it’s set to be part of a sports memorabilia auction in Baltimore on the weekend of July 11, marking the 100-year anniversary of Babe Ruth‘s first MLB game. The starting bid will be $50,000 and it is expected to fetch between $250,000-$500,000, promoter Keith Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman, of Overland Park, Kan., received the ball from Stewart five weeks ago and has traveled with it in a special case that resembles a satchel. He has consulted with NBA Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Oscar Robertson about the auction and taken the ball to Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas to the Jayhawks basketball team.
The ball has been reported to be lumpy, deflated and “stitched together like a volleyball.”
But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.
She retired from her last pre-French Open match with a right thigh injury and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.
Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed and Wimbledon champion, are the top challengers in Paris.
No. 3 Jessica Pegula, the highest-seeded American man or woman, was eliminated in the third round.
No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, is the best hope to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seleswon the 1996 Australian Open.
But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.
Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.
Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They could meet in the semifinals.
Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, was upset in the first round by 172nd-ranked Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild. It marked the first time a men’s top-two seed lost in the first round of any major since 2003 Wimbledon (Ivo Karlovic d. Lleyton Hewitt).
No. 9 Taylor Fritz and No. 12 Frances Tiafoe are the highest-seeded Americans, looking to become the first U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003. Since then, five different American men combined to make the fourth round on eight occasions.