About the Value of Sports Memorabilia
Anything that is worth collecting will differ in value because of many
different factors. For instance, a Dallas cowboy's jersey may not be of
any value whatsoever to a New York Yankees fan.
To maintain the value of many sports memorabilia, the items must have no
imperfections whatsoever. No stains, no tears, no wear around the edges,
no fading color, no chips, and no missing parts. On the flip side, there
are items that are considered of greater value because they were used by
the athlete. Avid fans will often go to great lengths to gain access to
something an icon touched, wiped their sweat on, inserted their smelly
feet into, or got grass stains on during a game.
Plenty of people who aren't sports fans often think the value placed on
memorabilia is outrageous and silly. After all, the players are just
people and the items are just stuff. However, any small town coach who
has seen a player evolve into greatness will beg to differ. This coach
will see a person with special talent who deserves a claim to fame and
will honor any memorabilia connected to this person. Of course, there
are also coaches who try to ride on the coattails who barely knew the
person. Those type people will often try to grab some of the spotlight
themselves in hopes of building their own worth.
Players make more than just themselves famous. They make items famous
that they use on a daily basis, items they special order, companies
associated with products they use (even if they don't personally endorse
these items). Everything they use, touch, or buy for themselves becomes
of interest to the public. Their camping equipment, lawn maintenance
equipment, toothbrushes, socks, and so on, will now be of value to
Zach Johnson won the 2007 Masters Tournament with Titleist golf balls,
drivers, irons, and wedges. He wore shoes by Foot Joys, so this brings
business to them as well. Now these products will be important to sports
Of course, there is a downside. Collectors must beware of the dreaded
forgeries and fakes. These can be devastating to those who saved their
pennies for years and finally reach their goal of owning that special
piece to their collection, only to find they'd been duped by some con
artist. Fake memorabilia can be extremely profitable as they are hard to
spot. A really good con artist can sometimes pass off something to even
a seasoned collector as being an original. They have become
professionals, perfecting the art, so to speak, of the scam.
An experienced collector can recognize the fake memorabilia upon close
scrutiny most of the time. They research and educate themselves,
becoming familiar with the signs. They learn how to find the value of an
object before they spend their hard-earned money on it. They also learn
the value of authentication and grading.
Remember as well that sports memorabilia value can change with the times
and the importance to the public of the famous person it is associated
with. Just because you had something appraised 10 years ago does not
mean it will retain that same value today.