Sports play an important part in our lives and they are no longer male-oriented, as females are as fanatical as ever.
History plays just as important a role to all as we like to reminisce about certain events that took place years ago. For this reason, a physical item is sought after, to place one during the timeframe.
All sports memorabilia are collectible. However, baseball dominates collections because of the documented record-keeping from the late 1800s. Photos from pre-1900 of teams or players are highly prized by collectors.
Last year, well over $150 million in sales was reported by just four auction houses. Leading the way was a Texas-based firm that features very high-end collectibles from 1870 through the 1930s.
Game-used bats, balls and uniforms can bring up to half a million dollars and must have 100 percent provenance.
Because of the high production of current baseball cards, the market is very weak for any post-1970 issues, but strengthen on 1950s and ’60s cards, if in excellent condition.
Values get very interesting for pre-World War II issues, as few were produced – and the likes of Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig were national heroes.
Recently, a Babe Ruth 1930s card in just fair condition brought $47,000.
Now consider pre-World War I cards. These cards were the beginning of card collecting and were inserted in tobacco packs in order to attract consumers. They were small cards and had no statistics, only a name on the front and the brand name on the reverse.
Few have survived in good condition, therefore supply and demand dictates values, which can be in the thousands. These cards are known as T-206’s or T-205’s. We all know about the Honus Wagner card that sold for $2 million!
One of the latest items that have become popular are old ticket stubs, especially stubs from games that were historic. Of note are World Series game tickets of the deciding game, such as the 1960 Yankees vs. Pirates Game Seven ticket that was decided by a home run.
A ticket from the Don Larsen no-hitter in the 1956 World Series or, for that matter, any no-hitter ticket, has good value.
Many times a collector will frame a ticket with corresponding photos of the event, further enhancing the collectible.
The baseball season is upon us. If you are lucky to attend a game that features an historic moment, hang onto the ticket! Someday it will be remembered and revered.
Also, watch for estate sales, as many paper collectibles show up at bargain prices.
Jerry Glenn is co-owner of Reminisce in Bluffton, where sports collectibles are bought and sold.