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Arthur Ashe estate items up for auction

By Dan Good | Contributing Writer

Arthur Ashe’s 1992 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year trophy could be yours, in a current auction featuring the tennis great’s memorabilia and writings.

The Arthur Ashe Estate Auction, run by Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs and Memorabilia, runs until Wednesday, Feb. 6.

The Sportsman of the Year trophy – emblazoned with silhouettes of ancient athletes – was awarded to Ashe “For Symbolizing in Character and Performance, The Ideals of Sportsmanship” as he faced his public battle with AIDS. He had contracted HIV during a blood transfusion, and spent the final years of his life advocating on behalf of AIDS-related causes.

Those advocacy efforts are reflected in the auction, which includes Ashe’s day planner and writings from the final year of his life.

Numerous tennis items are also featured, including Ashe’s jacket from the 1962 U.S. Junior Davis Cup; various Wimbledon honors; and a trophy from the 1968 U.S. Open, the year he became the first black man to win a Grand Slam event.

Two of his wisdom teeth are also available, left in a velvet pouch with early 1900s coins.

The Richmond, Va. native reached number two in the world rankings and won five Grand Slam events – three for singles, two in doubles play.

His advocacy efforts transcended athletics. Following his death at age 49, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

The auction is expected to net hundreds of thousands of dollars, with some of the proceeds benefiting the Arthur Ashe Learning Center, a non-profit that promotes the icon’s legacy and good works.

One Comment

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’S “1992 SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD” TO ARTHUR ASHE WAS A FITTING AND WELL EARNED AWARD. THE TROPHY ITSELF IS FITTING FOR A VASE AUCTION AT SOTHEBYS (BID) AUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES. AND AS WELL TRAVELED AS MR. ASHE WAS ON THE TENNIS CIRCUIT, SURELY CHRISTIES(PPRUF) OWNED BY FRENCH COMPANY PPR WOULD ALSO CONSIDER IT A MAGNIFICANT PIECE OF TROPHY ART. ARTHUR ASHE WAS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING PLAYERS OF THE UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION U.S. OPEN ERA HE PLAYED IN. OUT OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA ARTHUR WAS WELL TAUGHT BY DR. JOHNSON COMING UP. IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES WITH A HECTIC TENNIS SCHEDULE AND A NATIONAL COMMUNITY SERVICE FIGURE CAMPAIGN MR. ASHE MANAGE TO SQUEEZE TIME IN VISITING UNIVERSITIES TO ADVOCATE THE SPORT HE LOVED SO DEARLY. IT WAS DURING 1981-82 WHEN HE VISITED NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY’S TENNIS COACH HARRY EDMUNDS AND HIS EAGLES TENNIS TEAM. MR. ASHE AND COACH EMUNDS WERE BOTH VERY POLISHED INDIVIDUALS AND AFTER MEETING WITH THE COACH MR. ASHE SPOKE WITH THE TENNIS TEAM. IT WAS ALL OVER THE SCHOOL’S NEWSPAPER WHICH WAS VOTED HBCU BUZZ.COM NUMBER ONE UNIVERSITY NEWSPAPER. MR. ASHE SPOKE ON COMPANIES WHOM SUPPORTED MINORITY ATHELICS. HEAD TENNIS RACQUETS SPONSORED ARTHUR ASHE AND PRESENTED HIM WITH HIS OWN SIGNATURE ENDORSED TENNIS RACQUET. HIS EXPERIENCES AND ACHIEVMENT DURING THIS MEETING WITH COACH EDMUNDS’S TENNIS TEAM WAS ONE OF A HUMBLING PERSONA. MR. ASHE SPOKE WELL, POLISHED, AND ARTICULATE. GLOBALLY MR. ASHE WAS A GREAT AMBASSADOR FOR THE UNITED STATES. HE IS CREDITED WITH HELPING GROOM THEN A ADOLESCENT YANNICK NOAH CAMEROON. NOAH MOVED TO FRANCE AT AN EARLY AGE AND WAS AGAIN VISITED BY ARTHUR ASHE. MR. ASHE WAS ONE OF THE REASON YANNICK BECAME THE 1983 FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION. BRING THE COVETED ROLAND GARROS TROPHY HIS FRENCH MUSKATEER HOME . IN THE UNITED STATES YOU CAN’T COUNT THE NUMBER OF TENNIS PLAYERS IN THE USTA WHICH WERE GUIDED BY ARTHUR ASHE’S TENNIS WISDOM. TODAY IN 2013 TENNIS PLAYERS ARE BLESSED WITH COMPANIES LIKE TENNIS NIKE (NKE) , AND ADIDAS (ADDY), WHO ACQUIRED REEBOK, WHO PAY VERY WELL TO SPONSOR INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS. AND THE STORIES FROM TENNIS WRITERS LIKE LUPTICA REGULARLY GRACED WORLD TENNIS MAGAZINE ISSUES. I CONGRADULATE MR. ASHE FOR A JOB WELL DONE ON THE U.S. HARD COURTS, THE FRENCH’S CLAY COURT, AND WIMBLEDON’S GRASS COURTS.

Posted February 4, 2013 at 3:04 am | Permalink

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