Baseball cards and sports memorabilia from the 1960’s and earlier are number 6 on our top 10 list as we continue to count down to number 1. There are newer cards like a Michael Jordan 1986-87 Fleer rookie card and a 1979 Wayne Gretzky that can command high values. However, cards from the 1960’s are scarcer than newer cards because many got thrown out or weren’t taken care of well. Items from prior to World War II typically sell for the most and appeal to many collectors who appreciate the history behind them.
The age of the card is an important factor in the value. An 1856 cabinet photo (or cabinet card) of the Brooklyn Athletics baseball team was found in a rural Maine yard sale by an antique picker. He paid less than $100 for the card and some other items. It sold at a small auction house for $92,000.
The condition is another important factor. Cards are graded on a 1 to 10 scale. A Topps 1952 Mickey Mantle card that was in near mint condition and graded 8.5 sold for $275,000 in a 2001 auction. Lesser quality examples might only bring prices in the $1,000’s or $100’s. Well centered cards with no creases or other damage and sharp corners are the most desirable.
The cards of baseball star players are more desirable than those who didn’t achieve greatness. Some may be important because of the history involved with them. Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned from the Hall of Fame because of the Black Sox betting scandal but Jackson baseball cards are sought after because he was a great player and because of the historical importance.
Different companies produced cards from tobacco companies at the turn of the century to bubble gum companies through the mid-20th century. Some cards are of better quality making them more popular with collectors and more valuable.
Baseball cards aren’t the only type of memorabilia that collectors want. Old display pieces including advertising signs, posters, programs, pennants, stadium seats, and equipment are always in demand.
Although this column focused on baseball there are collectors specializing in other sports as well. Golf, football, basketball, hockey, boxing and racing all have their share of fans and collectors.
We have a busy August with a major antique estate auction in Worcester on August 27th. We are also selling the contents of a Ludlow, MA estate by online auction. Bidding is taking place now. There is a preview August 29th and 30th. Bidding ends September 2nd. We are unable to publish information about all of our auctions and estate sales because clients some times need things handled quickly. Stay up to date on upcoming events by visiting www.centralmassauctions.com where you can sign up for our email list or follow us on social media.
Contact us at: Wayne Tuiskula Auctioneer/Appraiser Central Mass Auctions for Antique Auctions, Estate Sales and Appraisal Services www.centralmassauctions.com (508-612- 6111), firstname.lastname@example.org