ASHEVILLE, N.C. — It’s not something you hear everyday, for a thrift shop find to not only land you in a lot of cash, but with a piece of history.
One Knoxville couple stumbled upon Vince Lombardi’s sweater during his time as assistant football coach at West Point. They bought it for 58 cents at an Asheville, NC, Goodwill. It’s now worth over $20,000.
The couple said they go into Goodwills and thrift stores daily, all over the country,to buy items for their thrifting business, but never thought they would find a treasure like this that belonged to such an iconic man.
“It was like a quarter zip and then it had west point right here,” Sean McEvoy said.
McEvoy and his wife Rikki found it in a bin at the Goodwill. They own an online thrift store, where they buy thrifted items and resell them on their website.
“I was sitting on my sewing machine and I had it in my lap and I had this feeling, that like I’m really going to regret altering this sweater,” said Rikki McEvoy,
The next day the couple said they were watching a documentary on Lombardi’s career and saw an image of him in the sweater they had.
“I said, ‘Rikki we’ve got a sweater just like that, wouldn’t that be crazy if it was Vince Lombardi’s?'” McEvoy said.
Turns out the sweater was authentic. They looked inside and found a label that had Lombardi written on a piece of fabric and the year ’46.
“I knew all along it was real once I saw the Lombardi label, but it was like being able to forensically prove that it is what it is,” McEvoy said.
The couple then brought the sweater to Heritage Auctions based in Dallas and from there it was confirmed to be Lombardi’s sweater.
“We paid attention and we got lucky at the right time and we’re very blessed and fortunate,” he said.
The sweater will be auctioned off in New York City on Feb. 21 to the highest bidder.