Chris Bourque's No. 17 was one of 13 sweaters that fetched $2,000 or more in Saturday's bidding. [Tim Stough]
Chris Bourque's No. 17 was one of 13 sweaters that fetched $2,000 or more in Saturday's bidding.
Tim Stough

Bears' Outdoor Classic jersey auction tops $57K

The Hershey Bears didn’t come up with a victory in Friday night’s American Hockey League Outdoor Classic, but their chocolate brown and white jerseys sure were a hit with fans.

After beating the Adirondack Phantoms, 5-2, Saturday night in Hershey in a rematch of their Citizens Bank Park encounter, the Bears auctioned their uniforms from the outdoor game to season-best results.

Winning bids totaled $57,650 for 32 jerseys, only 20 of which actually were worn in the game played at the Philadelphia Phillies’ home park.

The total amount raised – and the $4,000 bid commanded by Keith Aucoin’s No. 11 uniform – were both high-water marks among the five special jersey auctions the team has held this season.

Net proceeds from Saturday’s auction benefit Hershey Bears Charities, which assists various charitable organizations in central Pennsylvania.

In addition to Aucoin’s, 12 other sweaters fetched bids of $2,000 or more, led by Joel Rechlicz’s No. 19 ($3,500; not worn in the game), Braden Holtby’s No. 1 ($2,500), Boyd Kane’s No. 12 ($2,450), Chris Bourque’s No. 17 ($2,450), Matt Pope’s No. 27 ($2,450; not worn), and Dany Sabourin’s No. 35 ($2,400).

Other top sellers were Patrick McNeill’s No. 2 ($2,400), Sean Collins’ No. 6 ($2,400), Tomas Kundratek’s No. 34 ($2,150), Graham Mink’s No. 21 ($2,050), Jacob Micflikier’s No. 18 ($2,000), and Patrick Wellar’s No. 33 ($2,000).

The $4,000 bid for Aucoin’s did not top the $5,100 price commanded in 1999 for Dan Hinote’s No. 13 Christmas jersey during Hershey’s days as a Colorado Avalanche affiliate.

The previous highs this season in four previous special jersey auctions were $2,300 for an individual uniform (Aucoin’s New Year’s Eve No. 11) and $34,350 for the total amount bid (Washington Capitals salute on Nov. 26).

On March 17, the Bears will wear St. Patrick’s Day uniforms against the Albany Devils in the final scheduled special jersey auction.

The highest amount ever bid at a postgame Bears’ jersey auction was $8,000 for an Evgeni Lazarev No. 24 throwback jersey on Dec. 1, 2001.

“Of course I was surprised,” Lazarev said at the time. “I had no idea my jersey would go for $8,000. Everybody was surprised at that price. I gave (the winner) a pair of skates and a stick, too. For that money, I would have given them all my equipment, but the general manager would not let me do that.”

Lazarev played 229 games for Hershey from 1998-99 through 2001-02 and 11 more in 2004-05, but he never saw action in the NHL.
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