For dedicated fans of any sport or team, owning a piece of memorabilia based on or signed by your favorite player can be a huge accomplishment. Not only does it bring you closer to someone you admire, but it also gives you a piece of great sports history. Sports collectibles is a multi-billion dollar industry, covering a broad range of items, ranging from trading pins to any signed item.
Here are eight sports memorabilia that every avid fan or collector should have:
A Sports Commemorative Coin
Custom commemorative coins are issued to remember or celebrate some of the most remarkable events in sports history or the best players of all time. Many coins in this category serve as strictly collectors’ items only, giving you a one of a kind addition to your collection. However, these are particularly challenging to get your hands on.
Sports Trading Cards
Sports trading cards are the most popular sports item you can collect. They were first packaged with tobacco products in the early 1860s — which gradually switched to chewing gum when companies realized they sold more. The most valuable trading cards you can get are either signed trading cards or ‘insert cards,’ where most of them have holograms or lenticular designs.
Figurines, such as bobble heads or modern ones, can be great collectibles you can add to your collection, showing who your favorite athlete is, and they’re easy to display. Plus, figurines that are signed or autographed by the respective players are usually worth a lot.
Helmets are one of the most sought after sports memorabilia out there, especially the signed ones. Whether it’s a football or hockey helmet, they’re typically high in demand, making them some of the most valuable pieces of collectibles you can get. When searching for one, remember to thoroughly check the signature to confirm its authenticity.
Any items from the Olympics are considered ‘collectibles.’ These include mascots, posters, tickets, souvenirs, and programs alongside typical sports memorabilia like pins, coins, and stamps. You can find these items at specialty websites like O’Neil since they can be hard to find in brick-and-mortar stores.
Pin-trading is an old tradition among avid sports fans and started as a representation of goodwill between countries in the Olympics back in 1924 — and has become popular among several sports. For instance, for baseball, the heart of ‘baseball season’ lies in pin-trading events, where fans get to meet and connect with their favorite players and fellow fans. Besides possessing high monetary values, you can also get ‘custom’ trading pins with your team’s name, colors, mascot, and state.
Sports jerseys only got considered as a ‘collectible’ recently, dating back to the early 1980s where sports teams began selling jerseys to fans. The most valuable and ‘collectible’ jerseys are ones that famous players wore. For instance, Pelé’s jersey, which he wore during a World Cup, was bought for nearly $250,000 at an auction house.
Autographs and Autographed Items
Autographs can turn any ordinary product, such as a shirt or baseball, into a priceless collectible. Because many sports collectors and fans request ‘autographs’ in person, these also serve as a ‘reminder’ of the opportunity they had to meet their favorite player. Many celebrity athletes sign items at sports collectible shows. Fans may also request autographs from players after games or by writing to them.
The monetary value of any sports memorabilia depends on the player’s fame, the rarity of the item, and its current condition — and you can find any of the sports collectibles mentioned in auction houses, sports shows, and specialty shops. When looking for these goods, purchase ones you genuinely love to ignite your passion for sports and collecting — and not merely the money involved.