Starting a Sports Memorabilia Collection
Are you a sports fanatic? Would you like to channel your interest into a potentially profitable endeavor? You can start by collecting sports memorabilia from your favorite players. Over time, these memorabilia might increase in value, and you can sell it at a high price to anyone interested. What others see as a hobby is actually a multi-billion dollar industry.
Most expensive items sold
The hobby of collecting sports memento could be traced back to the early 1900s when people started collecting items from famous baseball players. As years passed, other sports like basketball, football, and hockey got national recognition, and people began collecting items of the players.
The most expensive memorabilia item sold was a 1920 Babe Ruth jersey, which cost a whopping $4.415 million. The second was James Naismith’s Rules of Basketball, which was sold at $4.3 million. It can be seen in an 1891 document penned by the inventor of basketball himself. Meanwhile, the third most expensive memorabilia was a 1909 baseball card sold at $3.12 million. This card featured Honus Wagner, a legendary baseball player.
Evidently, these old items cost an arm and a leg. People pay a lot of money to have something that has been in direct contact with someone they admire. Many of them understand that behind every memorabilia is a touching story about their favourite sportsman. They find items like autographs, old jerseys, framed pictures, and cards as highly valuable, one-of-a-kind, and nostalgic. Collecting items related to their favourite team or player keeps a special memory alive for them. Others simply collect them so that they can have bragging rights.
Factors that play in determining the worth of the item
Some factors that play in the valuation of a memento are the player’s popularity and the item’s scarceness. Memorabilia of sports players that have been inducted in the Hall of Fame are highly-priced. For instance, things that have the signature of Tom Brady, the world’s best football player, are valued greatly because he rarely gives signature, so finding a ball that he signed is like finding a bar of gold for many collectors.
For an item to cost millions, it has to be authenticated by a recognised autograph company like the Professional Sports Authenticator, Beckett Authentication Services, and James Spence Authentication. These organisations issue a Certificate of Authenticity, which proves that the item is genuine, and its history can be traced to a famous player.
How to be an effective collector
If you are thinking of collecting sports memorabilia, make sure that you love the item and the story behind it. Not all sports mementos will increase in value; sometimes, it is just a matter of luck. As such, it is better to collect memorabilia that you would be proud to display, and not something that you will throw away in your closet in hopes that its value will rise.
Additionally, it would be helpful if you document the story behind your collection. Keep the date of its acquisition and any remarkable event that goes with it. Do not also forget to take good care of your collection; frame it if you can to preserve its pristine condition. Finally, be part of a collector’s guild to understand the trends in this industry.
Collecting sports items is a rewarding hobby. If you luck out, it can also become a profitable endeavor. Just keep building your collection, and you might have a gold mine someday.
Alan Roodey is a professional Author and contributor to many sites. He loves to write on various topics.