5 Expensive Baseball Collectibles Recently Sold

From autographed baseballs to one-of-a-kind documents, serious collectors are paying top dollar to score rare pieces of baseball history. Here are a few of the most noteworthy baseball collectibles that have sold in the past few months.

“Laws of Baseball” Document

The Laws of Baseball document was written by Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams president of the New York Knickerbockers Baseball Club. Adams wrote this document to propose new rules and specifications for the game of baseball including setting the base path length to 90 feet, the number of players on the field at one time at 9, and nine innings as the standard amount of innings played in a game. He planned to take this document to the New York City Baseball Convention of 1857. In 1999 this document sold at auction for $12,650 but in April of 2016 it sold for the record-breaking amount of 3.26 million dollars! It is the highest amount paid for a baseball document and the third highest price paid for a piece of sports memorabilia.

Babe Ruth Contracts

At the end of April 2016, Babe Ruth’s first contract signed for playing with the New York Yankees sold for a staggering $549,000. This was a record-breaking sell and the most ever paid for one of Babe Ruth’s New York Yankees contracts.

2001 Mike Piazza Post 9/11 Photo Matched Jersey

After the tragic events of 9/11, life, including sports, came to a grind halt. Sports teams didn’t know what to do and some even thought of canceling their seasons. On September 21, 2001, The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves were playing and Piazza hit a huge two-run home run symbolizing that after tragic events occur you have to be strong and move forward. Piazza’s jersey from that game became a symbol of the healing of New York City and the entire country. Many people around the world wanted this jersey. In fact, Piazza’s family stayed in the auction until it reached over $90,000. Finally, Anthony Scaramucci, Tony Lauto and an unnamed third party won the jersey paying $365,000. This sale set a record for being the most expensive modern day jersey ever sold. The new owners plan to keep the jersey in New York City.

Farm Fresh Cracker Jack Poster

A rare Cracker Jack poster dating back to 1915 was discovered in a Wisconsin barn and recently sold for $61,741. It was a promotional piece featuring a set of cards and images including Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner. This farm fresh poster is one of three that is known to exist.

Mike Trout Orange Refractor 2009 Bowman

In 2009, Trout was a first-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In 2012, he became a regular player in their line up, won the Rookie of the Year Award, and was the stolen base leader. In 2014, he won the Most Valuable Player Award, the Hank Aaron Award, and was the RBI leader. In March of 2016, A 2009 Bowman Orange Refractor (graded 9.5) sold for $14,000! This is one of the highest prices that a newer, modern baseball card has been sold for.

Do you have iconic sports memorabilia you would like to sale? We would love to hear from you.

Why is Christy Mathewson’s Autograph So Rare?

So Why is Baseball Hall of Famer Christopher “Christy” Mathewson’s Autograph is Hard to Find?

Christopher “Christy” Mathewson was a Major League baseball player that pitched for the New York Giants and ended his career with the Cincinnati Reds. Although he died at an early age, Christy had a long and wildly successful career as a pitcher from 1900 to 1918 and was one of the first five players to be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Walter Johnson! His accomplishments include:

  1. Had most wins (372) in New York Giant’s history with 83 shutouts and more than 2,500 strikeouts.
  2. Career ERA of 2.13 and fifth best ever.
  3. Career winning batting average of .665 and sixth best ever.
  4. 373 career wins and third best ever.

Christy Mathewson Autograph Baseball Collectibles AuctionAs you can see, Christy is one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball history. So why is his autograph so hard to find? There are many autographs in circulation by legends like Babe Ruth. Let’s look further into Christy’s life to find possible reasons.

At a time when many baseball players were noted as heavy drinkers and womanizers, Christy took pride in being a Christian and was well known for living a very clean and moral life. In fact, he refused to pitch any games that fell on a Sunday, a promise he had made years earlier to his mother.

In 1918, Christy enlisted in the Army to fight in World War I. He was the captain of the Chemical Service and served with Ty Cobb. After arriving in France, Christy was accidentally gassed in a training exercise that led to him developing tuberculosis. He was discharged in 1919 and upon arrival in the United States became the coach of the Giants until 1921 while fighting for his life. In 1923, he and Emil Fuchs (Giant’s attorney) put together a group that purchased the Boston Braves. The plan was to make Christy the owner and president of the team but eventually his health was too bad. In 1925, he finally passed away in Saranac Lake, NY at the age of 45.

Maybe Christy’s autograph is so hard to find because of the lifestyle he lived during his career in Major League Baseball. While players like Babe Ruth were seeking the spotlight and living a worldly life, Christy may have shied away from many opportunities that would have produced more opportunities for autographs. We do know that him dying at the age of 45 drastically decreased the chance of more of his autographs being put into circulation. Most seasoned collectors know how hard it is to find one of his autographs. His autograph is indeed rare but his full autograph “Christy Mathewson” is even harder to find and more sought after by advanced collectors.

If you have a baseball, document, book, or anything else signed by Christy Mathewson, feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.

Sports Auctions Collectibles and Memorabilia

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

Autographed Baseball MunsonBaseballs 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.

Rings

auction for sports ringsAnyone 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.

Baseball Bats

Baseball BatsGame 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.

Jerseys

Michael Jordan Autographed JerseyMemorable 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

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

world-series-baseball-trophyTrophies 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 Pennants

Basketball-PennantVintage 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.

6 Tips for Buying Autographed Baseballs

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.

Guide to Buying Autographed Baseballs
When buying collectible, autographed baseballs you’ll need to watch out for autograph placement, quality, personalization, and authenticity.

Autograph Placement

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.

Baseball Quality

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.

Personalization

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!

Great Finds in the Baseball Card Collecting Hobby

We have all dreamed of finding a super valuable stash of baseball cards in our grandparent’s attic, at a yard sale, or in a newly renovated home. In fact, that does happen from time to time. Here are some pretty important baseball card finds that may persuade you to go hunting for your own baseball card treasure.

1910 E98 Black Swamp Find

The most valuable baseball card find in history happened in Defiance, Ohio. In 1910 the cards were purchased by Carl Hench owner of a local meat market. After his death grandson Karl Kissner was cleaning his grandfather’s attic and found a box with around 700 extremely valuable E98 baseball cards in very good condition. In August of 2012, the top 37 baseball cards from the collections were sold for $566,132 in the Orioles Banquet Room at Camden Yards. Each one of the baseball cards in the collection were a grade of PSA NM 7 or better!

The Boston Red Stockings Antiques Roadshow Find

In mid-2014 at an Antiques Roadshow taping Leila Dunbar appraised a lady’s Boston Red Stockings collection at $1,000,000 dollars. The collection included ultra-rare cards, signatures, letters, and photographs.

Babe Ruth Apartment Wall Find

Rafael Torres was having issues with a raccoon in the walls of his New Jersey apartment. As he busted through the sheetrock to investigate he found a baseball and sports card collection dating back to the 1920s. Of the 262 cards found the Babe Ruth’s were the most valuable. The entire collection was appraised at $10,000 dollars.

1869 Peck & Snyder Cincinnati Red Stockings Box Find

Bernice Gallego, an antique dealer in California, was going through a random box and found and old baseball card. She listed it for sale on ebay for $10. After finding out what it actually was she put it up for auction and it eventually sold for $75,285.

1952 Topps Silver Tray Find

In 1986 well known baseball card collector Alan Rosen was phoned by David Espinola a man in New Jersey. He claimed to know a truck driver living in Quincy, MA that owned some 1952 Topps in excellent condition. Alan was skeptical but he raised around $100,000 dollars to take along just in case. Alan, another dealer from New Jersey, and an armed cop finally arrive at the man’s house to view the cards. The man goes to a china cabinet and pulls out a silver tray filled with 1952 Topps baseball cards. There were around 42 Mickey Mantle baseball cards in mint condition. There were more cards of the same year in another room. The cards were meant to be giveaways in a toy store for the sale of baseball gloves and equipment. After the deal was done Alan spent around $125,000 for the cards, finder’s fee, and the cop that went for security. After all of the baseball cards were finally sold Alan profited over $400,000 off of the deal.

Ty Cobb Paper Bag Find

An anonymous family in California was cleaning out their great grandfathers rundown home when they found a crumbled up paper bag with 7 100 year old Ty Cobb baseball cards inside. Joe Orlando from PSA authenticated the find. The baseball cards were worth over $1,000,000 at the time.

Hopefully these stories will reignite the love of baseball card collecting for some. The fun is in the pursuit and collecting of baseball cards. Happy treasure hunting!

Pete Rose: Baseball Legend or Infamous Bad Guy?

Baseball-Pete-Rose-MLBEven though Pete Rose (A.K.A. the Hit King, Charlie Hustle) was one of the best baseball players of his time, his scandals overshadow his baseball skill while playing and coaching in the MLB. He has set a staggering amount of records which include “Most Career Hits”, “Most Games Played”, “Most AB’s”, “Most Singles”, “Most Winning Games”, “Most Times On Base”, and more. He has been the recipient of many awards like the “Gold Glove”, “MVP”, and countless others.

When will his critics forget about the scandals and forgive him? That day may never come for some but things are looking up for him. Pete Rose will officially be inducted in the Cincinnati Reds Hall Of Fame on the weekend of June 24-26 2016. For Rose fans this is a long-awaited victory. For over 25 years Rose has been waiting to get the ban lifted from MLB. Some think that he has “done the time” and others hold on to the past with all their might.

What is all the fuss about? Rose was accused of and charged for betting on baseball, and in particular, on games of the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Club, during the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons. Why does it matter you may ask? When players bet on their own sport the integrity of that sport becomes jeopardized. The betting player may feel compelled to cheat and throw the game even if it costs their team a win.

Let’s look back at the scandal and investigation. In February 1989, Rose was questioned by Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and replacement Bart Giamatti. John M. Dowd, an American lawyer, was hired to investigate and report his findings. Dowd took a few months and on May 9th 1989 completed the “Dowd Report” that was the catalyst for Rose’s lifelong ban from baseball. On June 26th 1989 the Dowd Report was released to the media despite the words of Giamatti. The report claims that in 1985, 1986, and 1987 Rose bet on baseball games. In 1987 Rose was said to have betted on over 52 Cincinnati Reds games at $10,000 or more per game. In the report all of these bets were in favor of the Reds. Some say that shows Rose would never throw a game and he bet on the Reds because he believed in them. On August 24th 1989 Rose is officially banned from baseball and in the coming days is replaced by Tommy Helms as the new Reds manager.

In coming months it only gets worse for Rose. On April 20th 1990, Rose was sentenced to ten months for tax evasion, ordered to pay a $50,000 fine, serve 1,000 hours of community service, and get help for his gambling addiction.

Years went by and Rose was allowed to make an appearance here and there. He was never reinstated in the MLB organization partly due to claims he had no remorse, hadn’t stopped gambling, and never apologized.

In December 2002, John Dowd tells the media that in fact he did have evidence that showed Rose bet against the Reds but was forced to complete the report as fast as possible. Dowd also went on to say he was very concerned that Rose was involved in cocaine distribution. Cocaine distribution?

On June 20th 2011 Tommy Gioiosa, friend and assistant of Rose, spoke out against Rose with Vanity Fair. After meeting Gioiosa, Rose invites the fan to come live with him and his wife. Gioiosa eventually said he was going back home and Rose asked him to stay. Gioiosa told Rose he didn’t have any clothes or money. Rose said he didn’t need anything and gives him his own clothes. In the years to come they were inseparable. That is until Rose started taking heat. Rose started trying to separate himself from everyone that may be linked to his prohibited and illegal behavior. Gioiosa tells Vanity Fair his story of how he met Rose, became friends with him, and followed him down a crazy path that would eventually cost him his freedom. Gioiosa describes a life of bizarre events, gambling, tax evasion, and cocaine distribution.

In recent years, Rose apologized on radio saying “I made mistakes. I can’t whine about it. I’m the one that messed up and I’m paying the consequences. However, if I am given a second chance, I won’t need a third chance. And to be honest with you, I picked the wrong vice. I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked up beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven’t given too many gamblers a second chance in the world of baseball.”

Pete Rose is one of the best baseball players to have ever played in the MLB. Infamous bad guy? Some may say that, though, it often is counterproductive to focus on the speculations. What we know for sure is that Pete Rose was an amazing baseball player and coach that had a gambling problem.