Baseball cards are fun to collect and have proven to be a great investment but there are many other baseball collectibles that are worthy of attention. They range drastically because anything can be collected. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular baseball collectibles and if they make sound investments.
Baseballs are highly collectible and their value relies on the importance of the game, record that was broke, and how likable the player is. In 1999 Mark McGwire’s 70th homerun baseball sold to Todd McFarlane (Spawn creator) for a whopping $2,700,000 plus close to a $305,000 commission to the auction house! In 2001 Barry Bonds broke McGwire’s record with 73 homeruns in a season. McFarlane purchased Bonds’ ball at the same auction for a smaller amount of $450,000. This is proof that the likability of the player and how big of a fan the buyer is depicts what the baseball sells for. We had the pleasure of selling a game used baseball from the first ever All-Star game in 1933 for over $22,000. It is signed by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Gabby Hartnett, and Dick Bartell. Ruth’s is especially great due to the fact he announced he would not be signing anything that day and this may be the only autograph availle from that game. Time and time again baseballs prove to be a great investment.
Anyone that collects baseball memorabilia would love to own a championship ring that was owned by their favorite player. Although the general public cannot buy them, they can be found on the market via players, relatives, executives, locker room staff, or someone affiliated to the team. Most teams give out championship rings to office staff, locker room staff, and many others that have worked with the team. Although the “non-player” rings hold the same retail value they will not be worth as much to collectors. Rings from notable players are worth the most. In June of 2007 Casey Stengel’s 1951 NY Yankees World Series ring sold for $180,000. We have sold an array of sports rings at auction, one being David Cone’s 1998 New York Yankees World Series Championship ring that is estimated to sell for $30,000+ dollars. Rings have an inherit value due to the materials used to make them but can be worth much more as an investment if there is a popular players name attached.
Game used baseball bats are similar to game used baseballs because the value depends on who used it, what game it was used in, and was it a defining moment in baseball’s history. Several highly collectible baseball bats were sold in June of 2007 in the same auction that Stengel’s ring was listed in. A 1928 Babe Ruth game used bat sold for $162,000! Two other bats sold for $96,000 (Walter Johnson) and $72,000 (Ted Williams 1955 All-Star H&B Bat). We auctioned off a 1928-1930 Babe Ruth game used bat for over $23,000 dollars. The bat was given to Ty Cobb that wanted it for a friend. Ruth was known to be very generous with his autographs and game used items. Baseball bats are a great investment and would be a great addition to any collection.
Memorable baseball jerseys consistently sell in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars a piece. A newer jersey, the 2001 Mike Piazza Historic Post 9/11 Home Run Game Used jersey sold for $365,000 in one of our auctions! A 1955 Ted Williams game used Boston Red Sox road jersey with matching pants sold for over $179,000. Look through all of the jerseys we have sold and you will see that they are a great investment.
Baseball gloves are a great investment and can be affordable. We have sold them for prices ranging from $200 to $2,000. Modern gloves are collectible if they were worn by a specific player or used in a specific game and vintage baseball gloves are always desirable. When baseball started players caught barehanded because it was looked down upon to use a glove and was a sign of weakness. In 1875, Charlie Waitt was the first player documented to use gloves in a baseball game. The fingerless baseball glove was born out of necessity because it helped protect the hand while allowing the fingers to hold the ball. Experts in the field say there are less than 10 examples in existence. In 2006 a nineteenth century fingerless glove and the matching full finger glove sold at auction for over $20,000.
Trophies are not the easiest baseball collectible to find because a lot of accomplished players hold on to them to remember when they dominated the league. Some players sell their trophies to keep up their lavish lifestyle. Jim Palmer, on the other hand, had more noble reasons for selling his Cy Young and Golden Glove award collection. He wanted to help with the education of his grandchildren, his stepson with autism, and give some of the money to charity. In 2012, Palmer auctioned off 3 Cy Young Awards and 2 Golden Glove Awards. Cy Young Awards generally sell for $60,000 to $80,000 apiece and Golden Glove Awards usually sell for much less, around $15,000. While writing this article we are selling at auction a 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers World Series Trophy with a minimum bid of $2,500.
Vintage baseball pennants are also a good investment and a great item to display. We auctioned off a pair of 1960-1961 New York Yankees Championship Pennants for $300. Most pennants sell in the hundreds of dollars but recently a 1910s Chicago Cubs pennant sold for the incredible amount of approximately $17,000!
The key to investing in baseball memorabilia is to purchase items that are game used, were a part of baseball history, and are associated with a notable player. One tip to remember is that you must obtain or already have an authentication certificate for the item. Anyone can claim they caught the winning homerun ball. You have to prove it. If you can’t prove it the item is worth much less. Always do business with a trusted source like Goldin Auctions.