View Full Version : any sports memoribilia worth $10,000?

11-26-2012, 06:36 PM
i need the father of my main character to have a sports memorabilia collection with one of the items being very valuable, maybe about $10,000 or so. i was thinking maybe a signed baseball or hockey puck or something? this item is the mc's fathers prized possession. also how do people get these items? do they get them signed themselves or win them at charity auctions or what? thanks!!!!

11-26-2012, 07:55 PM
I would imagine if it was signed by someone really famous, who is now dead, it would be worth a LOT of money. More than what you're thinking. Especially if it had significance, like being the hockey puck that Wayne Gretzky won the Stanley Cup Finals with, or something like that.

Here we go, check out the 10 Most Expensive Sports Collectables (http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/25/sports-baseball-collecting-biz-cx_tvr_0725collectibles_slide.html). Mark McGwire's autographed 70th home run ball went at auction for three million dollars. A particular baseball card from 1910 is worth two million. Joe Dimaggio's diary is worth at least one and a half million. Babe Ruth's first home run bat is worth more than a million dollars and his contract with the Yankees is worth just under a million. But you get the idea.

Search eBay. Search Google. You'll find plenty of examples to inspire you. :)

11-26-2012, 08:06 PM
Signed cricket bats maybe.
Australian side of 1956 perhaps.

Drachen Jager
11-26-2012, 09:15 PM

There are lots of specialty stores dealing in that sort of thing, the above appears to be the biggest online store, you can sort by price, which makes it easy for you.

Otherwise, just look at e-bay.

Justin Bossert
11-26-2012, 10:47 PM
Lots of items could fit the bill. It could be something generic, like a signed game-worn jersey. Or it could be something more unique like a star player's 500th home run ball that someone caught in the stands. Or the bat that was used to hit a home run to win the World Series, signed by that player. I'd tend to think it would be something historic and fairly unique for that price.

11-26-2012, 10:59 PM
Lots of options here - do you have a particular sport in mind? I'm not a sports collector but I would imagine anything signed by some of the famous and dead baseball players (Babe Ruth, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Mickey Mantle, etc.) would be valuable - baseballs, bats, jerseys.

I remember once on Antiques Roadshow there was a woman who had a bunch of checks signed by Babe Ruth, as well as a personal letter written by Babe Ruth. Her father or grandfather had been the team secretary or accountant or something like that, so he knew Babe Ruth and handled his finances. They said it was worth at least $250,000 (US), probably more at auction.

11-27-2012, 12:23 AM
If you want famous hockey pucks:

- puck used in Rocket Richard's 50th goal in 50 games
- puck used in Wayne Gretzky's record setting 802nd goal
- puck used in Joe Malone's 44th goal in 18 games.

11-27-2012, 12:40 AM
There's also the question of how big you want the item to be, does it need to be portable (large, small, on wheels, and so, stealable, etc.)

On the other hand, you could make up a player, history, significant event and an item.

"Ma'Hali "Mighty Mo" Mumbar was the top scorer in U.S. Jai Alai history when he retired in 1952. His cesta (the wicker throwing/catching basket) was enshrined at the Miami Fronton in a formal ceremony after his untimely death in 1961."

11-27-2012, 01:49 AM
The rarest baseball cards are worth huge sums, the champion being the 1909-1911 Honus Wagner, which has sold for nearly $3 million:


Virtually any sports item (ball, glove, uniform, bat, etc.) with an authenticated signature from a Hall-of-Fame player in any major sport can be pretty valuable. $10,000 isn't really all that much in the major collector market.


11-27-2012, 06:41 PM
thanks so far everybody

more details: it should be a "portable" item, something you can steal. I was thinking either a baseball or a hockey puck (hockey plays a sig role in the mc's life) . Thanks Williebee, I may just make up my own significant event/player/item.

The mc steals tries to steal this item from his father, with disasterous results.....this is not a rich family, so i dont think something super valuable would be realistic.

11-27-2012, 10:46 PM
You don't have to be rich, just very, very lucky. If you're in the stands and happen to catch Babe Ruth's record-breaking home run ball, and then meet him after the game and get him to autograph it. . . . Suddenly you own a piece of memorabilia that in fifty years will be worth several million dollars.

Maybe the guy's grandfather was the lucky one who found the hockey puck after it sailed over the glass into the stands. He got it autographed and passed it down to his son. People are often reluctant to sell "family heirlooms" even if they're worth a lot of money, so he might own a very valuable object even if the family isn't wealthy. Just make sure he has it insured!

11-27-2012, 11:55 PM
With baseball, it can definitely be a matter of luck.

Depending on the era, a kid could have gotten a ball signed at a AAA game by someone who went on to be a huge player later on, and now the ball's a one of a kind item. Or, from a player in the defunct "negro" or "girl" leagues for people not allowed to play in mainstream games. Those would have been "cheap seats" in their day, but surviving memorabilia is so rare, it's very valuable now.

You could create a scenario where say the dad or the dad's dad stopped to help a motorist on the side of the road and the motorist was a famous ball player who was using his jersey to keep from burning his hand on the radiator cap (again, it depends on the player's era) and gave it to the dad or granddad when he found out they were a fan. Now there's this stained shirt hanging in the den that's worth a lot as a memory and an artifact.
A baseball bat broken on a world series home run could work - that would look like pieces of junk to the uninformed. A hockey stick that was part of a major play or that caused a famous injury. (If they can make baseball cards out of Nolan Ryan's busted nose, why not?)

Promotional images that were in limited release.

A card created for a player who never played (either was injured or traded or got arrested).

There's a lot of value in unopened bubblegum packs from the 20's and earlier because they have the potential to contain certain rare baseball cards.

11-28-2012, 02:51 AM
Mark McGwire's autographed 70th home run ball went at auction for three million dollars.

Ha, maybe the worst investment ever.

To the OP: you'll need to take care to get it right, unless it doesn't matter that the father might only think his item is valuable. A huge percentage of signed items are fake. Heck, even the authenticated ones can be suspect. Imagine using a fan's pen while standing up, dripping sweat, muscles cramping, and then signing a small round ball. One of the tell-tale signs of a fake sig is the pen repeatedly starting and stopping. But what pro forger would ever do that? Some forgers are amazing artists.

Anyway, as people have said, $10k is pretty common at auction. A good cigarette card or sought after dead player sig would get you there, as would a host of gear.

11-28-2012, 04:11 PM
Sounds like "Wayne Gretzky's Rookie Card" might fit the bill. It's an item that average people would have had the opportunity to come across. They didn't have to have been at a famous game or have acquired the item. Any kid who collected hockey cards could have come across one and kept it. I saw a few when I was a kid. Of course we didn't know how valuable a card like that would be. We used to play games with them like flipping them against walls, edge-on. The card that landed closest to the wall "won" and the owner kept both cards. Of course, the cards eventually were completely ruined and worthless. But a mint-condition Gretzky Rookie sold for $95,000 in 2011.

If your character is into hockey, this would be a prized item that he very well could have. It also has mythological status, at least here in Canada. When you generically refer to some valuable family heirloom that you might want to save from a burning house, or some valuable antique you find in your attic, you might refer to the Gretzky Rookie Card as an example.

Pucks and baseballs are very rare and don't often come into the hands of average folks, unless you've got an elaborate backstory for such an event.

--- D

11-29-2012, 12:21 AM
A friend of mine's father has an official team photo of the 1980 Olympic hockey team signed by all the players and coaches that got appraised for $6,000 a decade or more ago. He has a puck from the same time signed by Wayne Gretzky that he won't let out of a safe-deposit box. :)

In his case, he worked at the Olympic arena (Herb Brooks Arena now) and had these signed during team practice, before the win. He says it goes to his youngest heir when he dies.


11-30-2012, 07:21 PM
Judging by what I've seen on Pawn Stars, an original Babe Ruth autographed baseball can be worth big bucks, depending on the shape its in.

You could have it so the MC's father found it in the house someplace. This comes up in the news from time to time. Someone finds a valuable item tucked away in their house, and that item turns out to be a rare coin, baseball card, comic book collection, that sort of thing. It might lends some interesting backstory if the MC's father found a baseball card or ball in an attic trunk some years ago, got it appraised for tens of thousands of dollars, and now it sits in a plastic box on the mantle or something. Definitely small enough to be stealable. Perhaps the MC could stage a break-in. It could work and be entirely believable.