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Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King Tennis Match Archive
Starting Bid - $100.00, Sold For - $232.00
In 1973, 55-year-old Bobby Riggs made public comments deriding women's tennis as inferior to men's tennis, claiming that even at his age he could beat any professional woman on the circuit. Then-women's Wimbledon champion, Billie Jean King, took Riggs up on his challenge and on September 20, 1973, they faced off in a televised winner-take-all "Battle of the Sexes" match at the Houston Astrodome, drawing 50 million television viewers. King destroyed Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, and 6-3, and walked away with $100,000 for her trouble. Presented are two items relating to this historic match, which was one of the most highly publicized and watched sports events in American history: 1) An original "Press Level" ticket pass (8.5 x 3.25 inches) to the "$100,000 Winner Take All" tennis match; and 2) an original publicity press photograph (7 x 9 inches) picturing Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King in the days immediately before the match, with original caption on reverse intact, which reads in part, "The 55-year-old Riggs says he is out to put women back where they belong, 'in the kitchen and the bedroom,'" effectively capturing the spirit of the event and the buttons he pushed. This event was a significant tribute to the great strides of the woman's movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The entire event was presented in very good humor, but could have never occurred at all in an earlier era, and that was part of the point of this spectacle which was really comprised of equal parts entertainment, sports, and political activism. Times were changing; it was no longer 1955; and old values were being openly challenged in many ways, including on the tennis court. The pass has a folding crease down the middle and a few notes written on the reverse, overall Vg-Ex; the photograph is Ex-Mt. Total 2 items. Reserve $100. Estimate $200/$400. SOLD FOR $232.00
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