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U.S. captain of 'Miracle on Ice' hockey team selling his jersey

Vice President Joe Biden stands with 1980 Miracle on Ice legend Mike Eruzione at the women's U.S. vs. China hockey game at the Vancouver 201
Vice President Joe Biden stands with 1980 Miracle on Ice legend Mike Eruzione at the women's U.S. vs. China hockey game at the Vancouver 201

By Daniel Lovering

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (Reuters) - The captain of the U.S. Olympic hockey team, known for its "Miracle on Ice" victory over the Soviet Union in 1980, plans to auction off the jersey he wore in the game along with other items from the Games.

Mike Eruzione also plans to sell the stick he used to score the game-winning goal and the gloves he wore throughout the tournament at an auction in New York on February 23, said Chris Ivy, director of sports at Heritage Auctions in Dallas.

The team's 4-3 victory over the formidable Soviet team at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York, was a David-and-Goliath story, Ivy said on Friday.

"This (hockey) stick is the sling that David used to launch the rock that caused the victory," he said.

Eruzione decided to sell the items to raise money for his foundation, which supports charitable causes in his hometown of Winthrop, Massachusetts, and for his children and grandchildren, the auction house said in a statement.

The jersey emblazoned with Eruzione's name and the number 21 was expected to fetch about $1 million, the auction house said, and was among 22 items offered for sale.

Eruzione also put up for sale the jersey he wore two days later in a gold medal-winning game against Finland and the warm-up suit he wore during the medal ceremony, when he called his team to the podium.

Eruzione kept the clothing and equipment in a hockey bag in the attic of his home, according to Heritage Auctions.

He said he was selling them "because I want to take care of my family, my charity and to turn them over to history."

"They hold no nostalgia for me," Eruzione was quoted as saying in the statement. "I went to Lake Place Placid for one thing: to get a gold medal. I achieved that and it will never leave my possession."

He added: "If my jersey can end up in a museum, or with a collector, a team or a corporation that will care for it and display it the right way, then I will be happy."

(Editing by Daniel Trotta and Kenneth Barry)

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