The Auction at Graceland•January 6, 2018
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/6/2018

Founded in 1969, the International Racquetball Association organized its first professional tournament in 1974 as the sport was quickly gaining in popularity. One fan of the game was Elvis, who often played at the custom-built court at Graceland and even dabbled in a business venture to start a series of racquetball clubs called Presley’s Center Courts. The offered collection represents not only this trend in sports history, but this unusual business venture in which Elvis engaged. The collection includes two different styled Presley’s Center Courts t-shirts, a Center Courts brochure, and three examples of business cards for Elvis’ business foray into the sport.

Dr. George Nichopoulos is credited with initially introducing Elvis to the game and prescribing it as a form of stress release for the star. Dr. Nick was not only a fan of the sport but a skilled player himself, and assumed a vital role in the creation of Presley’s Center Courts. Dr. Nick’s enthusiasm for the sport is evident in the offered dark blue business card bearing his name and title of Chairman of the Board of Center Courts, located at 2500 Mt. Moriah in Memphis, which was the short-lived business that Presley’s Center Courts became after Elvis divested, as well as in the matching blue Center Courts t-shirt with white Center Courts logo across the back. These unusual relics are offered with Dr. Nick’s business card from Presley’s Center Courts as President, Elvis’ business card as Chairman of the Board, a Presley’s Center Courts brochure, and a rare example of the Presley’s Center Courts white t-shirt with logo across the chest.

Despite Elvis’ passion for the sport and desire to create a venue for others to enjoy it, the venture encountered issues from which it was never able to recover. The racquetball courts closed in the summer of 1976 shortly after opening in April. In hindsight, perhaps the destiny of Elvis’ less-than-successful venture into the sport of racquetball foreshadowed of the fate of the sport itself, which has significantly faded in popularity over the years. Each shirt is size large, each business card measures 2 1/2 by 3 inches (6.35 x 7.62 cm) and the brochure measures 11 by 8 1/2 inches (27.94 x 21.59 cm). The collection is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The white t-shirt has stains and areas of discoloration, while the dark blue t-shirt shows typical signs of age and wear. The business cards are in excellent condition overall. The brochure displays a vertical crease in addition to the normal horizontal fold lines and minor discoloration to a small area.
Elvis Presley “Presley’s Center Courts” Collection Including Elvis Business Cards (3), Brochure and T-Shirts (2)
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $400.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,000.00
Estimate: $800 - $1,000
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
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