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Old 06-06-2009, 12:51 AM   #1
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Default Steel Curtain jersey to be auctioned for Greensburg Rotary fundraiser

Steel Curtain jersey to be auctioned for Greensburg Rotary fundraiser

By Paul Peirce
Saturday, June 6, 2009

Going ... going ... gone!

The jersey is not the only sports item that will go on the auction block June 16.

Among dozens of other items are a football signed by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a baseball jersey signed by Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez, a flag from the Masters tournament signed by Latrobe golfing legend Arnold Palmer and a putter, also signed by Palmer.

Bidders must purchase a $50 ticket to the 6 p.m. dinner at Greensburg Country Club. For more information, contact Mark Parker at 724-747-0819 or Markparker64@comcast.net.

Greensburg physician William McGrath sensed that he had found a treasure last fall when he wandered into a Hilton Head sports memorabilia shop and spotted a rare Pittsburgh Steelers jersey hanging on a back wall.

McGrath stumbled upon the black-and-gold jersey carrying four numbers of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers famed Steel Curtain. Even more rare, the jersey was signed by all four members of the vaunted defensive line: defensive tackle Joe Greene, tackle Ernie Holmes, and ends L.C. Greenwood and Dwight White. And there are photographs of each player with the jersey.

"The more I spoke with him, the more I could tell he was tired of it not selling and wanted to move it," McGrath said of the memorabilia dealer. "I thought, 'Oh my, two of these guys (Holmes and Greenwood) have unfortunately passed away. ... Maybe he doesn't realize what he has here.' "

McGrath said the dealer wanted $600 for the items, but settled for just over $400.

Now, McGrath is keeping his fingers crossed that the jersey raises thousands for charity. He donated the jersey and photographs to the Rotary Club of Greensburg for its scholarship-dinner auction June 16.

Rotary Club Vice President Mark Parker said advance word that the jersey will be auctioned already has reached some collectors of the black-and-gold.

"We haven't really put this out too much about the jersey, and I'm already getting calls from Steelers (memorabilia) collectors who have heard about it. I've checked with a few people who deal with these items, and they said under the right circumstances it could go for $10,000," Parker said.

Rotary officials are having the photographs framed to go along with the jersey and certificate of authenticity that will go to the high bidder.

McGrath, president-elect of the Rotary, is proud of his find in the South Carolina shop.

The shop owner told McGrath that he purchased the jersey and photographs a few years ago in another state.

"You know, in the South they love their college football, which had memorabilia filling the aisles, but ... in the back of the store I saw that jersey and a group of photographs of the Steel Curtain with (the jersey)," McGrath said.

"I thought it would be a perfect item for our auction and no matter what we get for it, it will go toward a great cause."
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steel Curtain jersey to be auctioned for Greensburg Rotary fundraiser

It's nice to have people like McGrath buying stuff like that for the fundraisers. If he Wanted to he could give me the jersey.
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