NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A lucky couple got the shock of their lives after realizing a sweater purchased at a North Carolina thrift shop for 58 cents once belonged to legendary football coach Vince Lombardi — and could be worth $20,000.
That’s a 3,448,176 percent return on the accidental investment.READ MORE: Westchester Police Departments Travel To Harlem In Tribute To Fallen NYPD Officer Jason Rivera
Sean McEvoy told WLOS-TV in Asheville that he purchased the West Point sweater for next to nothing last summer at a Goodwill shop. Then, while watching a documentary on Lombardi, he realized he might have stumbled upon a piece of history.
“I said to my wife, we have a sweater just like that,” said McEvoy, who runs a vintage shop in neighboring Tennessee. “Wouldn’t it be great if it was actually Vince Lombardi’s?”
His wife, Rikki, said she saw a tag with the name “Lombardi” in the sweater.
“My heart kind of sank into my stomach a bit,” Sean McEvoy said.READ MORE: NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora Still In Critical Condition Following Deadly Shooting In Harlem
An authenticator told the couple it was the same sweater they saw in the photo.
McEvoy said they decided against donating the sweater to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Instead it’ll be put up for auction on Feb. 21.
Heritage Auctions consignment director Chris Nerat told WLOS that the sweater “could easily hit the $20,000 range.”
Lombardi, a Brooklyn native and famous alum of New York’s Fordham University, was an assistant on West Point’s coaching staff from 1949-1953. He left to lead the New York Giants’ offense and later became an NFL icon in Green Bay, becoming synonymous with the league’s biggest game — the Super Bowl championship trophy is named after him — for winning title after title as head coach of the Packers.MORE NEWS: Lashawn McNeil, Suspect In Deadly Harlem Police Shooting, Was On Probation, Had 5 Prior Arrests
He died in 1970 and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame one year later.