There’s nothing more magical than tossing a baseball to the dugout, or field, and getting your favorite player’s autograph on it. Times are changing and security has been increasing at ballparks, year after year, resulting in less fan-to-player contact. Lucky for you, autographed baseballs can be purchased from many sources. Here is what you need to look for when buying an autographed baseball.
The placement of where the player signed their name is an important fact when purchasing an autographed baseball. The most desirable place to have an autograph on a baseball is the “sweet spot”. An autograph here is more aesthetically pleasing and is valued higher in return. An autograph on the baseball’s “side panel” will be valued less and is common with vintage baseball autographs.
When purchasing autographed baseballs make sure they are official National or American league balls that correspond with the player’s league they play or have played in. Autographs on official baseballs are valued higher than random low quality balls and are much more desirable to collectors. When purchasing an autograph from a dealer or individual you can easily check this by viewing the baseball.
Although it is tempting to get a baseball player to sign a personalized autograph, like “To Bobby, Swing for the Fences. – Babe Ruth”, it is less desirable to collectors and will be valued less than autographs that are not personalized. Photographs are personalized much more than baseballs but keep this in mind.
Buy From a Reputable Dealer
The Internet is a great tool to connect with other collectors and find baseball memorabilia but can not help you distinguish between reputable and fraudulent pieces. In fact one known collector claims that around 90% of all autographs for sale on the internet are fake. He spoke of a charity auction where all but two autographed pieces were fakes! They came with certificates of authenticity but from a non-reputable source making them worthless pieces of paper. Just last year there was a ring of thieves that were caught and charged with selling over two million dollars worth of fraudulant sports autographs on Ebay! As you can see it is way too risky to purchase an autographed baseball from a random seller on-line. Only trust dealers and auction houses like Goldin Auctions.
Buy Items with a Certificate of Authenticity
You should only buy autographed baseballs that come with a certificate of authenticity from a reputable third party. There are many small-time certificate providers and their certificates may not be worth anything. You should only trust items that are certified by companies like PSA Card or JSA.
Do Your Homework
Before you purchase an autographed baseball do market research and make note of the value of pieces and what they are being sold for. This will make sure you do not overpay for the item you purchase. Although this is not a complete resource, PSA Card has a database of autographed balls on-line for you to search through.
In the future, use this information to stay safe when purchasing autographed baseballs and keep in touch with us to view future auctions that may feature a ball you may be interested in. Good luck!