Sports Autograph Values
Just like other sports collectibles or memorabilia, sports autograph values are highly dependent on the demand and the amount sports collectors are willing to pay. In online auctions, for example, a hand signed sports memorabilia worth a hundred dollars would not reach the value of more than a thousand dollars without a collector determined to bid for such amount.
First consideration when pricing sports autographs is the subject or the athlete who signed the sports memorabilia. The more popular the player is the more expensive will his signature be worth. For example, the most sought after and two of the most expensive sports autographs are signatures of baseball’s greatest players Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. The type of sporting collectible signed by the athlete is a factor that influences the value of autographed sports memorabilia. Items would vary from game worn jerseys, replica and game used sports equipment, photos, sports cards, among others. Relevance of the signed sports item to the game of the athlete will give more value to the sports autograph. Furthermore, it is also important that the hand signed memorabilia is in collectible condition. Signs of wear or deterioration would discourage sports collectors to buy the sports item.
A game ball would be more valuable if the athlete’s signature is found on the most visible part of the ball. When it comes to baseballs, many collectors would prefer sports autographs on the sweet spot (the thin space between the stitches) rather than on the side panel of the ball. Because of such preference by countless enthusiasts, sweet spot autographs can be more expensive. This, however, is just a matter of aesthetics for display purposes.
One of the most expensive sports memorabilia in the sports collecting market, worth $996,000 in 2005, is the Babe Ruth contract. The document stated the Boston Red Sox’s agreement to sell Ruth to the New York Yankees. This was a historical event to sports – after Ruth left and played for Yankees, the team won for the first time and their victory went on for many years. On the other hand, Red Sox never made it to the World Series again not until the year 2004 (the fate of Boston was called the Curse of the Bambino).