IOWA CITY — A huge collection of Hawkeye memorabilia is on sale this weekend at the estate sale of perhaps the biggest Hawkeye fan of all time.
George “Tommy” Thompson, 86, died last March after attending 751 Iowa Hawkeye football games.
“We found Hawkeye stuff in every part of [his] house,” said Bill Ackerman, who is managing Thompson’s estate sale. “Even in the garage, he had Hawkeye stuff everywhere.”
Thompson was well known by both current Hawkeyes and some of the greatest who ever lived. He even played golf with Nile Kinnick, according to his daughter, Tami Rinehart.
“Iowa decided they just had to add an extra game the day after Thanksgiving, so my Dad quit coming to my house down in Arizona because he didn’t want to miss the game on Friday,” Rinehart said with a smile. “The Hawkeyes were his second family.”
The sale includes signed footballs, basketballs and hundreds of other pieces of memorabilia. There even is a 1912 Iowa Homecoming ribbon, which is the oldest piece available. Thompson had ticket stubs and programs from some of the biggest Iowa games ever played.
“He wasn’t necessarily a collector, he just accumulated a lot of stuff,” said Stephen Thompson, Tommy’s son.
Thompson also was an avid Hawkeye basketball and wrestling fan.
“He was always on the baseline telling the ref what to do,” said Mike Gatens, a former basketball player and friend of Thompson’s.
“Fran [McCaffery] told me he looked up in the stands a couple nights before Tommy passed, and he was at an NIT game.”
The sale includes dozens of other antiques that were found inside Thompson’s home. Ackerman said the overall estate is one of the largest he has ever managed.
The times of the sale are Saturday 9 am-3pm and Sunday 10 am-3pm at Thompson’s home, 243 Hutchinson Ave. in Iowa City.