Eveleth native from 'Miracle on Ice' team selling 1980 gold medal


Mark Pavelich is selling his 1980 United States Olympic hockey gold medal.

The Star Tribune reports that Pavelich, a native of Eveleth, Minnesota, is auctioning off the medal through Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas. Heritage says one other gold medal from the "Miracle on Ice" team was auctioned off and it sold in 2010 for $310,700.

The starting bid on Pavelich's medal is set at $62,500. Heritage Auctions sports director Chris Ivy expects the the medal to sell for a minimum of $250,000.

Unlike many other athlete's selling memorabilia, Pavelich isn't putting his medal on sale to fight off a bad financial situation.

“He’s doing fine,” Ivy said. “It’s something that he wants to help his kids out with education, the trust and that kind of thing.”

Specifically, Pavelich says he wants to help his daughter "get a step forward in life."

“The only thing is you’re limited to what you can do with these things,” he said in a phone interview with Yahoo! Sports. “You keep it in a vault in the bank somewhere and you take it out once in a while and you look at it and you put it back in. You can’t put them in a house because it could burn or get stolen and it’s just gone and useless. It’s just an impractical thing.

“You can’t say that you never did win a medal just because you don’t have it anymore. You always can say that you got it.”

Pavelich had two assists in Team USA's miracle win over the Soviet Union in the semifinal round of the Olympics. His second assist came on the historic game-winning goal scored by Mike Eruzione.

Heritage Auctions describes the medal like this:

Crafted by the illustrious "Tiffany & Co.," the extraordinary prize offers world class aesthetics befitting its historic importance. The obverse provides a raised torch framed between the words "XIII Olympic Winter Games" and the Olympic rings. The reverse utilizes conifer imagery at right to balance the raised text "Lake Placid 1980" and the engraved lettering "Ice Hockey, Mark Pavelich." The original presentational case is included.

At 56-years-old, Pavelich now lives in Lutsen, Minnesota; not far from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he played his college hockey. He went on to play in the NHL for the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and San Jose Sharks. To this day he owns the Rangers' rookie scoring record with 76 points.

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