As a franchise with a legacy of championships and Hall of Fame players, it’s no surprise that Yankees memorabilia is a favorite among fans and collectors alike. Within the multibillion dollar sports memorabilia market, the New York Yankees dominates in memorabilia sales by team. Mickey Mantle’s signature also ranks fourth in memorabilia sales by player and the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold was even a Yankees collectible; a Babe Ruth game-worn jersey that was purchased for over $4.4 million. Through the purchase of autographed baseballs, jerseys, bats, and photos, the baseball memorabilia industry offers fans a way to collect their favorite memories. Fans can not only own a piece of baseball history that makes for an emotionally valuable family heirloom, it also allows fans to connect with childhood heroes. From a monetary perspective, the memorabilia industry offers collectors a potential for big returns on their investment, which, unfortunately, has led to a number of issues regarding forgeries. In a market that is constantly striving to weed out deceitful sellers, how can a fan know what to purchase?
Understandably, fraudulent sellers are to blame for casual memorabilia collectors and purchasers
inability to trust when purchasing an autographed item. Although forgeries continue to exist, the best
way to avoid buying unauthentic items is through education. When purchasing baseball memorabilia,
there are several important factors to consider in order to ensure the genuineness of the signature and
its likelihood to increase in value. The most significant element to consider is third party authenticator.
Third party authentication services like PSA/DNA and JSA are two of the most widely recognized and
trusted services in the industry due to their reputation and knowledge regarding sports autographs.
Additionally, manufacturer authenticators, like Mounted Memories, Steiner, and Upper Deck all
guarantee the presence of a witness present at every signing. Once a buyer can trust the authenticity
of the signature, their reason for acquiring the piece weighs heavily on the rest of the decision.
As a collector looking to add value to their collection, big names in sports with impressive career
achievements are most likely to increase in value. Memorabilia signed by current players, like Derek
Jeter and Robinson Canó, are likely to increase in value due to their accolades, but the risk of future
scandals or controversies that can cause their autograph to deplete in value. On the other hand, a piece
autographed by a baseball legend, like Mickey Mantle, is worth significantly more due to the inability to
produce more products with the former athlete’s signature. Whereas, an item of sentimental value may
not feature the signature of a league’s top athlete, but instead a childhood icon or family favorite. Other
factors to consider are features of the collectible, which include signature location, special inscription,
and authentic or replica products, that don’t necessarily hinder its value but rather offer options to align
with different buyers’ preferences.
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Friday, January 1, 2010
A Guide to Owning a Piece of Yankees History
Baseball Memorabilia|Sports Memorabilia|
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