The collection of sports memorabilia has become a billion dollar industry with people collecting sports cards, sports items such as bats, balls, jerseys, caps, uniforms, ticket stubs and anything at all to do with sports.
After all sports as a spectator sport goes all the way back to the mid to late 1800s and there are plenty of items from which to form a thriving pastime of collectible objects, and in addition to create a very satisfying and worthwhile hobby.
Perhaps you have memories of collecting baseball cards in your youth, and you might wish that you still had them on hand today, as it probably would have been a profitable venture. The card of Phil Rizzuto, the Yankees All Star and Hall of Fame Shortstop of the 50’s is worth roughly $195 today.
An original 1933 card of Lou Gehrig, the Yankee slugger is worth a whopping total of some $36,000. The copy of Babe Ruth’s original copy of his contract with the Boston Red Sox recently sold for $1.2 million.
These examples show how far a hobby can go when you have over 100 plus years of enthusiastic collectors who examine and desire to own some of the millions of memorabilia and records of their favorite participants in sports. Most of the time it starts out as a hobby and then become more than just a hobby when people discover the monetary element.
The sports collectibles phenomenon has spread to all sports from baseball, football, basketball, hockey, track and field, racing, tennis, and all other sports to the extent that there are valuable collectible items by the millions that are collected, bought and sold and traded.
There are sports memorabilia conventions, fairs, booths, stores, and internet transactions by the millions. Of course, when anything this momentous occurs, the specter of illegitimacy rears its ugly head and the shadow of fraud and scams enters into the picture.
For the most part, the scam prevalence is everywhere, and the only thing a serious collector can do, is to deal with known sources and avoid the large scale “events” that are full of fraudulent items. For the more expensive types of memorabilia, there are holograms to expose fake photographs and auto graphs, and even the use of DNA is applied to objects that are said to have been used by the athlete.
There are many people who will tell you, however, that just the thrill of collecting these items makes the pastime worthwhile and that it wouldn’t matter if they never received a penny from their collected items. They will spend hours and hours of each day going over their collected items and scouring the internet for bargains and trade possibilities.
After all, if you have a Mickey Mantle Card from the early 50’s, not only does it bring back the memories of an unforgettable era, the card itself is worth thousands of dollars.
While it is not often that the average collector runs across a card like that, the memories of the people who you were with at the time are priceless.